Yokai Yashiki

released on Dec 31, 1986
by Irem



In Youkai Yashiki, you control a boy armed with a flashlight who must explore five stages and locate five talisman before locating and gaining access to a stage boss. The flashlight serves as a weapon against the monsters which inhabit each stage. Your life meter takes the form of a set of batteries. As your life diminishes, the batteries drain and the power of your flashlight, that is the distance that the beams can travel, decreases.

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The cover art for Yokai Yashiki seems to promise a spooky supernatural romp, and on that end, it delivers. The premise is also sound: a platform shooter where you have to navigate a maze-like environment, collecting hidden talisman before you can unlock the level's boss. Like a Metroidvania-lite. But like many short games of this era (5 levels), the developers have extended gameplay by gating progress with oblique and unintuitive "secrets" that make navigating aimless, boring, and frustrating.