Röki is one of the most impressive games I played at Gamescom 2019. From the very first seconds into its demo, it was already clear to me this game has something special, whether it’s the art style, animations, or narrative design.
Since I was chatting with the developers while playing, I couldn’t focus on the story all that much. So instead, I chose to concentrate on the gameplay. I did gather that Röki is based on Scandinavian folklore, and we play as a little girl named Tove out on a journey to save her family.
Tove’s journey will take her through forests and snowy mountain peaks. Along the way, we stumble across all kinds of creatures and monsters in need of assistance or just a friendly chat. I’ve met a sad troll standing under a bridge with a sword stuck in her shoulder, so I started exploring the area to try and figure out how to help her get that sword out.
To solve puzzles such as this one, Röki takes inspiration from point-and-click games. You should expect more conversations and interactions with different objects throughout the game world, and less action and fight scenes.
As I mentioned the art style and animations before, and looking at the screenshots, you can tell Röki looks amazing. The game goes for a cartoony, yet surprisingly intricate visual design. It uses a layered design to achieve its signature look.
According to the devs, using this method lets them port Röki from the PC to the Switch, and retain its visuals without compromising performance.
I was really impressed by the attention to details, such as Tove’s facial expressions when she is surprised, or how the troll’s nose swings from side to side when she moves her head.
A lot of attention was also given to the narrative design. If you try to perform the same action over and over again, Tove will not just repeat one canned reaction – she’ll be aware of the fact she has looked at the object or tried this item combination before.
For example, when I was investigating a series of bird nest. When I search the first one, Tove said something along the lines of “there’s nothing in it.” When I clicked a different one, she chimed, “Nothing here, either.” It’s a small touch, but one that makes Tove feel like a real person, not a video game character.
Together with a story that progresses in a natural, believable way, and nuanced animations, Röki proves to be a unique adventure game that’s worth your attention.
Röki comes to PC and Nintendo Switch later this year.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.