Trek to Yomi review (for PC)

Stoic and honor-bound, samurai have long been the subject of video games. However, it wasn’t until the release of Ghost of Tsushima that we finally received an authentic samurai experience. That same level of painstaking detail is featured in Trek to Yomi, the latest offering from publisher Devolver Digital and developer Flying Wild Hog, the studio responsible for Shadow Warrior 3.

Blending Japanese history and mysticism with top-notch voice work and arthouse film flair, the $19.99 Trek to Yomi is a cinematic experience, with stunning black-and-white visuals. reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai movies. The game isn’t much longer than the movies it pays homage to, like hidden fortress and Seven Samurai, but the fast pace doesn’t waste your time. In fact, Trek to Yomi is so dense that its relatively short length isn’t a bad thing. Overall, it’s easily one of the best PC games of the year and deserves our Editors’ Choice award.

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Yomi Caves Trek

Each frame is a painting

Like many samurai stories, Trek to Yomi is a tale of revenge. Adopted and trained by the samurai Sanjuro, the protagonist, Hiroki, has his training abruptly interrupted when his village is ransacked by bandits. After Sanjuro dies in the conflict, Hiroki swears to protect his sensei’s daughter, Aiko, as well as the other villagers. When the leader of the bandits, Kagerou, reappears years later, the evil man defeats Hiroki and sends him straight to Yomi, the Land of the Dead.

What may seem like a fairly simple revenge story is enhanced by excellent black and white visuals and a fantastic Japanese voice cast that features many popular old anime including Kato Masayuki (Naruto Shippuden), Akio Otsuka (ghost in the shell), and Hiroshi Shirokuma (A piece). The game takes place on a 2.5D plane, but breaks up the side-scrolling monotony by using fixed camera angles. If you’re familiar with horror and survival games from the 1990s and early 2000s, you know what to expect here. However, the camera perfectly cuts the frame of the next scene instead of focusing on the jumps.

Whether you’re wielding your samurai sword for battle or navigating the long, winding road out of hell, the impressive reach and expert blocking bring excitement to every scene. The black-and-white color scheme, widescreen presentation, and film grain add to Yomi’s aesthetic, giving it the sheen of an unfamiliar Akira Kurosawa film from the 1950s or 1960s.

Hike to Yomi's House Fire

Yomi’s encounters are often brief, settled in a few well-placed steel taps. You start the game with a basic and heavy attack, as well as a block move, but more complex combos and counters become available as your enemies get stronger. Like a scene from a stage performance, combat is a one-on-one affair with fast-moving opponents circling you like vultures around a carcass. Careful reading and parrying leads to quick victory or demise.

Between combat sections, you can explore the level in a limited way. These moments are often quiet, though they contain plenty of secret areas and branching paths that lead to collectibles, health and stamina upgrades, and the occasional ranged weapon. Trek to Yomi is no Metroidvania, but collectibles help shape the world and lore without unnecessary exposure.

Trek to the destroyed city of Yomi

A double-edged sword

I had fun reveling in the beauty of Trek to Yomi, but the same creative choices that make the game special also hamper it in some areas. For example, the constantly cutting cameras created moments where Yomi was facing the wrong direction. Plus, the interactive elements let out a burst of light, but they’re sometimes lost in the contrasting white color scheme. Interactions with the environment also suffer from the same problem.

These moments are annoying, but they really become a problem when these problems turn into a fight. You can parry sword strikes if you catch the reflection of enemies’ swords, but like the hidden objects in the background, they’re easy to miss. This leads to unwanted deaths.

Aside from occasional boss encounters, the combat never gets too deep. You learn combos, but battles rarely last long. While it’s fun to pull off flashy combos, your simple chains of bread and butter will get you through most of the game.

Yomi Forest Trek

And then there is the length. My first game on normal difficulty took exactly five hours. Yomi’s pace never falters, so he doesn’t overstay his welcome. Still, this might not be the game for you if you enjoy open-world gameplay, endless side quests, and an epic story.

Can your PC run Trek to Yomi?

The presentation of Trek to Yomi is beautiful, but it doesn’t require the latest PC hardware. Minimum system requirements are only an AMD Phenom II X4 965 or Intel Cord i5-8250U processor, an AMD Radeon R7 260X or Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU (2048 VRAM for each), 8 GB of RAM, 11 GB of storage space and Windows 7 operating system.

My rig had no issues running the game on max settings, maintaining a rock-solid 60fps throughout the journey. In terms of visual options, Trek to Yomi offers ambient occlusion, bloom, and film filter settings.

The game can only be found on Steam; it’s not an Epic release as of this writing. It supports the controller, as well as Steam achievements. The game is not verified by Steam Deck, at least for now.

The sons of the battle cry

Trek to Yomi is a small game, but its impressive cinematic presentation rivals AAA productions. The Mythical Hero’s Journey may not break new ground, but it’s an engrossing ride that will keep you hooked from start to finish. Trek to Yomi isn’t the most complex or difficult title, but it’s one we highly recommend to anyone looking for a short, sleek action game, earning it our Editors’ Choice award. .

For more Steam game reviews and previews, check out PCMag’s Steam Curator page. And for an in-depth discussion of video games, visit PCMag’s Pop-Off YouTube channel.


  • Simple and satisfying combat

  • Fantastic presentation

  • Excellent vocal performance

  • Impressive sound design

See more

The essential

With outstanding cinematic presentation, top-notch vocal performances, and superb sound design, Trek to Yomi wraps Akira Kurosawa’s flair around his fun side-scrolling samurai battles.

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