Hitobito no Hikari: Heian Jidai is a TTRPG prequel to Hitobito no Hikari. Set in the Heian era, it channels the energy of Kuon like its predecessor did for Demento/Haunting Grounds.
The PDF is 2 pages, with a clean, thematic, well-organized, and very readable layout. There's a few pieces of art, and they fit perfectly into the atmosphere of the pamphlet.
In terms of gameplay, Heian Jidai runs on the same engine as the original Hikari. You play as shrine maidens looking for your friend Hikari in a cursed location. As you explore, you fill up a Fate clock, and when it's full the game ends. Depending on how much progress you are able to make before the clock fills, you get a happier or more devastating ending.
Heian Jidai offers players a set of premade characters, each with a unique gimmick and capabilities. And they're all standouts. I wasn't expecting there to be too much variation between the characters with them all being shrine maidens, but each one has a satisfying gimmick and a great roleplaying hook. There's no bad picks.
On the GM's end, things are pretty loose throughout, but you do need to be reactive. There are dice rolls for determining obstacles and dangers in a zone, but the GM is also responsible for mapping out each zone for the players to explore. Meanwhile the players have a lot of mechanics they can mess with, but only when prompted by you based on things you've described in their environment.
If you're used to seat-of-your-pants-ing it, or if you write out a scenario ahead of time, you should be fine. And in general, as long as you try to make the game feel like a PS2 survival horror tile, it should play smoothly.
Overall, I think Heian Jidai is a compelling follow-up to the original Hikari. The new setting is atmospheric and easy to narrate. The player character options are stellar. And the monsters are fun. If you enjoyed the original, or if you're looking to try an occult horror oneshot, definitely give this a chance.
-The zones start out blocked, but I couldn't find out what unblocks them.
-Can you explore more than once per zone? It seems like yes, but the Exploration section says 'place' and I couldn't quite be clear if that meant zone or a location within a zone.