Yomawari is a new game by Nippon Ichi that uses an art style similar to Hotaru No Nikki, a puzzle game previously published by the same guys on the same console. Thankfully, Nippon Ichi dealt away with touch controls and the little girl starring in Yomawari is entirely controlled via the left analog stick and buttons.
The game was introduced by a series of spooky ads of someone running in the woods at night with just a flashlight, and it came out one day before Halloween: I know I was going into a possibly scary game, but the first five minutes...oh, those left me speechless. You can experience them in the video below.

Playing as a little girl in search of her dog and older sister, Yomawari tasks you in exploring a rural Japanese town infested by ghosts and other supernatural creatures that will kill the poor girl on touch. Ghosts are invisible unless lit by the girl's flashlight or lamp post, the only other indication they are near is the thumping of the girl's heart. One way to escape ghosts is to run away, but your stamina meter is limited, drains faster when a ghost is nearby, and the girl cant be described as a fast runner; the other way is to hide behind objects or in bushes, waiting for the ghosts to go away or far enough for a safe dash. When hiding, the point of view changes to a completely black screen, zoomed in on where the girl is hiding, her heart is louder, and the ghosts are indicated by purple masses. The first hiding moments are intense, and jogging around town is not an easy feat as well, with only statues acting as position check points; these points are activated by offering a 10yen coin (which can be found around town) and also act as fast-travel points. The girl can pick up rocks, but so far those have been useless, ghosts aren't drawn away by the noise of a thrown rock and of course they cannot be hit by those.

While I admit that tension diminished dramatically after the first 15 or so minutes, Yomawari is still able to create a rather foreboding experience: no background music, only the eerie chirping of cicadas and the buzzing of the rare vending machine, there's a heavy vignetting and the flashlight's cone is neither large nor far-reaching; the girl is slow, and you can only outrun the most basic ghost. Where to go is pointed by various things, and the game apparently blocks parts where you shouldn't be with either large numbers of ghosts and/or fences. The checkpoints act a respawn point only, what you've witnessed and picked up is carried over after gettng slain by a ghost; this does dimish tension, but since the game is slow-paced and going around can get boring, I'd say it's a fair choice by the developers.