Is Yaga, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
Yaga is a charming 2D action role-playing game with a poetic narrative that shifts based on player actions and choices, while the haunting soundtrack, poetic dialogue, and disturbing artwork help set Yaga apart in an overcrowded genre, they may not appeal to everyone and in some cases may cause players to look elsewhere.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Action
Developer: Breadcrumbs Interactive
Publisher: Versus Evil
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 25 October 2019
Supported Modes:

Weapon Customization.

Yaga offers players one of the best weapon customization systems I have ever seen; with a wide range of craftable items and enhancements, it’s possible to create a weapon perfectly suited to your playstyle.

I am personally fond of items made with gold ore, but silver and iron have their uses, with each material focusing on a specific damage type or buff.

Defeating enemies and completing quests award players with unusual items such as golden teeth and cat-eyes, which serve as optional crafting reagents, each with their own passive buffs/damage types.

These optional reagents are some of the most powerful items in the Yaga, as they allow players to radically change their gameplay experience by crafting weapons and tools that specialize in different tasks such as damaging certain enemies or increasing stamina regeneration.

Combining materials and discovering new combinations is one of the most enjoyable parts of Yaga, and I would happily play an entire game where Ivan the Blacksmith crafted and sold items to other people; for me, its one of the best mechanics in the game and something not found in many single-player Action RPGs.



Yaga offers players a very curated experience; every action the player makes brings subtle changes to the narrative and provides additional passive bonuses that aid Yaga on his quest to help the Tzar.

For example, making righteous choices will offer players a larger selection of “righteous” passives that improve your luck or stats at the end of each mission, while being selfish will give players passives that increase wealth and loot drops.

However, opting for violent or foolish solutions to quests and random events can impede your progress by limiting your passives to acts of violence or foolishness.

Another way that Yaga offers players choice is by allowing players to change aspects of the mission by selecting which day (each with their own passives) or time of day (buffs/debuffs) Ivan heads out from his village; its all very clever and adds a lot to replayability, something which is sorely needed due to the main stories relatively short runtime of 6-8 hours.



While the creepy lore of the Yaga isn’t something to smile about, the narrative itself is filled with humour and pop culture references that are genuinely funny and help alleviate what would otherwise be some very dark moments.

Poetic Dialogue.

Much of the dialogue in Yaga is poetic in nature, and entire conversations between multiple characters often rhyme like something out of a children’s storybook; it’s very clever, and the amazing voice acting really helps to sell the whimsy of it; unfortunately, it’s overdone, and after 1-2 hours of rhyming I need a break, the poetic dialogue is a very clever design choice, but it is milked to the point of becoming an annoyance.


Yaga’s combat is not overly complex at any given moment, but being able to swap out multiple tools and weapons allows for some pretty impressive combinations; I personally enjoy pulling enemies to me with a grapple before smacking them with my hammer.

Unfortunately, there is just too much of it, and much of it is unrewarding; games like Diablo can support a lot of combat as its very quick and the protagonist is overpowered, Ivan is neither quick nor powerful, and multiple 30-75 second long battles against the same mobs one after another only succeeds in “watering down the soup” to increase the game’s runtime.

To end on a positive note, some of the “boss” battles are excellent. One early battle gave me the chance to spare the boss in exchange for him owing me a favour, a favour I called upon much later in the game to defeat a group of foes that slew Ivan while he was low on health and disarmed.



Yaga looks and feels like a Slavic painting from the early 1900s; I cannot begin to fathom how much time and talent it takes to hand draw a game, and for this, Breadcrumb Interactive desire a lot of praise; unfortunately, the world is a bit repetitive and except for Ivan’s village feels in-organic, while I appreciate the need for procedural maps, they do not always work well with 2D maps, especially when using hand-drawn sprites.


Yaga has one of the most mind-bafflingly awful soundtracks I have ever encountered, the Slavic culture has a vast pool of gorgeous and haunting melodies to offer, and yet the developers opted for what can only be described as “garage band quality euro hip hop”, its immersion-breaking, and frankly, I would have preferred a midi loop instead (and I hate midi loops).

Character Designs.

Ivan, the protagonist looks fantastic; he is jolly, inviting and memorable; sadly, the other characters that fill his world are varying degrees of “yikes” and look like the work of an edgy tattoo artist more than anything else.


I found Yaga one of the creepiest games I have ever played, and I am not one that is easily creeped out by “scary” games.

I play a lot of games that would be classified as horror without blinking, but Yaga feels “off” and dark in a way that is hard to explain; playing Yaga feels like playing out a fever dream or nightmare, and for me, this robs much of the game’s appeal.

While I can understand the desire to include Slavic mythology, I am unsure why the developers feel every foul and wretched creature from Slavic lore needs to be present at the same time; the world feels excessively dark and uninviting, with poverty, death and horror at every turn that not even the cheerful Ivan or his doting grandmother can distract from.


Item Decay.

As touched upon earlier, there are a lot of random encounters in Yaga, and even the most skilled combatant will find their weapons close to breaking by the time they exit each level. Weapon decay is a great mechanic, but this level of weapon decay is just not fun.

Health Items Are Unlucky.

I can appreciate the bad luck system and can see how it helps improve the gameplay by adding additional challenges; however, making all food items unlucky is baffling; surely there should be room for at least one non-cursed health/food item?

Considering that bread has a 2000-year-old association with Christianity* and a priest is at the focal point of Ivans village, offering players some form of health-restoring holy bread in exchange for kopeks (coins) would have been a nice compromise for those wishing a way to restore health without attracting the attention of the evil eye.

*Jesus Christ is referred to as the Bread of Life in the Holy Bible, and bread plays a large part in Holy Communion, a sacrament of multiple Christian denominations, including Eastern Orthodox, the denomination of Christianity prevalent in Slavic nations.


Yaga FAQ

Yaga is a action video game developed by Breadcrumbs Interactive and published by Versus Evil, it was released on 25 October 2019 and retails for $24.99.

Platform Availability.

Yaga is available on the following platforms: Android, IOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

How Long Does Yaga Take to Complete?

On average Yaga takes between 10 and 20 hours to complete.

  • Main Story: 10 Hours.
  • Main + Side Quests: 12 Hours.
  • Completionist: 20 Hours.

Estimated completion times are derived from various sources and may vary based on the skill level of each player.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Yaga is rated PEGI 16+ and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Yaga is a mechanically enjoyable game that contains many unique elements; unfortunately, this uniqueness is also Yaga’s greatest weakness, and some will find aspects of its creative design unappealing.

Is Yaga Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Yaga" a rating of 5/10, which means, while it is mediocre/average, and has its fair share of issues, the average gamer would not regret playing it.

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