Master Key is a retro-style action adventure like Zelda. It focuses on exploration, finding items and secrets and keeps the rest of the play simple. As well as matching classic games of the era, it offers an interesting look into the joy of the journey and finding your own path.
Play involves exploring the monochrome world and discovering a magical key with an unknown purpose. You set out to discover what the key could be used for and meet a menagerie of characters along the way.
What surprises about Master Key is how densely packed the world is with secrets, puzzles, ferocious enemies and secrets. Although it's clearly the passion project of a small team, the amount on offer here is impressive. What's more you can find your own path and nothing is story-gated.
The result is an old-school game in the full meaning of that word. It trusts the player and doesn't overly hold your hand. Instead, it invites you to explore and discover a world that is a love letter to hiking and exploration.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Master Key 17 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 17 months ago.