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:
Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews) - 50% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (225 reviews) - 85% of the 225 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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Recent:
Mixed (10 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (225 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
CrazyEight
( 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
Hyzi0
( 4.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 21
Very atmospheric, extremly difficult rogue-like puzzle game. On top of it, you get nice story and quite a few secrets. If you like puzzle games you can blindly buy it. Otherwise, still buy it but not that blindly!:D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[GM]TrueWOPR
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 19
A quote from this games creator.

"how many owned 10 or more games on Steam?"
"you don't matter."
"You are novelty seekers, the smallest demographic in gaming."
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dozenbeer
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 6
Its just frustrating and not fun at all.

Pros:

+ visuals are unique
+ controller support
+ runs good
+ nice tutorial
+ sounds and OST are nice

Cons:

- its way too frustrating way too early
- it just doesnt feel like a rogue-like, you may start from scratch when you loose, but in the end its just puzzles overall, nothing in the world really changes
- there are way too many combinations of items to even think about, I was way too early overwhelmed with the shear amount of combinations. You cant memorize them and they arent logical most o the time, which makes it even more difficult
- I really wanted to like the game, but I never felt the joy of accomplishing anything. Your character doesnt evolve or get new powers, nothing happens
- the thrown in story is lacking to say the least
- the pricetagg is way too high for this little game, it feels like a 2€ mobile game.

If you are hardcore into puzzlegames this is for you, but for everybody else I cant recommend it at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jasminflower69
( 10.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 3
I love the puzzles, the music, the characters.
Even the basic thought behind the game captivates me.
Creative and intense, thought inducing and wonderful.
A game to work out your mind and make you think your way through.

It's one of my faves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
natznutzgame
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 28
this game is amazing :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nik
( 130.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
This is a fun, thematic puzzle game with a pretty solid challenge level. You are a ranger responsible for rescuing children lost in the woods, amongst strange items and dangerous creatures. The theme is rather dark, even depressing, but it holds together well.

The puzzle aspect is basically moving stuff around to get past obstacles. Some objects/creatures just sit there, others move around or actively pursue (or avoid) you, and many objects transform when they hit each other. Figuring out these "recipes" is a big part of the game, which is usually fun, but occasionally you'll forget and have an item you need get combined into something else! You have an in-game log of items and recipes found, but you really need to remember them as you play.

You have a limited amount of energy (hit points) each year (level), and if you run out, you die. Moving things in unlit rooms costs energy, and some things/creatures will damage you for varying amounts of energy. In addition to finding the children, you will need to find or make food to raise your energy—this is a critical part of succeeding! You also want to make fires to light up each part of the forest so that moving things doesn't cost energy. Figuring out how to do both is a big part of gameplay.

During play you can form relationships with certain characters in town and in the forest, gaining charms that give you bennies, and eventually marrying them if you get really close to them. You can marry all the NPCs, male and female, if you want. But you are not guaranteed a long life with them....

Replay value is pretty good as each year of your career the forest and its denizens change, and the charms are given to you in different order. It's never the same game twice, although there are a few set pieces that are always the same.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jolly Woggler
( 5.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 1
This game is very fun and quite addictive. Art style of this game is cute and simple. Each level gets harder and more complicated so it pushes you to figure it out. This game does not hold your hand, it gives the player an easy, quick and simple tutorial and after that its all up to the player to figure out the rest. Story is simple but interesting and promotes positivity due to the fact that you are saving lost children from a dangerous forest. I give this game 8/10. I reccomend getting this game during a sale but it is still worth the money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BuNeBu
( 20.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 25
As simple as this game might seem, it's just as hard!
You'd think you'd be done in like a couple of hours, but personally I am not a fan of wearing myself out this game is exhausting.

The characters each have a certain personality though at times.. they seem to say the same things.. however it is possible to have a relationship with either a man or a woman. Well thumbs up for that.
Also as a ranger you can choose to take off your hood, this will either expose something very cute or something you just did not expect. In other words you can be a man or a woman or something that makes no sense at all.

The items and design of the game is very sweet, some stuff that seems 'sweet' can also kick your but.

All in all, just try it. But keep this in mind.. for the game mechanics the full price of this game is not really worth it, my advice? Wait till there's a nice discount.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Moonspeak
( 17.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 6
Artwork bundled into a nihilistic puzzle game that mkes use of the roguelike formula while including a lite-dating sim.

Utilizing randomly generated maps which successively get harder, the player must manipulate and combine shapes in order to save small children from the woods where they will otherwise freeze to death. As you play you gain access to equipment which can alter the style of play to better suite you.

Quite possibly my favorite game of 2014.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Urist McDimsum
( 6.7 hrs on record )
Posted: January 1
This is a great randomly generated puzzle game, if that's your kind of thing. The puzzle element is nicely done and fun, but the main thing that sets Spry Fox's work apart from the genre is the gorgeous artwork and theming.

Kudos to artist Brent Kobayashi, every piece of his work is always spot on!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
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.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Very atmospheric, extremly difficult rogue-like puzzle game. On top of it, you get nice story and quite a few secrets. If you like puzzle games you can blindly buy it. Otherwise, still buy it but not that blindly!:D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
I like this game , colorful and mysterious...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
honestly i just want to Rekt rose's puss 6/10 no joke
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2015
You want a roguelike that thinks outside of the box? Look no further. Road Not Taken is a hard-as-nails, puzzle based, story-rich, atmospheric roguelike that breaks boundaries. This title was expertly crafted. Lots of attention to detail, and my-oh-my is there depth. It is quite a dark game, as well.

Pros:
+Like any roguelike worth its salt, Road Not Taken has a lot of content and mystery to unravel and master. Tons of gameplay here. I haven't even scratched the surface at 5 hours.
+Puzzles are super challenging, in a good way.
+Atmosphere and artwork are absolutely stunning. Really well done here. Lots of attention to detail.
+The story is rich and is a welcome addition to modern roguelike/lites.

Cons:
-Yeah, its difficult, but do-able. I mention this because it looks like a fairly cute puzzle game, but it can be overwhelming at times (especially if you want to avoid spoilers), IMO. Even in 5 hours, I haven't gotten very far.
-Addiction factor isn't the highest, but I can generally look past this, since its got tons of depth. Hard to explain. It isn't like BoI where its 'One more run!!' kind of thing.

A must have for any fan of the modern roguelike genre. Totally worth full price, even.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
48.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
This game...wow. So much can be said about this game. I can't get enough of it! Here are a few main categories to sum up just some of the many amazing things about this spectacular game:

The Gameplay: The dungeon randomization makes every year and every life unique, and it is up to your wit and problem solving to decide how to best craft and cluster the right items in order to get to the children. Sometimes the game can be UNBEARABLY HARD, but you still push on 'til you die or have to return to town without having saved all the children. Many of the negative reviews I see have to do with the difficulty of some of the dungeon generations, and yes, it CAN get infuriating! But there's nothing wrong with just starting a new life -I did it several times and got amazing careers afterward.

Energy preservation is key -a simple step in the wrong direction can take your life, or make your journey incredibly more difficult, so it is best to evaluate every room before taking action. You also do countless backtracking trips as you need to craft and arrange items with just the right amount of items, so your adjacent rooms are your friends. Low on health? Have an axe in one room and a ninja bear in the other one? Just throw it over and kill the bear for your apple. Need to get rid of a dark spirit AND acquire health? Take the blue fire from one room and throw it at the spirit in the other room to get a very helpful stew.

I LOVE how creativity is emphasized -there are numerous ways to create the same item, and this mechanic can be both beneficial (multiple ways to make food) or detrimental (multiple ways to create daemon bunnies or dark spirits). The "teleport to mayor" mechanic can save your life in very many instances, or help you get to a room from one entrance if the other entrance is blocked or dangerous.

Because this game uses permadeath, you should always find ways to acquire money, rice, or berries, because the game is graceful in providing you a shrine to offer to and ensure that you will respawn. However, you lose very important charms upon death, so sometimes leaving some children behind when in a rut is a better choice than dying and letting your character respawn with next to nothing.


The Art: The art is beautiful, charming, and deceptive- very gruesome and dark themes can be overlooked because of how cutesy the art style is. The atmosphere is remarkable -the sounds, surroundings, and music totally and completely immerse you, making you easily waste hours upon hours on this game.

The Characters: The customization in how you build your relationships -friendships and romantic- with differently generated characters every life gives you the desire to do better in the dungeons, and thus, receive more rewards to use as gifts to give to villagers. The dialogue is hilarious, sad, moving, touching, and sweet -the writers of this game put great thought and work into the dialogue. It makes the game that much more alive and real to you, and in combination with how you've built your relationships with the other characters, it can get you emotionally invested. I felt happy when a character would do kind gestures, return romantic feelings, and became unreasonably upset and sad when they would cheat on me (in romantic relationships) or simply decide they didn't like me anymore. I had to take a step back once in a while to remind myself that THIS IS A GAME! XD

This game holds a dear place in my heart, because you can see all the heart and soul the development team poured into it, and it offers infinite playtime that can always feel fresh and enjoyable. Because of this game, I have become a loyal follower of the small game developer team -SpryFox. There is something incredible about a small indie game developer doing so well with their games and it's encouraging for all other small groups of developers and artists that want to make their dream games become reality.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
130.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
This is a fun, thematic puzzle game with a pretty solid challenge level. You are a ranger responsible for rescuing children lost in the woods, amongst strange items and dangerous creatures. The theme is rather dark, even depressing, but it holds together well.

The puzzle aspect is basically moving stuff around to get past obstacles. Some objects/creatures just sit there, others move around or actively pursue (or avoid) you, and many objects transform when they hit each other. Figuring out these "recipes" is a big part of the game, which is usually fun, but occasionally you'll forget and have an item you need get combined into something else! You have an in-game log of items and recipes found, but you really need to remember them as you play.

You have a limited amount of energy (hit points) each year (level), and if you run out, you die. Moving things in unlit rooms costs energy, and some things/creatures will damage you for varying amounts of energy. In addition to finding the children, you will need to find or make food to raise your energy—this is a critical part of succeeding! You also want to make fires to light up each part of the forest so that moving things doesn't cost energy. Figuring out how to do both is a big part of gameplay.

During play you can form relationships with certain characters in town and in the forest, gaining charms that give you bennies, and eventually marrying them if you get really close to them. You can marry all the NPCs, male and female, if you want. But you are not guaranteed a long life with them....

Replay value is pretty good as each year of your career the forest and its denizens change, and the charms are given to you in different order. It's never the same game twice, although there are a few set pieces that are always the same.
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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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87 of 102 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
69.0 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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63 of 84 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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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
It's a roguelike in that you have but one life to live, but it's a far cry from the average roguelike. It's earned its puzzle tag here on the steam store and definitely favors deliberation. The need for strategy isn't unlike the roguelike genre, for sure, but rather than having to worry about enemies coming to kill you if you make a wrong move, you have to strike a balance between meeting objectives and the energy it will cost you to do so.

There are multiple ways to go about finishing every dungeon, and you don't actually have to complete the dungeon to leave it; find half the children and see them safely home, if that's all you feel you can do. There are different leaderboards, reflecting different things to strive for.

And the game is pleasing to eye and ear.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2014
When I first saw this game I wasn't sure what to think, but I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did.
It's definitely worth the price. Even if you're not normally in to puzzle games (I'm not) it's still very fun. Though there is a puzzle element (okay, more than just an element) it's mostly a logic thing. There have only been a few "puzzles" that I've seen that have any distinct way of beating, and for the most part, it's just matching/moving things around so you can get to the children to rescue them, in whatever way ends up being the most efficient for you.

The good:
-Procedurally generated levels mean there's a lot of replay ability.
-You can make friends with the villagers and they'll give you gifts, and you can even get married! :3
-Challenging, in a good way. If you think and plan enough you should be able to overcome any challenges it throws at you.. and it will throw a lot at you.
-Adorable graphics (as I have come to expect from Spry Fox)
-The music and sound effects are perfect.

The bad:
-Eventually, constant failing gets aggrivating... though that could just be me.
-As far as I can tell, when the villagers get sick there's no way to make them better... I've pumped them full of medicine for DAYS and they stay sick... not really sure what to do about that.
-If you die, you lose your stuff, which isn't a problem (I'm aware that that's what Rogue-likes are like) except that there isn't really much of a way to get them back. You can become friends with the villagers, and they MIGHT give you an item.. but there's no way to really guarantee that you'll ever be able to get back the items you've lost (EG the "Fork of eating alone")

This game is amazing, the flaws aren't really flaws.. I mean, if you never fail then you never have to worry about losing your gear, or the heartbreak of losing (though you may have heartbreak of a different kind if the villager you want decides to leave you, and start dating a man...), it's more than worth the money that you pay for it, on sale or not.
I'm not normally into puzzle games, and I can't really get enough of this one :)
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