Initially planned for Switch release in winter 2019, Roki is finally on its way again. If you haven’t played this whimsical indie game on PC yet, keep an eye on the eShop – for any fairytale fans, this game is a must-have. Not only was it one of our best indie games of the summer, it’s an artful demonstration of the power fairytales have in storytelling, focused specifically on folklore from the Scandinavian region.
In Roki you play as Tove, a young girl who’s taken the responsibility of raising her younger brother upon herself after the untimely death of their mother and the less-than-helpful parenting skills of her father. When her brother is kidnapped by a mythical beast, she follows through the portal into the realm in which the game takes place – gearing up for hours of puzzle-solving adventure with a strong narrative focus. You can watch the new trailer here.
One of the greatest strengths of Roki is it’s character design – not just the awe-inspiring (and at times a little creepy) mythical monsters themselves, but also their personalities. The world feels rich and full of areas to explore and beings to get to know a little better, even when you aren’t actively solving the puzzles. Tove and her younger brother Lars also have distinctive personalities and approaches to the world they’ve found themselves in, making for a great central narrative that can tug on any player’s heartstrings at least a little.
Finally, Roki knows what it’s doing when it comes to puzzle design. The developers set out to make a puzzle game that was both challenging and at the same time accessible – and they managed to strike that balance nearly the whole way through. Most things are intuitive, but Roki doesn’t shy away from hints where they might be needed, and even offers a highlighting function so nobody wastes time clicking on things that aren’t interactibles (also much to the benefit of Roki’s fantastic art direction, as it means they can worry a bit less about making those stand out and focus on making the whole picture gorgeous).
Whether you pick up Roki for the folklore, the gripping narrative, or the puzzles, you won’t be disappointed if you get it for the Swtich this fall.
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