Following its release to critical acclaim on the Nintendo Switch and PC last year, the heart-warming (but fittingly snow-filled) puzzle-adventure Röki is now available on the PlayStation 5. I actually skipped on the game during its initial release despite really fancying it at the time, but I’m glad I got to play it now; its lovingly-crafted and emotional journey is one that’s sure to stay in my mind for quite some.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Röki tells the story of the siblings Tove and Lars, who live peacefully near a luscious lake and other mesmerising snowy surroundings. Whilst their days are normally spent having fun, a family tragedy means that Tove doesn’t only have to care for her younger brother but also her father. She typically handles this quite well, though trouble ensues when an ominous creature attacks and manages to kidnap Lars. It’s up to Tove to save him, all whilst solving puzzles and taking in all of the magical sights that surround her.
Whilst it tells a tale of a desperate struggle to protect your family, there’s also something harmonious about Röki. Enchanting magic weaves the pieces of the story together and push Tove on, whilst the fairy tale-like scenarios ensure that there’s always *something* intriguing happening to keep players invested in the journey. I was a big fan of the storytelling, whilst the occasional dark turn showed that there’s more to the game than the seemingly whimsical setting may initially suggest.
“Enchanting magic weaves the pieces of the story together and push Tove on, whilst the fairy tale-like scenarios ensure that there’s always *something* intriguing happening to keep players invested in the journey.”
At its core, Röki is very much a puzzler, with the player exploring their surroundings, gathering items, and then using them in the appropriate way to solve the enigmas in their path. It’s almost like a point and click adventure in a way, albeit one where there’s little need for ‘pointing’ and ‘clicking’ thanks to the freedom you’re given to simply traverse across each locale.
The puzzles are great though, with a nice level of difficulty in place to force players to have to think about how to solve each conundrum without getting frustrated in the process. I’m guilty of using a walkthrough in these kind of games, but there wasn’t a single puzzle where I was left completely stumped; there were a few that took a good five minutes or so of thinking to solve, sure, but never anything that left my baffled. Some additional mechanics are introduced into the game as you progress that spice up the experience too, adding an extra dimension to the puzzle-solving that will force players to think outside of the box a little. Whilst I’ll admit that the pace of the game was guilty of being a little bit slow at times, the satisfying sense of progress ensured it never got tedious.
Whilst the puzzling makes up the bulk of the gameplay, it’s the visual design that feels like the real star of the show. Röki is an absolutely gorgeous game, with the vibrant Scandinavian-inspired landscapes and creative creature designs some of the prettiest that I’ve seen in any video game. I was genuinely in awe of just about everything I saw and it felt like a world that I’d love to be a part of… well… if it didn’t have scary creatures in it, I suppose.
“Röki is an absolutely gorgeous game, with the vibrant Scandinavian-inspired landscapes and creative creature designs some of the prettiest that I’ve seen in any video game.”
Everything looks nice and runs smoothly on the PlayStation 5 too, whilst the load times are swift and ensure the pace of the game is never broken. There’s nothing new here content-wise though, so if you were hoping for some fancy additional upgrades with the shift to current-gen consoles, you might be a little underwhelmed. At the same time, it’s the game’s debut on the PlayStation platform, so for most players it might be their first experience with it – I know I didn’t feel like the game needed to offer more, especially since the story itself takes around eight hours or so to beat anyway. It’s the perfect length for an adventure like this, even IF I would have loved to have spent more time exploring the world.
Röki is a wonderful puzzle-adventure that’ll wow players with its intriguing fairy tale-like narrative, charming puzzles, and beautiful visuals. I was in awe of the game from start to end and found the world a fascinating one to be a part of, with the colourful and creative sights making the magical locales feel truly memorable.
It is a little bit guilty of being slow-paced at times, but everything else about the game just feels fantastic. If you’re a fan of puzzling or just appreciate adventures that are creative and whimsical in design, you simply won’t want to miss out on Röki.
Developer: Polygon Treehouse
Publisher: United Label, CI Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC