Road Not Taken - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

06 August 2014

Also on:


Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


In Road Not Taken, players will take up the role of a brave ranger exploring a dark and frosty enchanted forest in your quest to save lost children. As you adventure through the ever-changing, randomly generated levels you'll encounter haunting enemies, strange creatures and curious spirits who can help you... if you can unlock their secrets. Beware, in the cold and harsh aftermath of a brutal winter storm, there is danger everywhere.

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  • Developer(s):
    • Spry Fox
  • Publisher(s):
    • Spry Fox
  • Distributor(s):
    • PlayStation Store
  • Release Date(s):
    • 06 August, 2014
  • PEGI Rating:
    • 7+
  • Official Site(s):
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A

Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 350MB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 12 Hours
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Road Not Taken was developed by the team at Spry Fox and released on the PS4 and PC in August of 2014. The title is a puzzler with roguelike elements that puts you in the shoes of a mysterious ranger, wandering a daunting forest after a storm unlike any other. Your goal in the title is to save lives, find lost children, and push your way through every obstacle that comes floating in your direction. With delightful artwork and a smooth control system we had all the hope in the world that Road Not Taken would be as enjoyable as it was ingenuous looking. Puzzle games are so often hit and miss that we had our reservations, especially from newer developers, but we dove in anyway having heard great things about their iOS work.

One of our favorite aspects of the independent game world is that no two games are completely similar. Sure you see developers hawking certain genres over and over again but, for the most part, there is always something new coming out. These games don’t have to play by the corporate rules that dominate big developers like Ubisoft, EA, and so on. So we weren’t surprised to see that the team at Spry Fox put in the extra work to make something special with the Road Not Taken. Just looking at the concept art was enough to convince us that this game wouldn’t be like the 'fill in the blank' puzzle action games that have been dominating the market.

What you should know first and foremost about Road Not Taken is that it utilizes roguelike elements in order to expand and enhance the puzzle offerings on the way. The game is similar mechanic wise to the iOS release Triple Crown but it doesn’t set itself up as a sequel or even sidelevel game. This is a new experience that has enough similarities to create familiarity without straight up pulling old gameplay mechanics.

The narrative of Road Not Taken focuses on you, as a ranger. There was a huge dangerous storm that blew through the forest and children have been lost everywhere while out performing chores, such as picking berries. Your job is to round them all up by solving puzzles and traveling through different maps. Though the majority of the game involves you in the standard puzzle solving room there are some side sequences that add a little bit of flesh to the experience. You can own a house where you have a cat and you can also meet and interact with some neat characters from the village. There are bits and spurts of dialogue here that sort of hint at a deeper mythos in the world of the title.

While the subject matter of Road Not Taken is fairly serious the whole game is filled with bits of fluff and levity that keep it from becoming overbearing and grim. You’ll probably get a few chuckles out of your gameplay from the villagers and the art design is appropriately light, with creatures looking equal parts cute and helpless around the forest. There are enough quips and jokes to keep you interested and that gets our first thumbs up out of the review: in an area that Spry Fox could have been lazy, they decided to go full out and give us some really solid industry writing.

So the core gameplay mechanic in the game is the Match Mechanic. Your job is to wander through the forest and find the lost children. From there you link them back up with their corresponding mothers. You’ll have to explore, solve puzzles, and find your way through the occasionally labyrinthine forest in order to accomplish these tasks. Your Ranger is hired for a 15 year period in which to continually find the lost children who are picking berries that can extend life. It’s an exploitative system for the kids but one that keeps you gainfully employed as they continually get lost over the years.

Your character is able to pick up literally anything he finds on the ground, be it animal or entity, and then throw it out of the way in order to create a path to walk through. Though this should make the puzzles simple enough to complete without issue, they become increasingly difficult. Your Ranger does have one caveat in his power to throw items, he can only chuck them away from his body and pick them up in areas adjacent. So as you chuck items to and fro you have to be careful as to where they land because it could then freeze you from making a move in the future.

As you hold items every step takes away one unit of your energy. Energy in the game is equated to life and so you have to be careful with what you hold and how far you walk with it because you are essentially incurring damage as a result. So the core gameplay mechanic, lugging and chucking, is often done as a last result. You’ll spend more time looking over the entire map trying to decide your path to victory before ever actually putting yourself in action. If you do find that you run out of energy in the game you will be 'dead' and must then start over. The kicker? The puzzles will all be randomized again, thus fully embracing the roguelike element.

For the most part this isn’t a game of action and you’ll instead be thinking in terms of movements. There are beasts in the woods that can take away your energy by attacking you but there are also weapons available for you to replenish said energy. These add a little bit of depth alongside the crafting technique that further enhances what is an otherwise simple game.

At the end of the day Road Not Taken is a title that knows what it is: a puzzler. With nifty additions like crafting and villager relationships, the title manages to be interesting long term. This is a must have for puzzle fans who love simplistic but beautiful art.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
profile Moderator Unlockable Trophies.
Jun 14, 2015

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