Parents' Guide to

Riddle Road

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Casual mystery comes wrapped around a solitaire core.

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It seems more than a little odd that the key to solving a mystery lies in how well a person plays solitaire. Still, that's the premise behind Riddle Road, which tries desperately to keep players' interests by injecting a story into a string of casual card games. Instead, the game feels as if it's going through an identity crisis, with two distinct and separate things going on. The mystery parts focuses on the progression of the story, with extra mini-games tosses in for good measure. These mini-games, such as discovering the differences between two sets of pictures or searching for specific items hidden in plain view, feel like they belong as part of the story. Players genuinely feel like they're uncovering clues to a grander mystery.

But to get to these chunks of story related material, players first have to earn stars by playing a series of card-based puzzles. These puzzles, which can best be described as a cross between solitaire and Mahjong, take equal parts luck and skill to solve. It's frustrating to start relying more on having a Wild Card or having boosts to get through later stages. The card game is just such a jarring change from the more laid back flow of the story sections of the game, with no plot explanation for its presence. Instead, the game seems like two casual projects with no common thread that simply got mashed together for the sake of pretending to be more than they are.

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