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Roki Review

Roki

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Release: 28/10/2021
Publisher: United Label Games
Developer: PolygonTreehouse
Genre: PlayStation 5 Reviews, Reviews
PEGI: E
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Röki is a multi-award-winning adventure game inspired by Scandinavian folklore and arrives on PlayStation 5 on October 28. Set in the stunning, snow-capped wilderness, you play Tove. She’s a young girl plunged into a living fairytale, where you must solve puzzles, collect curiosities, and uncover a tale of tragic loss. Your quest is to rescue your brother Lars from Röki; a gigantic pitch-black creature with a mysterious smile. Like the movie Jaws, our game is eponymously named after its monster, although there may be more to Röki than meets the eye…

As Tove, you explore the enchanting 3D world, find long-forgotten objects, talk with misunderstood monsters, and solve ancient puzzles to unlock paths deeper into the wilderness. You can also dive into the pages of Tove’s handwritten journal that she scribbles in as you explore, charting her adventure. This includes notes of folklore, loot, and wilderness “badge” achievements, as well as some of her inner thoughts and reflections.

 

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Roki gets a large amount of inspiration from games from long ago like Day of the Tentacle or Monkey Island. It’s a puzzle adventure game that has you exploring the landscape for items and combining them to solve puzzles throughout your journey. The game is all about exploration and experimentation in some cases. The art and storytelling are easily the highlights of this game. The art is playful in its animation style with pops of colors that contrast with darker landscapes. The environments are 2d in nature but contain depth and layers that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from this style of game. While the game may be linear, exploration is very key in what you are doing, checking every nook and cranny (some obvious, some hidden) to find clues, items, loots, and such on your quest.

The characters are a blast as well, each able to have their distinct personality despite not talking in-game (there is some sound effect, but no real voiceovers) and all dialogue is via text. You get a real sense of the character easily due to the developers’ skills. The father has lost his wife is suffering from depression, pretty much only seen sleeping in his rocking chair with pickled herring scattered about (instead of beer bottles), your character takes note that his bed and blankets are covered in dust (representing his unwillingness to even use the bed without his wife). Examples like that are all done so subtly but done creatively through the storytelling and observations you make. The music sets the tone and emotion in each level as you play through, although honestly outside of the moment you experience it, they are a bit forgettable. The story is excellently crafted and feels like those creepy movies from the 80s like Dark Crystal or Neverending Story, a macabre fairytale if you will. One drawback is while the game runs flawlessly on the PS5 it doesn’t take advantage of any of the features in the controller to make it feel “next-gen”.

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Overall the difficulty in the game is pretty easy, which is nice as the true appeal is being able to enjoy the art and story of it all. I think I only got stuck once or twice and had to think about it for a few min before moving on. Overall gametime is between 9-12 hours, so not a big ask to experience one of the best stories I’ve seen in the past few years. It truly takes the fun parts of the old point-and-click games and modernizes them into a better functioning adaptation for today’s gamers. This is an easy recommendation for gamers looking for a good story, or a game to play with others together whether it’s a spouse or child. It is truly a unique gem, and not at all surprising how it has won so many awards.

 

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blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

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