Developers: Polygon Treehouse
Publishers: United Label
Platform: Currently PC (Switch coming soon)
Genre: Adventure, puzzle
Release Date: 23rd July 2020
Fairy Tales and Folklore
Something I love is folklore and fairy tales, they fascinated me as a child and even, many, years later I still find myself immediately interested in something if it’s based in folklore. As a child I ate up disney movies and Grimm’s fairytales, I would sit for hours asking my Grandmother to tell me fairytales from Germany, her home company,
Readers who are familiar with me will know my love for fairytales and folklore and so it will be no surprised that I loved Röki. When I first came across Polygon Treehouse on Twitter and saw screenshots of Röki I knew it would be something to keep an eye on. Here we are, released on for now on Steam and GoG and did it live up to my expectations?
It surpassed them all.
The story of Röki
We are playing as Tove a young girl who lives in a rural village with her younger brother, Lars and her father. Very early on we see how capable and responsible Tove is, she comforts Lars and provides for them both. She is the glue that keeps their little family unit together.
However, one snowy night, their house is set upon by a creature, the children flee down through the woods, where they get separated. Tove is brave and relentless in her search and soon finds herself travelling through a portal into a world like nothing she ever believed she would see. A land direct from the pages of her fairytale books.
In this incredible new world, she encounters trolls, old magics and all manner of fabled creatures, but she will face anything to save Lars.
A tale of family and Scandinavian Folklore
Röki’s writers have created a beautiful, heartfelt story of family, loss and desperation seamlessly weaved with Scandinavian folklore and adventure. Video games, films and comics all based with their roots in folklore or fairy tales always prove popular, you only need to look at the likes of God of War 2018 or the Fables comic series. These mediums give us an accessible insight into different cultures, ways of life and the tales told to children.
The game shines not just in the storyline, but in the art style. The cel-shaded style lets the characters blend beautifully with the backgrounds. These are not models just flat against a separate background, these are crafted models that interact with the scenery, track footprints the snow and frighten those little mushrooms. Even though the game is quite controlled in the areas you can explore and the movements, it does not feel restrictive.
The gameplay itself proves it can hold its own against titles like ‘What remains of Edith Finch’ and other puzzle titles, with challenging puzzles that do not feel like a chore. The freedom of movement between the set pieces reminded me of point and click adventures, finding clues in one area that will help later on.
All in all
There’s so much heart and charm in every part of Röki, I played it for hours as soon as I got the code. Time just flew by and I only stopped, and begrudgingly so, because I had to go to work. Röki is going to continue to impress and charm every new player who picks it up.
A huge congratulations to everyone involved for creating something that feels as authentic as the stories it is inspired by. They’ve an instant classic on their hands.