Röki is an indie title from development studio Polygon Treehouse in association with publisher United Label. Scandanavian folklore is central to the theme of Röki and the game dives into the deep end here with numerous mythical creatures making appearances throughout the game.
Lost in the woods
Players will take on the role of Tove, a little girl that has had to step into a parental role to help her dad look after her younger brother Lars. Tove and Lars’s mother passed away leaving behind a broken family. The opening chapter is incredibly dark and sets up the sombre tone right before another disaster strikes. Without spoiling too much, the game’s opening chapter holds nothing back and things escalate extremely quickly with Lars being taken away by a dark beast. It’s up to you to take control of Tove and get Lars back.
Röki is an adventure and puzzle solving game. Playing as Tove, you’ll move around a beautiful artistic environment examining key items and objects. By pressing F on the keyboard, interactables are highlighted in the immediate vicinity and you can then run towards them and investigate further. This is where Röki excels. Players will be continuously driven forward by Tove finding and investigating key items in the world.
Tove will pick up specific items and these items will then be used to progress further in the game. You can combine items to form new items or you can drag and drop items into the world itself to interact with the environment further. Soon enough you’ll encounter mythical creatures such as Trolls and talking frogs or even trees. It’s all incredibly well crafted and people who are unfamiliar with Scandanavian folklore will be able to learn quite a bit more about it thanks to the in-game explanations given by Tove or the creatures themselves.
The story of Röki is quite dark. There’s a sombre menacing tone throughout and players will feel a sense of dread as they adventure onwards. Talking to mythical creatures establishes a back story of a world that’s been thrown out of balance and Tove is tasked with helping to return things to normality somewhat.
Tove’s movement is fluid and thankfully she runs at a fast enough pace to not annoy you when you are travelling through the world.
Later on in the game a fast travel mechanic is also unlocked which makes exploration more streamlined and involve far less time wasted running between locations.
Some of the puzzles in Röki require you to think creatively. Solutions to seemingly obvious problems might need an additional step to complete.
For example, you’ll find a rusty sword early on in the game but you won’t be able to cut through vines until a while later because you’ll need to sharpen the sword first. These puzzles aren’t exactly difficult to solve and some players might find them trivial. Younger gamers, however, will definitely have a blast trying to puzzle solve their way through the adventure.
Players will also be able to collect items that go into Tove’s journal and read through her thoughts as she pens them on her journey to save Lars.
Graphically, Röki is artistically beautiful. The cartoony aesthetic is gorgeous throughout with both environments and character designs being great. It’s a visual feast for the eyes and many of the game’s environments could serve as PC wallpaper material if you’re a fan of taking screenshots in games.
The soundtrack of Röki is also great with an OST that conveys emotion together with the striking visuals and storytelling. Unfortunately though, there isn’t much voice acting in the game.
Characters will often mouth off a word or two but that’s about it. This is similar to what Nintendo does with their games and while not a complete train smash, Röki would definitely have benefited from a fully voice acted story.
Overall, Röki tells an emotional story driven tale with a lot of enjoyable puzzle solving gameplay. Yes some of the puzzles might seem trivial to solve but the game’s pacing and visual aesthetic are excellent.
Anyone can enjoy Röki and coming in at around 8 hours to complete, it delivers a solid puzzle solving adventure with a lot of heart. Highly recommended!