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: Very Positive (171 reviews) - 86% of the 171 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 5, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"So brutal."
Read the full review here.


“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

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6 or later
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6 or later
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
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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15 of 25 people (60%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
  • Incredibly nice graphics.
  • Initially great to discover new things.

  • I grew tired of this game quite quickly. I guess it's a puzzle game, but I found it way too limiting. This would be good for on your phone or tablet, but isn't a real game for desktops.
  • Initialy great to discover new things, but the discoveries turn out to be not really all that interesting apart from a few useful ones.
  • This is my fault, but I very often made accidental moves which got me in terrible situations. Not because I failed a puzzle, but because I too impatiently pressed a button. Yes, my fault, but an undo button would greatly aleviate the grief.

I'm slightly leaning to not recommending this game, but if you like simple tablet/phone games on your computer, than go for it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
A charming little rogue-like puzzle game that is worth multiple playthroughs. Use the giant coffee mug if you find yourself running out of energy often! Recommended.
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174 of 194 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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85 of 100 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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