Yuri is at times easy, and at times difficult, but at all times warm and endearing.
Named after Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, your line drawn avatar is on a journey to the centre of the Earth, with his mode of transport being a bed. The obvious assumption to make is that Yuri is adventuring through a dreamscape, but thankfully this is never specifically explained, which is nice as it leaves more options open to the imagination.
Ange Potier first drew the character of Yuri back in 2005, using him in animated shorts and comic strips, and eventually teamed up with brother Aurélien to translate him into game form.
The hand drawn artwork is beautiful throughout, and could easily be compared to Limbo, which the studio actually namechecks as an inspiration, although the menace and dark nature of Limbo is absent from Yuri, replacing it with a broader lightness and storybook playfulness.
With Fingerlab having created apps for music creation, players would assume that a great deal of attention has been put into the sound design, and they would be right. We’d recommend BlueTooth headphones or putting some volume into your lounge room speakers to get the most out of Yuri on Apple TV. The lurking night time creatures, accompanied by minimalist musical accompaniment and spatial soundscapes, form an aural cocktail that would be a pity to miss.
Playable with either the Siri Remote or a compatible controller (although only the d-pad seemed to work, not the thumbstick), ATVG preferred the controller option. There is a nice sense of momentum as Yuri rolls wildly down inclines, and a confident sense of control in sections that require more dextrous platform manoeuvring.
The mechanics and obstacles players will encounter on this adventure will be familiar: riding logs down waterways, bouncing on leaves and flowers, evading various creepy crawlies, swinging on vines, escaping rockfalls, and more. These are not original conceits, but dressed in the unique art style and soundtrack, still feel fresh.
The fact that Yuri doesn’t outstay his welcome also helps keep the experience feeling fresh right through to the end. In only a few hours the 10 missions are over, and the end credits roll, with Fingerlab currently working on a follow up to continue the character’s journey.
ATVG will keep you posted on any news we hear of Yuri’s continuing adventures, but for what’s on offer right now, we can recommend it to gamers looking for a playful, artful escape via 2D platform gaming.
In A Nutshell
Fingerlab’s Yuri is a 2D platform experience crafted with a clear love of art and sound design, resulting in a playful, and warmly atmospheric escape.