I decided to create this journal because I needed a place to share impressions about games I’m yet to finish and I know I’ll never review… Well, in this case I just needed to praise some piece of hardware. ;)
Here we go, I hope you like it!
My first contact with Spry Fox–the developer behind Road Not Taken–was through the little Facebook game Triple Town. It has drawn my attention first and foremost because of its unique, slick artstyle: it shows either a strong art direction within those walls or a talented single artist who can output cohesive work throughout the process. Also, the puzzle-like gameplay–joining a certain amount of objects of the same time to make them “evolve”–was a nice touch as well.
Then I played @lphabear. The cute bears from the other installment were put to work into a word puzzle game with, once again, a nice twist.
Well, Road Not Taken is a fully fleshed out development of those traits–beautiful/quirky artstyle, puzzle-with-a-twist gameplay–into a more solid setting (and some compelling plot too).
The genre the’ve twisted this time was the rogue-like; saving kids lost in a forest with draining resources along the search is the keynote of the gameplay, but the ability to forge objects (of any kind, in varied amounts) into new stuff–even accidentally, wich is frequent at the beginning–lends it some sort of Minecraft feeling… And the joy of discovery never wanes.
Another very strong point is the mockery over Harvest Moon’s marriage system… Marriage here is a main mechanic too, but I won’t spoil more on that. :)
So far so good, Road Not Taken has the looks to bring casual audience in and content to stick hardcore players to the end of it. But it still has the same problem former Spry Fox games bore before: hella-busy screens.
Sometimes the environment can become so crowded with stuff that merely navigating around is virtually impossible, let alone solving puzzles. And with such a great myriad of objects to draw from even the “ban” option–an object “black list” you can set before entering the field–fails to solve the problem since the amount of stuff to populate the screen will still be the same.
Gorgeous… and WAY too busy.
Road Not Taken is the best Spry Fox game yet, but I’ll wait eagerly for their next game to see those guys twisting something else–and going a step further into game design.
That’s it, more comments to come in further posts. :)
See ya, take care!