by Robert Fenner
Get it at Itch.io
A cross collaboration between Atelier Sento and students of Nantes' La Joliverie high school, Yūrei Station is a brief, linear experience in which a young girl takes a somber and lonely train ride through the endless countryside.
Following the tragic loss of a loved one, bizarre text messages began to show up on the girl's phone--first as illegible, glitchy characters, and eventually as the itinerary for a nonexistent 4:44am train; the very one she happens to ride.
As you click around the empty traincar to examine the scenery or stare out the window, more text messages begin to arrive. Messages that give the impression that this empty train may not be so empty after all. Just where are you going, and who's going with you?
Yūrei Station is a short and sweet experience; its hand-drawn, watercolour art courtesy of the students of La Joliverie is simple in design yet incredibly striking and effective. The bite-sized length and grim tone bring to mind the excellent limited animation series Yamishibai, and there's even a twinge of Terayama Shuji's pessimistic take on nostalgia, which manages to gel organically with the modern gadgetry that drives the narrative. The Terayama feel is likely no coincidence; Atelier Sento are the team behind the upcoming The Coral Cave, a point and click adventure that directly cites the playwright as a key influence.
You can spare some time to play through Yūrei Station before bed tonight.