How does your child play this? Alone, with friends, with family? How did they discover it and what kept them coming back for more?
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It's a turn-based game where you move items around a grid to combine them in useful ways and rescue the children. Each time you move something the other creatures move as well. This means you need to keep an eye on various dangers but by interacting with the creatures and lifting and placing other things you trigger passages and door that let you advance.
Care is needed to solve each scenario as moving things around costs energy. Run out of energy and you die in the snow. Throwing items takes more judgement but requires less energy. This, combined with the fact that when certain objects are next to each other they combine to create new items, makes for a head scratching puzzle.
Combine four red forest spirits, for example, and you'll craft an axe. Hurl the axe at a tree and it'll change to a log. Combine two logs and you'll make a fire. Throw a raccoon onto the fire and the resulting meaty stew will renew your energy. There are hundreds of items in the game that interact with each other in different ways.
After each successful day in the forest saving children, you return to the village and can gain useful charms, items and information. You have a house to store items and can even hurl some into the basement to remove them from the game -- and eliminate their related puzzles from the forest.
It's a quirky combination of an emotive story about lost children and an intricate world of puzzles. While you need to have the kind of mind drawn to endless noodling over crosswords to really fall in love with this game, when it clicks it will draw you into an impressively flexible and intriguing maze of quandaries and solutions.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Road Not Taken 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 10 months ago.
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE for Mild Fantasy Violence.
9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to be good at thinking ahead and making plans to achieve their goals. Being able to experiment and fail and try again is also useful.
Release Date: 05/08/2014
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4 and iOS
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Accessibility: 5 features
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made