Parents' Guide to

Road Not Taken

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Inventive and challenging puzzler has quirky humor.

Game Mac , PlayStation 4 , Windows 2014
Road Not Taken Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Great Puzzle Solving With Some Darker Themes

Overall this game really is a good mix of humor and crafty puzzle solving, and though it can be frustrating, it can be very rewarding to learn the crafting combinations to solve the harder puzzles. But as you play through several campaigns you start to realize that there is something darker going on in the little town your ranger is helping. The berries that the lost children were collecting are supposedly able to extend the lives of those who eat them, and it seems that only children can gather them. The town mayor reminds you every play through that you don't need to save all the children each year. Seem a little ominous? The truth that the game is hinting at is made clear if you encounter the witch Baba Yaga in the woods. Her entry in the book of secrets reveals that the berries are able to keep people young because they contain the souls of lost children. This is a pretty dark plot point. While it is not immediately obvious what the true nature of the berries is (and it's clear that the reviewer of this game didn't play far enough to discover this,) it would certainly be something to keep in mind before allowing a younger child to play through this game.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Road Not Taken is for a very specific kind of player: Those who enjoy tough puzzles, have a quirky sense of humor, and don't mind restarting a game from scratch every time they fail. If you don't meet this criteria, you'll almost certainly become frustrated within the first few puzzles. But if you do, then this game may prove to be a lot of fun. The interactions between objects are deeply multifaceted and frequently surprising. At their most basic, you might simply have to figure out how to throw a few stones or pines together to open a gate. But as the game progresses, you'll learn how to do things like create honey from beehives (which will help restore the Ranger's health) and make ice from white ghosts (which lets you switch the position of two objects). These discoveries may come as rewards for helping non-player characters or through happy accidents while in the wild. Regardless, they're always useful and frequently satisfying.

An option to lower difficulty -- by, say, raising the amount of energy the Ranger has with each new venture into the forest -- might have resulted in a little less frustration for some players. But there's no denying that Road Not Taken is an innovative and gratifying puzzle adventure game -- and one that's safe and appropriate for anyone old enough to handle its crafty conundrums.

Game Details

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