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: Mostly Positive (255 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 7, 2014

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Includes 2 items: Secrets of Rætikon, Secrets of Rætikon - Soundtrack


Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2013 - Fly through alpine vistas and reawaken an ancient civilization as a bird. The sense of flight in this game is remarkable."
Read the full review here.


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

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

“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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
29 of 35 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Charming art style,novel experience to play as a bird.
But i have been looking for the last shard for over two hours.
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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
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.


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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29 of 40 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
You know those Hollywood comedy movie trailers? All the good jokes end up in the trailer, very often making the movie seem interesting. Then you go about watching it and realize there's not much meat on those bones. The whole movie can fit in those 5 minutes of trailer footage and nothing would be lost. Secrets of Rætikon is like that - screenshots and videos oversell it. It's a visually charming game, yes, in which you get to fly through a forest filled with wildlife and mysteries. And that's pretty much it.

Downsides list is a bit more extensive than that. Let's start with the name - "æ", seriously? How do I even type that, let alone read it? Nevermind, let's go further. In SoR, you'll learn that forest animals are quite the racist scumbags. Nothing would unite a falcon, a crow and a lynx better than a killing campaign against an orange bird (= the player). And they're quite persistent about it, to the point where trying to move an object from screen to screen often becomes a Sisyphus's task.

The exploration part of the game is somewhat hindered by a lack of map or any other kind of orientation tool. This becomes most obvious near the end of the game - if you lack one item to finish the game, it may take you quite a while to find it. SoR is on the short site - it provides around two hours of gameplay, unless of course, you miss that one item, in which case the time might easily double.

Endgame sequence is one of the most wtf moments you'll ever witness by finishing a game, and not in a good way. After a gruesome scene that makes all your effort either seem in vain or just plain disturbing, you get to play a dull dull dull match of pong and see a "game over" screen even if you win it. What?

Whoever is the visual artist of the game, please run to another studio while you can.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
For now, this is a first impression review. I will update this if I am able to finish the game or new and relevant info presents itself.

First off, this game is beautiful. For what it is, I cant think of a more artisitic presentation. Really, really pleasing to look at.
So, what is the game? hehehe...that is actually a good question. You are a bird, flying around, finding translations to the symbols that are seemingly used to present the story that defines the world. I have found ten so far I believe, so 16 to go (although I doubt I will need all 16 to translate the story). You are also unlocking aspects of the world, wich so far have been represented by releasing new animals into the environment. I have unlocked four of these so far, with another 6 or so to go. Each is a cage on a very large structure which you pick up pyramid pieces for and return to it to unlock said animal cages. The pyramid pieces are found by repairing other structures around the map, which you do by collecting and assembling the broken pieces of statues (so far) or by collecting other smaller pyramid pieces which you can, when you have collected enough, unlock the other buildings which then open up new map sections that hold the main pyramid pieces.

While you are doing all this, other birds and as you progress, other predatory creatures such as the lynx that you have released back into the wild, will attack you and each other, steal the pyramid pieces, and generally mess with you. You can fight back, which takes the form of dive bombing them, picking them up and dropping them from heights, causing the environment to hurt them (such as causing rock slides), and so on. You also have to contend with the winds, thorns, and other natural obstacles. You can regain health by uprooting small trees, saplings, and also by killing other critters.

anyway, so far, I have found all this to be quite interesting and yet marginally confusing all at once. You are pretty much left on your own to figure all this out, which is fine. The one real impediment however is a lack of an actual map so as to figure out where you are and how to get back to where you possibly might need to be. No map equals a lot of unnecessary flying around at times, trying to find your way back to the big building to unlock the next cage, and presumably later, even more wandering around tring to read all the statues that hold the runes you need to translate in order to actually read the storyline, lol. I really would have liked to have seen a map or mini map included with this game. That said, I am still enjoying the game and intend to continue on, but man....please ALWAYS put maps in games that require a lot of travel back and forth through a lot of different sections!!!

Oh...btw...this is a 2D metroidvania style scroller (the gameplay isnt metroidvania however, lol).
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
The premise for a good game, trapped in a mediocre one. Rather disappointed in this game, all things considered. The entire design of the game is just... flawed. You have to find things in the game world with no indication of where they are and no map to look at when you're not sure where else is left to check, so you can end up running around in circles because you have no clue where you need to be. When you find the relics you need, you have to bring each. and. every. one. back to one room. This involves carrying them across multiple decent-sized screens, with other wild animals chasing you and trying to steal the relic from you, at which point they toss it between each other in an attempt to piss you off, err, I mean, keep it away from you. What does this tedious slog accomplish? It's not more than a frustration builder. Not even "hard", just frustrating. There's also instances where you have to attempt to solve a puzzle with an animal attacking you (and no effective way to fend it off) which usually results in tanking damage to get what needs to be done, done. The game's save system is bare-bones, to the point where it can only hold one fixed state, so everything you do is permanent and it's possible to glitch in the terrain or otherwise make the game nigh-unwinnable in various ways. Fortunately, the game is short (a few hours, max, and only some 6-7 major screens, with a few subscreens). Which is for the better, since any bigger and it'd be impossibly frustrating.

I like the premise though. The main character controls well, the environment is pretty, the music relaxing. The language, not so much, I would've preferred an auto-translate for any runes you'd found, I couldn't be bothered to translate myself. The ending's also not great. To spoil it, spec ops: the line, bird edition. That's not really an explicit spoiler, but ehh. The game's story isn't exactly the focus here, as far as I can tell.

Overall, I wanted to enjoy this game, but there's just... not a lot to enjoy.
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13 of 19 people (68%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
If you looking for a peaceful game that has no stress in play, this is your choice.
I recommend to use controller to play. Keyboard layout is terrible.
The graphic in this game is spectacular, combiation between Origami and Minimalist style.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Bad game design at it's finest, if you or any required object gets stuck in the scenery (hoplessly easy to do as grabbing ignores collsion) you cannot ever progress further without clicking new game and starting back at the beginning.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
This game started out so good. I was getting ready to have a nice relaxing atmospheric run like Dear Esther but more proactive. It showed some really pretty art and I dropped to the ground and messed around with the controls collecting stuff and poking at the wildlife and enjoying the sights.

Then it all went to ♥♥♥♥. Not only is there no map or fast travel - something which immediately becomes obvious and a big problem when you make your first shard since you have to make a return trip every time you make it and they get longer as the game goes on - but there is also no reliable way to defend yourself. I understand the whole thing about being a non-predatorial bird creature but come on. In nature any bird that can lift animals can pretty efficiently dive bomb them to the ground. Here it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Much like the "weapons" and dropping heavy objects on things.

Enemies are not similarly handicapped by any means, they will relentlessly and brutally attack you. Some of them will outright grab you and stop you from moving while mauling you with no means of escape. Apparently the enemies I experienced were the nerfed ones. One can only imagine how they were on initial release.

Now one could easily say "meh, I can handle that." and be absolutely correct. However the biggest issue is that (at least in my playthrough) there is a bug in the positioning of slivers - the things that you build shards with - that make one in particular get placed behind a background object. Making it unreachable without editing your save files. Which is what I did as detailed here so that I could complete the game.

Wasn't really worth it in the end though. I normally have a policy of not spoiling in reviews even using spoiler tags, but here it's so pointless I might as well say it. Your reward is a pong game. That's it. This occurs after you smash animals that are in the machine's cages for a blood sacrifice. I don't know if either of those things were an attempt to be "edgy" or philosophical but they failed in both respects. Making it just seem silly.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
Awful Ending. Developers didn't even try to tie it all together. It makes the entire thing not worth it
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Nope. I'll convert the .ogg files and use the atmospheric music to go to sleep by. That's really about what this title's worth. The rest is a directional mess. Most of the foilage and trees get in your view and spoiled it for me. It does have joystick support. Grab it in a bundle and you won't really be at a loss.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
I was very eager to play this game because of the beautiful artwork and gameplay however I can never get it to work, I launch the game and all apears is the long "Seizure Warning" page, no matter what button I press it won't continue on. I dont know if it is just me but please inspect the issue whenever you can thank you.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
I really enjoy this game! People who only focus on the cons, and while there are some, the pros decimate the cons by a longshot.

- Amazing level design
- Great graphics
- Full controller support
- Level Editor
- Achievments
- And epic story!
- No multiplayer
- A bit frustrating.

People only play for 2 mins, say the graphics suck, and leave. It's the same thing people say about Minecraft. Play this game! I recommend this game!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Basically, this is a exploration-collector game with a few enemies and interesting puzzles.

+ It is really easy to learn how to fly properly, at least in a controller. It's smooth, responsive and simple.

+ Most of the text is written in another alphabet (still english though), and you have to collect letter by letter to know the meaning of each one (which is fun and cool). It seems hard at first, but the symbols are somewhat alike the normal alphabet, so in the end you'll be reading it without rellying as much to the side notes with the meaning of each letter.

+ At first, some enemies are a little hard to avoid but all of them are "counterable", so it shouldn't be much of a problem if you try some different things.

+ The world is gorgeous, the sound fx are amazing and even though you flap a lot, it doesn't feel repetitive (aside from the "sing/call" button, which is kind of annoying. Useful, but annoying sometimes)

+ The ending is a piece of art if you read most of the runes. Some people don't get (at all) the ending because they didn't care enough to read the runes.

+ The map is short enough to memorize it, but big enough to glamour your eyes. It doesn't have a map, but it doesn't really need one.

- In a controller, you have to press RB and LB to grab and dive respectivelly, but because you have to grab for long periods of time, it'd be better if it were in the RT button as it is easied and more comfortable to push. (and you can't change it in-game)

- It's a little hard to understand the lore as a whole if you're lazy to decode and read every single rune in the game, but at least it's simple enough to grasp the idea behind it.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 2
This is areally nice , mellow, game. I love it already. I got it in a bundle for about 20 cents. I would pay a lot more for this one.
When I think of a game like Apotheon, where the developers ban you for critcism, where the gameplay is seriously lacking....although the graphics are cool....this is the game that games like that should be. Great art style AND great controls.
This one is a totally underrated gem.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
An amazingly beautiful and frustrating game. Once you get the hang of it, it is not so bad, but at first you feel like calling it defenseless bird simulator. You are given little to no instruction as to how to actually play the game and are left to figure many of the goals and interworkings yourself. This quality is one I found to be both irritating and rewarding.

The difficulties in the game are both technical (controling the character) and tactical as you are actually required to think from time to time to play it. The good news is that when you find yourself yelling at the screen, you have some stunning artwork to calm you down.

I enjoyed playing this game quite a lot, despite my frustrations. It was, however, a little short. I finished two play throughs and all of the reasonable achievements in about 12 hours. I understand it is an indie game, so I cannot reasonably judge it on length. An expansion or addendum would be nice though.

A few bugs (I think). I never found bees or bats in the game, but they are listed in the stats as things you can kill. Also, there are other stats in that same listing that never seem to change no matter what I do. I could have missed something entirely, or there are bugs. Looking at some of the videos of this game posted by others on the internet, I am given to thinking there have been updates that changed the game enough that certain things may no longer apply to it.

Lastly, I may have had more technical difficulties than your average given that I did not play with a controller, just my keyboard.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Pretty good. I like the art style a lot, and the flying controls were quite enjoyable. I think the "combat", if you could call it that, was a little out of place, and the fact that by default the grab button is the right bumper button is a little uncomfortable, but overall it was pretty nice. I quite liked the tonal shift right at the end, too, good job.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Hard, Frustating but FANTASTIC!!!
The only game which has the most awesome art style and action.
The frustrating part is like spices, without it this game will never be that fantastic!!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
It's good. Not amazing. But it's relaxing.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
An odd gaame that can get frustrating at times if you don't control your bird well. The art is pretty to look at, the gameplay is so-so in parts, and the story has a unique dissonance to it. A short experience that may be worth it to some but not to others.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Secrets of Rætikon provides a realistic simulation of life as a bird. You can pick up Lynxes by the tail and throw them to their deaths.

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