Road Not Taken is a roguelike puzzle game about surviving life’s surprises. You play as a ranger adventuring through a vast, unforgiving forest in the aftermath of a brutal winter storm, rescuing children who have lost their way.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (224 reviews) - 84% of the 224 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 5, 2014

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Reviews

“It looks like a cute fairy tale, but this is a turn-based game that’s thorny with challenge and packed with an incredible number of gameplay secrets.”
Should you play this game: YES – Kotaku

“Road Not Taken is the cutest catalyst for an existential crisis I've ever encountered”
4.5 out of 5 – Joystiq

“It’s as mean as life, as cruel as the universe, and it still manages to be one of the most intriguing and moving titles released this year.”
90 out of 100 – GamesBeat

About This Game

Road Not Taken is a roguelike puzzle game about surviving life’s surprises. You play as a ranger adventuring through a vast, unforgiving forest in the aftermath of a brutal winter storm, rescuing children who have lost their way. Randomly generated levels deliver a limitless supply of possibilities to explore and challenges to overcome. Your actions will influence not only your own story, but that of the villagers you hope to befriend and the town you call home.

Story Details:


Each time you play Road Not Taken, you're likely to experience a very different story. The paths you take will change; the relationships you pursue will twist in ways you did not expect. Which, as it happens, is just like real life.

The villagers of Road Not Taken believe that there is an optimal path through life: a good person gets a job, falls in love and has children. You won't follow this path. Can you find your own unique way through a life?

Gameplay Details:


No path leads to the same destination in Road Not Taken. The trails you take will change, the relationships you pursue will twist in ways you might not expect, and the narrative you create with every action will be yours to decide. Every playthrough offers new and unusual creatures to encounter, secrets and items to discover, townsfolk to build relationships with, and devilish, hand-crafted puzzle rooms to solve.

Brains, Not Brawn

Your character has the magical ability to levitate and move objects. You must figure out how to use your talents and tactics to circumvent or defeat a wide variety of dangerous creatures, obstacles, and boss encounters.

Get Lost in the Wild

Road Not Taken is brought to life with gorgeous 2D artwork, expressively charming sprite design, and an evocative, atmospheric soundtrack. Every puzzle is a challenge of exploration and strategy, testing players to think before taking each step forward.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6 or later
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (224 reviews)
Recently Posted
qtquazar
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 29
Sokoban-style roguelike, with power-ups gained between levels and a basic death progression system similar to many modern roguelikes.

Generally quite good--a solid puzzle game without the 'single solution' porblem of typical Sokoban/tile-puzzle games. A lot of flexibvility in terms of how to manage the puzzle.

Decent art, atmosphere and sound round out the package.

These are the same devs from Triple Town (aka: those f$&*ing ninja bears) so, as a reference point, this is basically a *roguelike* veriosn of that game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PubisxPotassium
( 22.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
Listen. Children. I love this game.

Even though I have lots of other games that I haven't finished or haven't even played yet despite owning a copy, I cannot stop playing this game. Granted, it plays with my heartstrings when I'm unable to save a child in the same room as I am. But that's life. There will be days when something happens and you have to live with it.

And IF there's a problem with the game. You just have to message the developers. It didn't take too long for them to help me with my problem when I was stuck cuz some items didn't spawn.

I'm just saying it's a beautiful game. It messes me up sometimes. But so does life. If anyone is considering getting it. YOU SHOULD.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SpookyEzra
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
I wanted to like this game. I really did. I got it on sale last year but didn't play it until now, and while it is a beautiful game with a unique style and taking on some pretty heavy themes and ideas for an indie game, the gameplay is frustrating. It's not truly a puzzle game because there are many solutions for the roguelike challenges, and it is so infuriantingly easy to softlock and be forced to start the puzzles over, without really learning anything in the process. There are some UI issues too, with text boxes popping up when and where you don't want them. It's a charming game and I really wanted to love it and play it more, but I don't really want to spend any more time in the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Linkblade
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
I was disappointed when playing this game, because for me this is no real puzzle game.
A real puzzle has only 1 solution (not counting mirrored solutions) or maybe 2 or 3 when its poorly made, but not 100 possibilities to complete a level. This game is an adventure. What people call "puzzle" in here are the tactics/strategy which move to do in which order, but a ton of these tactics lead to the goal. This is not what I call a puzzle game.

It is a nice adventure game with cute graphics where the main task is crafting/combining blocks to new ones.

I came for a puzzle game but got an adventure with crafting.

Stay away if you expect challenging puzzles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kraken Zer0
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
glitchy, buggy game that crashes even on my high end machine. the game will create puzzles that are literally unsolvable. good concept, awful execution.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ututat
( 18.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Welcome to the world where you learn about things and talk to people by colliding into them.

Also, the game is great!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Doug prime
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
honestly i just want to Rekt rose's puss 6/10 no joke
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Buck
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
The puzzle idea is great, the graphics are nice, but unfortunately the game is unstable and unpolished. The game has many glitches and bugs that cause the game to hang up or freeze, and the developer has stated there will be no more patches.

The game is more of a puzzle game and not so much a roguelike. It seems to want to be much more than it is, incorporating relationships, marriage, pets and currencies. But they never really come together, and even after hours of playing you're still wondering what it is, exactly, that you're playing. It's fun for a while, but gets tedious pretty quick.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RZ93 F O X
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
I like this game , colorful and mysterious...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nippleton
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 12
It is a very good game with a story worth hearig and a unique playthrough. Had fun all the way through!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
Sokoban-style roguelike, with power-ups gained between levels and a basic death progression system similar to many modern roguelikes.

Generally quite good--a solid puzzle game without the 'single solution' porblem of typical Sokoban/tile-puzzle games. A lot of flexibvility in terms of how to manage the puzzle.

Decent art, atmosphere and sound round out the package.

These are the same devs from Triple Town (aka: those f$&*ing ninja bears) so, as a reference point, this is basically a *roguelike* veriosn of that game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
181 of 201 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
137.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
Lore-wise, this game is interactive poetry. Instead of beating you over the head with a point that can't be avoided, it delivers bits and pieces to not tell just a story, but to provide deep themes about life, love, and loss. The keenly aware will pick up on the things that make up these themes, and what the final message appears to be, yet there's plenty of room for interpretation - In much the same way classic poetry does. I wish more games were like this.

Gameplay-wise, it takes elements of classic block sliding puzzles and crafting-based matching, dresses it up with beautiful art, and packages it in rougelike tropes. Success relies on thoughtfulness, planning, and situational adaptability. It's both casual and challenging. The better you get at the game, the more rewarding it becomes to finish each year with all the children saved and at a minimum cost to your energy levels.

There are lots of secrets, tactics and strategies, and surprises.
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88 of 103 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2014
Road Not Taken is a roguelike puzzle game about surviving life’s surprises. But life is so often content with stagnation and repetition, offering what seems the same grind over and over and over, soon only occasionally taunting with the glimmer of something new. But that’s just the way of things; everything new becomes old, in time. Eventually, new just begins to run out. RNT follows a similar cycle; in the beginning, discovering all these new things and how you can change and adapt them to your uses is exciting and intoxicating. But soon enough, the new is exhausted , and with it, the allure of the prospect of new discoveries waiting just behind each locked gate. RTN is profusely entertaining up until you realize this point has come, but even after then, its unique and challenging formula saves it for a time, despite other issues, both glaring and minute.

RNT plays off its theme of “life’s little mysteries” remarkably well in its gameplay. As the town’s new ranger, you’re tasked in each of your years with rescuing the children lost to the woods during each winter’s storm. To deliver them safely, you’ll have to guide each to any of the waiting mothers, wherever they may be, using your limited amount of energy in carrying the odds and ends populating each level. The greatest joy had in this game also provides its greatest challenge; the discovering of new items and creatures that can both greatly hinder or assist you in your search. There’s a surprising amount of variety in the number of ways things can interact, with many even able to change into new forms entirely, given the proper combination. You’ll quickly begin filling your travel book with all manner of creatures and their respective “recipes”. Eventually, puzzles that seemed impossible in the beginning are soon found to have only been so due to your own ignorance of some combination relevant to the situation.

But here’s the rub, and it’s one that eventually hinders all games of this sort. After a while, it’s very noticeable which pieces the game favors, and which ones have yet to appear more than once, if even that. There’s a handful of items and creatures that are exceptionally common, changing in relation to your years. In my playthroughs, those handfuls have been identical. The aforementioned variety in items and enemies becomes less so when the same few common assets are used ad nauseam, which is a shame, given the inventiveness of some of the lesser used pieces.

In between winters, your time is spent in the town you call home. Here, you can take your hard earned coins, rice, berries, etc, and trade them for townsfolk’s friendship, a la the story of Rainbow Fish. In return, you may receive helpful recipes for your book, or even better, equip-able trinkets. Early earned trinkets’ perks are useful in smaller capacities, but the greater are earned through repeat visits. They, along with the tradeables found in the forest, make up the other half of the Roguelike formula, namely the part that you lose upon death. Make too many mistakes, resulting in zero energy or too few children saved, and all of these are lost. Given the time investment needed to get the better ones, I’ll admit to believing this a bit harsh, especially since death can often be the result of truly unfair elements brought on by the roguelike system, like unavoidable loss of children to enemies or rare, impassible gates due to poor default placement of pieces.

A point of contention for me lies here as well, particularly in the store page’s embellishment of a winding, twisting narrative, unique to each journey. The only narrative comes in the townsfolk, who remain constant, personalities and dialogue alike. Even their preferences in tradeables remains identical between playthoughs. The only change is that of color scheme, and which one is most willing to marry you, which becomes readily apparent early on. Despite store page promises of offering the opportunity to lead a unique life each playthrough, the character with obvious affection for you will always yield trinkets and info for fewer tradeables. There’s no reason to invest in anyone else.

Regardless of my issues with it (mostly with the not-so-random level randomization), RNT is tremendous fun, and it’s a unique challenge that I’m going to continue playing, if only to try and earn the remaining pages to my travel book. In retrospect, my biggest issues could easily be rectified with a few randomization patches, or better yet, a future DLC expansion. As it is, the journey slowly loses its luster more than several hours in, but it never loses its shine altogether. The combination of some amusingly humorous travel book entries, a charming art design and some legitimately unsettling sound work help to mask the budding feeling of familiarity on repeat journeys. I think what’s most disappointing is that despite the game’s want to emulate the unpredictability of life, it has instead exemplified how easily it can fall into routine and predictability. While the initial few hours and playthrough are wholly the most entertaining, a lackluster attempt at differentiating narrative and the occasional sense of déjà vu on later playthroughs only slightly diminish an otherwise fantastic puzzle-rogue.
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33 of 34 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
68.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2015
I´ve been playing this game for the last month and the more I do, the more I like it. It is a good puzzle game with a storyline that is actually consistent throughout! The graphs are super cute, the music and sound effects are great, the character interactions are very nice too (and the characters looks vary on each career).

Your choices have an effect on the outcome of the game: everything -from how many kids you decide to save to what gifts you give and what relationships you build with whom or what bonuses you decide to use- determines what pluses you´ll get and whether you´ll end up your career more or less successfully.

As I said, the game look is really cute, but one thing I really liked is that despite it´s design cuteness -or maybe because of it- it is still able to also give a slightly creepy and even acid atmosphere: The doctor, or the way the Mayor takes your choice of saving more or less kids could be good examples. Other surpirses I rather not reveal as to not spoil the fun, but let´s just say that experimentation and interaction has its rewards.

As for difficulty, the game instructions are fairly simple, so it is easy to get started. The gameplay itseld has a gradual increase of diffculty in its main story mode, plus it also has a timed version and a extra-difficult option too. It is worth mentioning again that inside a career, your performance on a year will affect the difficulty of the years to follow, if only because of the amount of energy you´ll have to deal with each level. So besides dealing with each level´s intrinsic difficulty you should have some strategy and consider future levels.

To me this is a very entertaining and well thought game. I don´t feel too guilty if I spend time playing it because not only do I have fun, I actually have the feeling I am using my brain. It can be re-played several times, which is a plus to me. If you like puzzles, charming design and eerie sense of humor try this one out.
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64 of 85 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2014
Road Not Taken is described as a Roguelike Puzzle game, in which you throw and move objects around with your magic staff to rescue children trapped in the Forest. Some puzzles are hand-crafted, but the majority are procedurally generated.

The Good: The Art and Music are great! Wonderful Art Style and the music is a nice addition to the levels.

The Bad: Procedural generation is a double-edged sword. Yes, you're going to get rooms in which things are laid out in an easily-solvable manner, but you're also going to get rooms that are basically broken (or quickly made so by a bad move). For example, Bear Statues "stick" to nearby objects, so if you get an object in a corner behind a Bear Statue, you are pretty much out of luck. Good luck corraling six Deer or other animals (which move around on their own) to unlock a door. A single novice move can render entire areas of the map inaccessible.

The Ugly: The difficulty curve is brutal, and saps fun out of the game. Year 4 (of 15) seemed to be my Year of Death for a while, but with practice I've made it all the way to Year 8. Of course, Roguelikes have death, but after you die you should have some incentive to want to play again. In RNT, Death only occurs after several frustrating rounds of losing life/energy, and then when you are at your weakest, the Doom Spirits hunt you down and kill you. Where is the fun in that!?

The Save/Checkpoint system actively discourages you from using it - what is up with that?

I know people will argue that the game is about hard choices and you aren't intended to save every single child in each individual year - but that makes me wonder about the narcissistic sociopaths who lack empathy for children freezing to death in the Forest.

In summary, my chief complaint is that the game is more frustrating than fun. There’s potential here, but in Road Not Taken’s current state, I cannot recommend it.
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A developer has responded on Aug 18, 2014 @ 2:00pm
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2015
I would not describe this game as rogue-like. It is more of a puzzle game that has rogue-like puzzles.

While it is cute, I found it lost it's charm rather quickly as the puzzles became very difficult fast.

I would blame the mis-labeling of this game in my frustration with it. I came into this game expecting one thing and getting another. If this were something I was looking to play, I would recommend it. As it is now, I say it is nice but it was not and this confusion left me not liking the game. Just be sure to read the other better reviews if you care to pay attention to reviews.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 16, 2015
Road Not Taken is an excellent game to experience. The story is emergent and available in small pieces, the gameplay is simple in theory but gets more complex as you put all the parts together (similar to how one piece movement in chess is easy but putting them all together gets complex). The goal of the game is to brave the wilds and find lost children, and playing the game gives me a very happy feeling which means a lot since I have issues with depression. I would recommend this game to everyone, it is well worth the price.
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26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
Road Not Taken is great. It is a really well done puzzle-roguelike with a FANTASTIC core mechanic. It is one of those games that absolutely nails the concept of easy to learn, difficult to master. It also has a bleak yet hopeful atmosphere coursing through the entire thing, which I found very charming.

Winter is slowly overtaking a small village. You play as a forest ranger tasked with recovering children lost in the woods. The core mechanic involves combining objects in the forest together to make new ones by picking them up and throwing them. You can also cary objects, but doing so depletes your ever dwindling energy reserves.

There is a staggering number of items and combinations, and it's a LOT of fun to expirament with all the different objects. Some combinations are beneficial, replentishing your energy, allowing you to manipulate the forest easier, and save the kids easier, but others are dangerous, and you should take care not to clumsly throw things around, creating hazardous items accidentally. However, many of the dangerous items can also be turned into bigger benefits if combined correctly. It strikes a really great ballance between risk and reward.

Being a roguelike, it has a LOT of replay value, especially since you can forge relationships with a few of the towns folk. If they like you, they will tell you tips, secrets, and even give you items and accessories to make your job easier, or harder if that's what you're in to! You have the ability to replay the previous year if you really screw things up, but I have also tried starting over from year 1 to leverage all the new combinations I have learned.
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26 of 34 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2014
Love the game. The artwork is great. I love the soundtrack, and the story makes me want to know more.
The game is a rogue-like puzzle-game. You are a ranger who's job is to save the kids who are lost in the woods. While not in a level you can socialize with the npcs in the town by giving them gift. You will get items and secrets this way. You can also have a wife/husband. Personally i got attached to one of the npcs quite fast.
If you love puzzlegames that can be played through multiple times (random level generation) you got to play this game. The money you spent on this game will be worth it.
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44 of 67 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
What a great little game. It's a top-down puzzle game where you have to reunite lost children with their families and create useful tools by "combining" objects in the area. Music is especially nice; it's a series of New Orleans dirges.

Pretty challenging; highly recommended.
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