Ruthless bird versus bird action. Wild animals and the artefacts of a mysterious ancient culture. A game full of challenge and discovery – unlike anything you've played before.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (297 reviews) - 70% of the 297 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 7, 2014

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Reviews

“While playing Secrets of Rætikon ..., I was on cloud nine.”
Joystiq

“I can't wait to dig into the full game ...”
Destructoid

“Broken Rules have created a title of masterful mystique, beauty, and playfulness ...”
81 – Killscreen

Features of Secrets of Rætikon

  • Single player campaign
  • An emergent ecosystem influenced by your actions
  • A living, breathing world where everything is physical
  • Many different kinds of animals
  • An epic story told in Raetic runes
  • Huge animal kings and ancient contraptions
  • Achievements and Stats
  • Play creatively and solve puzzles the way you want
  • Full game editable via the built-in level editor
  • Easily share your self-designed levels via Steam Workshop

About This Game

Ruthless bird versus bird action. Wild animals and the artefacts of a mysterious ancient culture. A game full of challenge and discovery – unlike anything you've played before.

Secrets of Raetikon


You find yourself alone in the mountains of the Alps. Discover strange contraptions, wild animals and the mysteries of an ancient culture. Uncover the Secrets of Rætikon in an atmospheric, open-world 2D game in which you fly like a bird and explore an uncharted world.

Secrets of Rætikon is an action-focussed exploration game with an open world. Fly through the savage mountains of the Alps and collect parts of ancient machines. The world is rich in interactivity. Trees, rocks, plants and animals – everything is physics based and can be grabbed and dragged around.

Hostile animals protect their habitats and interact with you as well as each other. Use this ecosystem to your advantage: drag a bird of prey to another predator and they attack each other; grab a robin and feed it to a buzzard – it will attack the poor bird instead of you; defend yourself by wielding spiked plants or by pushing foes into thornbushes.

Steam Workshop integration


Secrets of Rætikon sports a full-featured level editor. You can edit every level that comes with the game or create all new levels. Levels can be shared over Steam Workshop. There is a physics sandbox that allows you to build toys or even new games. This is the same editor we use to build the game itself. It will be continuously developed for as long as we work on the game.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (297 reviews)
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235 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Secrets of Rætikon is a flight-based puzzle platformer with a gorgeous low-poly aesthetic, nimble controls, and some excellent and imaginative setpieces. It's hampered a bit by technical issues, punishing item-collection requirements, and -- depending on your point of view -- how the final section of the game works. I'll talk more on that later with a spoiler warning.

You control a bird-like creature trying to activate a large machine with an unknown purpose. You explore several large forest and cave environments to collect the energy you need. Along the way, you'll encounter by a variety of flora and fauna, some peaceful, some hostile, and find runes that expand the lore of the world once you translate them. The translation element was really impressive to me, and seemed to embody the philosophy of the game: a high level of trust for the player to intuit and understand what was necessary without explicit hints or hand-holding.

This sort of thing is a high-wire act in puzzle-platformers or adventure games, rarely tried since the early 90s. Done wrong, it's baffling and arbitrary, and leads to players getting lost and failing to understand quirks of the game's mechanics that aren't explained. Done well, it gives an immense satisfaction that you had a creative idea and it actually worked. I had several of these moments playing Rætikon.

Translating the runes isn't automatic even as you pick up the letters, and your bird character has to cling to the rune stone while you're trying to decipher what it says, still able to be attacked (or drown if the rune is underwater). Similarly, some machines and environmental challenges are presented with no clues about what they're for or how to interact with and navigate them. I was careful to keep track of artifacts I found, where I had left them, and where they might be necessary, and the game rewarded me for it in a way I wasn't expecting. Trusting the player to bring their A-game and be patient and resourceful enough to figure it out is a huge risk, likely to alienate a lot of players, but the rewards are similarly big in a way that's hard to quantify.

The game unfortunately has some the technical issues common in indie development, like objects getting lost behind foreground elements (most indicate the presence with an outline, but not all), or the player character getting stuck under heavy objects or inside level geometry (uncommon, but it can happen). There's only one auto-save and no manual save system. Every single sliver is required to finish the game, although you have a button that will indicate where nearby ones are. Hostile animals are difficult to actually fight off as you don't have an attack button, but you can grab them or use the environment to damage and kill them (I actually like how the ability to attack is almost accidental, an indirect result of the grabbing mechanic). The environments are almost too large, some taking a long time to traverse empty space or backtrack many screens carrying different objects when you're not sure where they go.

Overall, I appreciated the approach of this game and had a lot of fun playing it. There's one caveat, which is hard to explain without spoiling anything, so avoid this if you don't want to risk it.

Secrets of Rætikon's story and aesthetic aren't what they appear to be, exactly -- there's a tonal shift toward the end that (in keeping with its gameplay approach) isn't explicitly hinted at by much of what comes before it. How you respond to where the developers chose to go depends on how invested you were in what the game appeared to be up to that point. A number of people in other reviews were very unhappy with where it goes. My personal feelings were that it didn't ruin the experience and in a way I appreciated the unexpected boldness of it. I don't think it was cheap, but I wasn't emotionally invested in the world the game took place in the way some other gamers might be. It was a genuinely shocking moment, to assume you were doing one thing and be totally blindsided at the last moment by what you were actually doing. That said, I'd 100% understand someone having a viscerally negative reaction to how this game ends. I recommend this game with the caveat that the endgame may sour the experience for you, depending on your point of view and what you wanted out of it. Hope that helps!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
431 of 571 people (75%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: January 8, 2014
Upon wings of gold,
Upon air so cold,
Through the sky so blue,
I graciously flew

To foxes I spoke,
Great machines I woke,
Ancient runes I read,
From great predators I fled,

A story unearthed,
In languages lost and cursed,
And yet my adventures have just begun,
Studying the Secrets of Rætikon
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
126 of 154 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: January 7, 2014
A beautiful game as it is.. can't wait for it to be finished!
I did a quick review/ overview of the basics here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSqL-60S81U
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
109 of 133 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
Secrets of Rætikon is as gorgeous and ethereal as it is tedious and poorly designed.

It’s a game about exploration and discovery, hampered by convoluted level designs and the inexcusable absence of any sort of map. It’s a game of peaceful puzzle solving and nonlinear exploration disrupted by annoyingly persistent enemies, and no means of attack to ward them off. More than anything though it’s a game of false allegations of an overarching mystery, that in the end is nothing more than a horrendously incomprehensible and random moment, preceded by an unnecessarily grotesque event that quite frankly made me sick.

At it’s core, Rætikon is constructed like a large fetch quest collectathon, requiring you to explore levels in order to collect scattered shards which can then be used to power up ancient machinery. These machines exist both in opening new pathways for you, and in presenting you with larger shards which must then be brought back to a sort of hub and deposited into the sockets of yet another large machine.

Though it had the potential to be an enjoyably open experience, allowing you to freely traverse the world as you hunt for these shards and machines, Rætikon idiotically forces you to spend an aggravating amount of time back tracking through levels in order to return to the hub. This could have been avoided with a better connected world, but with only two paths into the hub, you’re required to haul your luggage through numerous screens over and over again. This is made even more frustrating do to the inevitable games of keep away you get into with other animals, which can sometimes make the simple act of getting from one side of the screen to the other almost painful in how aggressive the other creatures are.

This all adds up to make Secrets of Rætikon an absolute chore to get through. It’s a gorgeous game, with some incredible origami-like artwork, a fantastically ambient soundtrack and great sense of atmosphere, but it’s all brought down by some horrible design decisions that sour the entire experience. When you finally get to the end it only makes matters worse, with a disturbing and baffling turn of events that sells home the point that the designers seemed to have little idea where they were going with their game, nor a clue how to get there.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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87 of 101 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 24, 2014
Secrets Of Rætikon is a beautifully rendered game, it's all very colorful. It's hard to explain it gameplay wise. But you're a bird and you have to find artifacts that are scattered all over the world. You might say that it's a Metroidvania game but it's not. You won't gain any skills or abilities and all places are freely accessible. The goal is mainly to survive, while finding these artifacts. There are several types of 'enemies' and not all of them will attack you on the spot. Some of them will try to grab you or your artifact and others will just leave you alone because they're lower on the food chain. You can go faster by flapping your wings and you can even dive to increase your speed. The controls are unusual but work very good.

There's no map system in the game so you have to find everything by scouting the areas carefully. This can be hard, but fortunately the game is only a few hours (3-4) long so the world isn't that big.

I really enjoyed playing the game, but one thing that bothered me was the fact that you can't continue the game once you finish it. So make sure you do everything before dropping that last artifact, unless you want to play through it again, of course.

There's always room for improvement and Secrets Of Rætikon is no different. But despite its shortcomings I had a great time playing in this magical and very stylish world.

[Rating: 84/100]
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66 of 78 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2014
I just played 2006 seconds of SECRETS of RÆTIKON and felt the urge to share this review.
I just bought the game mainly because I like the aestethics and because the devs are from the town I live, but other than that I had no expectations, especially since the game is still early access. I also haven´t read previews so far, so I was relativley unbiased.

This first hour was a real joy!
The controls are very intuitive and after a few minutes you get what the game is about without much explaination.
But very soon I came in contact with the first few highlights in form of the curious animal life.

I don´t want to spoil too much but there was this particular situation where I, a bird, cleared the entrance of a cave in a wood while being chased by some wildcat and after being rewarded with an artifact that sat on top of a deers antlers, I had to chase the deer while still being harrassed by the cat. It resulted in tricking the cat away for a moment so I could grab onto the deers ♥♥♥, pulling it to a dead end so I could wrestle away the artifact.

Shortly after this I experienced one of the best situations in a 2D game I experienced so far, when I had to get away with another artifact but the trees just wouldn´t let me ( I don´t want to spoil it for anybody, but it is awesome)

Long story short, I can already fully recommend the game, because only one hour into it, it was somehow already worth its money. I am very much looking forward to continue tomorrow and have a look at that editor some day.

Go for it, it will make you feel good :D

And yes, there is a stat for how many seconds you already played (besides the stats how many other animals I ACCIDENTALLY! killed)
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51 of 64 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 31, 2015
Story Review

Plummeting down at sonic speeds towards the ground and saving myself from becoming a splattering heap of blood, my first moments of this new and strange world were quite horrifying. It was strange that despite my near death experience I couldn’t help but feel that these lands felt promising in being a tranquil place to live the rest of my life. Unsure of what was to become of me…

The world looked incredibly strange, full of triangle shaped forms, from the trees,caves and sculptures down to the animals themselves. Unsure of my surroundings I had to familiarize myself with what would be useful. Finding red triangles I noticed made me healthier while the blue triangles when gathered enough saved my life. Funny how these items were of similar shape and resemblance to my environment. Forming together a sort of harmony.

Further traversing the lands I noticed that inserting the triangles I found, into the towers would make them activate. I noticed how they would shine - like they were calling for me to pull the levers. What I found interesting the most was the golden triangles that seemed important though I was somewhat awestruck and confused of their purpose of being held within these contraptions. I realized later that I could insert these gold triangles into a machine that revealed a prison of animals. I was determined to free them from their cages once I have found the rest.

Before I knew it I was altering the land by lifting rocks out of passages and solving puzzles to unlock paths. The place became more and more dynamic the more time I spent on interacting with the environment, shaping the terrain to a degree sort of speak though albeit a small degree.

The journey seemed difficult but I learned some new tricks as I explored, though there were some issues in actually using these tricks…Calling out to find objects hidden within the world elluded me If i was carrying anything of significant importance.

One time for example the black triangle I was carrying around was being indicated when I called out to objects, I didn’t notice this at first and was wondering why my senses seemed to freak out and rotate so much. Making me somewhat - dumbfounded at my own foolishness. I had to abandon the object in order to properly search around for the treasures of the world.

Going around and around was pretty tiring, having to see the same environments several times again since the point of interest was in the middle of the forest. Especially when enemies got in the way and stole my triangles it was rather annoying having to fight them for it - I tried my best not to kill them though. I progressed slowly closer and closer to my goal of collecting all the gold triangles to activate whatever the giant machine did until there was only one left.

Finding the last gold triangle - quite frankly has given me far more trouble than I bargained for. I looked around the world several times backtracking here and there, in order to find whatever I missed that could lead me to it. Constantly trying to avoid danger while looking for news ones I couldn’t help feel that what I was doing was a fruitless labor.

The statues I rebuilt to their former glory might have helped me navigate through the forests - however being able to find that last piece was still a pipe dream. I was simply losing my mind at this point and picking fights with the local birds that have long annoyed me since the beginning, slaughtering them left and right to never see them again.

Eventually what would happen is a land of lifelessness and void of any creatures, my madness for created by the lust of the last gold triangle got the better of me. Now barren in this world where I live I looked up at the sun and attempted to suicide, being thrown down by the strong winds I decided to take a dive into the water latched onto a rock and allow myself to suffocate - until my very being was taken from this world.

Conclusion

The world looked pleasing, unique and interesting to explore. Outside of the eye candy though laid a series of bad game design choices concerning navigation. The restrictions put on you from really ascending to great heights - to the frustration of having to backtrack constantly back to the hub. There is a lot of potential this game had if it were to erase the backtracking by making the activation of the mechanisms trigger the cages instead of the triangles but the over-focus on this element lead to the game’s downfall of making it into a tedious chore.
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55 of 73 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2014
To be honest I was quite unsure about Secrets of Rætikon, whether or not it's a good game (I'm not a big fan of 2D games). But after playing through it, All I really can say is...This Game Is Frikin' Awesome!
-A Single Player Campaign where you get to fly like a bird and explore the Amazing world.
-Fun game play!
-Great 2D Adventure, Fully interactive physical world.
-Beautiful Art style.
-Puzzles are intuitive and unique.
-Solid Controls.

It's a great game. 8.5/10
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37 of 46 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 8, 2014
This game has very satisfying flying and controls and the puzzles are intuitive, and unique. There is also something to be said about the emotions this game sparked in me, which range from laughing obnoxiously loud to feeling super depressed because I accidentally killed a little critter. I think it has somthing to do with the animals and the minimalistic approach to the graphics (which are absolutely beautiful). It really is a thinking mans game. It task you with collecting silver pieces for the "machines". It's simple yet enthralling. Simply getting past an opposing animal can be done in various ways. If you want to fight grab a spiked branch and hit him with it. Want to set up a secenario in which another poor creature gets caught up in a battle to the death so you can continue untouched? So many options and functions are in play. The games physics are so very real and fun.

There is so much mystery about the story and the Runes and what is actually going on in the Alps. I am very ready to find out what that is. For an Alpha that I bought For 7 or so bucks I'd have to say I am in love with this game. I cannot wait to see what the Steam community has to bring to this game as well. The game also comes with all the developers tools to make this game. So if you feel the need to rework things or submit your own idea's you can. What an awesome and refreshing approach from an indiDev.

Keep your eye on this game closely. Throw down the 10$ (or less if it's on sell) and thank me later.
-Casey
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33 of 40 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2014
Secrets of Rætikon is one of the few games where you play as an 'realistic' animal in a 2d metroidvania like world. After the game started I was smoothly flying around and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere in a world with a nice Сubism art style. The game explained simply is; find collectables to get other collectables to finish the game. Which sounds stupid but while you do this you will encounter many obstacles and enemies. Also there are other things to explore which can add to the story of Rætikon. Sometimes you really have to think about your movement so you can get to that certain area. I liked that in this game I sometimes felt sad because I had to kill other animals or plants to get health. I have to say that I didn't enjoy Rætikon to it's fullest because on my laptop I played some parts without sounds. Which really reduces the feeling of being in nature. I have to say I didn't really like the ending. But I think that may had something to do with the studio having to rush that part. Because this game didn't and still doesn't get that much attention. What I respect the dev's for: They kept on going to finish the game, because they know that these kind of games are missing in this industry. The only positive side of the game not being popular is that you really have to find everything out by yourself.

Workshop community:
Dead.
No support at all.


Short:
A nice relaxing game where you explore around flying as a bird.
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Recently Posted
oneclipleft
0.8 hrs
Posted: September 30
Glad I got this on sale. As others have already noted, the main problems here are tedium and frustration. It's a shame because this game could have been much more than it is. It looks great and the general movement mechanics are a lot of fun, but the actual game itself (what you are trying to accomplish) is equal parts boring and infuriating to actually do.

The tedium/boredom in traveling back and forth depositing items into a thing I could forgive because when you do make progress in this game, it really feels exciting and intriguing. My biggest issue were the magpies/squirrels/anything that can steal from you types of enemies. I literally could not get across a single screen without having my stupid triangle thing stolen 50+ times by enemies that absolutely never give up the chase. Sometimes they'd steal it within one second of me getting it back! It became an absurd, unfun challenge just to move a triangle thing a little ways.

SoR could have been much better with less aggressive enemies that know when to give up the chase or possibly even no enemies at all. As it stands, I just don't want to play it anymore, and I didn't even get an hour in.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rewired302
0.5 hrs
Posted: July 29
I love games with this style of cut out animation. It reminds me of Samurai Jack in bird format. Though this game got mixed reviews on Steam, I actually like it. Its a very unique style of game-play. The controls are pretty easy to get down, and it has a very peaceful soundtrack. If your looking for something different to play then your average shot em' up, than this game is worth a try.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MPO
0.4 hrs
Posted: July 7
Great presentation, but poor level design makes for an exceedingly boring experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DiHorizon
5.6 hrs
Posted: July 7
The best Flappy Bird clone ever made.

10/10 nothing like Flappy Bird.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pupsnup
3.4 hrs
Posted: June 24
good game, unique, pretty, the ending was quite unexpected though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sompom
1.5 hrs
Posted: June 14
One of the reviews I read before starting this game mentioned annoyance at the lack of a world map. This is a fair complaint. Although the world is basically linear, it is still somewhat confusing and possible to get lost. Nevertheless, if you can find your way around the grocery store, you'll probably be okay here. I also find it important to mention to not take this game too seriously. It is what it is, and exploring and getting lost are part of the package. Tell yourself you'll enjoy it, and you probably will!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Traxadel
1.1 hrs
Posted: June 11
Hard and beautiful game that I couldn't beat.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Psychotic
4.3 hrs
Posted: June 1
This game has its somewhat highs and low lows. It looks great and is accompanied by great music but the fact the lore and its few gameplay features hit the game really hard. All your doing is just repeating the same things over and over again, just in different places. Beautiful different places. The game really died with as the story was basically non-existent and was really hard to follow the parts they force fed to you. I think it's a ok game, borderline bad. You definetely don't want to pick this up at $11, do it when it's on a 70% sale. That's the only condition I'll say it's ok (just barely ok) to buy the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bonesinger
1.5 hrs
Posted: May 10
A very interesting game with a distinct and pleasing aesthetics. You control a birdlike creature and need to find golden triangles to open up more areas.
The bad thing is if you leave the game for some time and, when you come back, you don't really remember where was what. The lack of a map really hampers progress.
Helpful? Yes No Funny