Yapok Sundria (Unofficial STK Edition)

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39 / 48
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1 year, 7 months ago (Sep 24, 2022)

Having just got done streaming this one, I wanted to leave some comments in a review where they'd be quick to find again later.

This is an alternate release of Yapok Jr.'s 1995 classic "Yapok Sundria" that was uncovered in 2021. The game is left almost entirely intact, but has had a graphical overhaul and other generally minor alterations.

It's unclear who actually did the remake (or when, as the file is clearly a resave with its 2013 modification date), and while I went into the stream under the impression that it was updated by Yapok, after playing it I think it's less likely that this is the case.

The graphical changes are mostly an improvement. (Though taste is subjective and all). The original game uses STK but in pretty limited quantities, while this version embraces it. Boards are more detailed, yellow borders are removed, the world famous Bee Fly Ptarmigan is drawn out of multiple objects rather than a single character. The rubbish heap IMO is an excellent example of the positive changes offered here.

Due to the ambiguous nature of who made this and whether or not they had Yapok's blessing, it's easy to err on the side of caution and suggest the original to those looking to try out a weird-humor game from the mid 90s that isn't full of Simpsons quotes and Barney killing. However the introduction of several new bugs means that even if this game has Yapok's seal of approval (or actually was made by Yapok and just... introduced new bugs) the original ends up being the optimal version.

The Yapok Isles is where most of the trouble is. An object that gives the player a password to continue is gone. An alternate solution involves getting treasure that was formerly an X and is now an arbitrary tile that looks like any other piece of sand on the island's beach. Tweaks to the placement of passages mean you may inadvertently exit an area before seeing everything or without even acquiring the region's key.

Not having played the game myself in a few years (and that time having been my first time), I didn't realize until after completing this version and comparing it to the original via the editor that there were a handful of cuts as well. In one instance, this is actually a huge boon to the player. The climb up Ptarmigan bluffs is now just two alternating boards as you ascend the mountain rather than four, making a miserably long walk up and down merely "longer than you'd like". The other instances aren't so favorable. Some good gags wind up being cut (namely the petting zoo board and the various snacks in the oil rig). A few of the original's more interesting looking boards are removed. Some objects that must be touched to proceed are far less obvious.

WiL immediately recognized this version of the game when I first posted screenshots to announce the stream, so at some point it was readily available, and if this was the only way somebody got to experience the game they'd still be able to enjoy it. All the important stuff is there, but Yapok Sundria is a game about nonsense and losing some of that nonsense isn't worth a shorter mountain climb and some nicer background.

You can flip through the file viewer for this one and stare at the pretty graphics and get all the appeal this one offers. If you're interested in playing an iconic title, you'll want to go with the original release instead.

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