Road Not Taken

A tale of wizards and bliz­zards

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - £11.99 De­vel­oper Spry Fox OS OS X 10.6 or later Re­quires 2GB RAM An en­chant­ing style Lots of se­crets to dis­cover Puz­zles feel fid­dly Steep dif­fi­culty curve

Road Not Taken, like the win­ter in which it’s set, is cold and cruel. You’re a silent stranger and your job is to save chil­dren who’ve got lost pick­ing berries in a bliz­zard. Your staff en­ables you to le­vi­tate and throw them in straight lines un­til they’re re­united with an adult, but the for­est is full of ob­sta­cles and it’s cold. If you need to move while car­ry­ing some­thing, or though a bliz­zard, you’ll lose en­ergy. Run out, and you’ll die.

Each grid­ded area of the for­est – some gen­er­ated fresh and un­pre­dictably each game, some uni­form – is small but busy. Crea­tures move when you do – a pain when you need to group them to open a door. There are more than 100 kinds of ob­ject, and each acts dif­fer­ently and is part of a com­plex sys­tem of craft­ing new items. Many recipes for th­ese items are un­in­tu­itive, so you’ll have to check the Book of Se­crets to re­call them, though dis­cov­er­ing them through ex­per­i­men­ta­tion is a joy.

Be­friend vil­lagers by giv­ing them things they like (be it berries or bunnies) and they’ll re­ward you with recipes. Some folk are as cold as their sur­round­ings, com­plain­ing about the loss of berry-based in­come the chil­dren’s dis­ap­pear­ance will cause. That dark hu­mour pro­vides some light re­lief, but it’s not enough to off­set the frus­tra­tion of the puz­zles. It might not mat­ter how rapidly the dif­fi­culty es­ca­lates if this weren’t a game that changes with ev­ery play, but the puz­zles are just too fid­dly to give the game that ‘one more try’ feel­ing. Jor­dan Erica Web­ber

Dif­fer­ent and dark­hu­moured, but after sev­eral deaths it might leave you feel­ing out in the cold.

That clean, crisp visual style fits par­tic­u­larly well on a Mac.

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