Roki

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Roki Game Poster Image
Wonderfully visual and imaginative tale based on folklore.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Perseverance against puzzles and monsters, saving others, and accomplishing goals through challenges are messages that frequently arise during play.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tove presents a strong female character, and demonstrates perseverance in her efforts to battle through monsters and puzzles to find and save her brother. 

Ease of Play

The navigation and control scheme are easy to use, but the game relies on logic to complete the puzzles and challenges. 

Violence

While violence is a part of the game, it's mild and there's no blood. At the start, Tove uses a wooden splinter to stab a monster's probing hand, but then she uses a molotov cocktail (of course, players have to create it) to light a monster's hand on fire. The father of Lars and Tove is trapped under burning debris, and seemingly can't be rescued. That, and the look and nature of the monsters, may be too intense for younger players. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While there's no signs of drinking, there's a bottle of alcohol at the beginning of play, which is then used to create a molotov cocktail to fight the attacking monster. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roki is a downloadable adventure game for Windows PCs. While the violence does not feature blood, Tove (the lead character) will have to fight off monsters using a variety of projectiles and stabbing weapons. At the start of the game, their father is sleeping, with a bottle of alcohol sitting beside his rocker. He's later seen trapped under burning debris (although he later appears in the story to help in a limited fashion). And Tove's younger brother, Lars, is kidnapped by monsters, which is what sets Tove off on the path to rescue him. While the monsters are not particularly scary looking, they can be large and create suspense -- which may make this game inappropriate for younger players. 

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What's it about?

Based on Scandanavian folklore, ROKI tells the tale of young girl named Tove searching for her brother, who was taken during an attack by a monster. The game's puzzle-oriented but also features elements of exploration. Players will combine elements from Tove's backpack to create a variety of tools to get past intriguing characters and monsters. While the game isn't English-based, and the story is told through text, Roki manages to weave an intriguing story that pulls players through its fantasy settings, which are based on a tale that Tove reads to her younger brother. 

Is it any good?

Lush and colorful settings create the backdrop for a highly imaginative story of adventure and self-discovery. The first thing that sets Roki apart is the handcrafted artwork that creates both a snowy 'real' world, and the fantasy world populated by the Four Guardians (Bear, Wolf, Stag and Raven). There are also fantasy monsters that appear to be manifestations of children's toys. While the story's text-driven, and there's a lot to explore, the path through to the ending takes a somewhat linear approach. Even so, Roki has a fresh and startling honest approach with its story.

This game's about logic puzzles. Want to make a molotov cocktail to throw at a monster's hand? You'll need a bottle of alcohol, cloth, fire and voila. But you can't focus on those items solely. The story that Tove tells her brother at the start is about self-realization, and this tale involves not only love but respect. The sound quality is fine, but the stars here are the narrative and visual style. There may be elements too intense for younger players, but even with that said, Roki is delightfully refreshing, with a wonderful art style and captivating story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about folklore and fables, and how each country has their own tales. What creatures do younger players think may be linked to folklore from different countries? How do monsters create suspense in stories? Why should younger players not be frightened by imaginative tales involving monsters?

  •  What elements of the story in Roki do players like? Which elements do they not like? What frightens them about the game?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

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