The Low Road

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
The Low Road Game Poster Image
Quirky adventure misses the mark with morally gray gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game provides frequent verbal discouragement or verbal doubts about the protagonist's intelligence, and only successfully completing tasks advances the plot.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main character Noomi will have to succeed in spite of the misgivings of other characters, and will lie, cheat, and steal from others to accomplish her goals.

Ease of Play

This is a point-and-click side-scrolling game where the navigation is simple enough, but some of the puzzles can be challenging to understand.

Violence

Mild violence where players use a timing game to punch and knock out opponents.

Sex

Generic conversations about seducing other characters; nothing's overtly shown.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual references to alcohol use, but nothing's shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Low Road is a downloadable adventure game for the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs. The game is a side-scrolling, point-and-click adventure where players will steal data, lie to others, and do whatever's necessary to succeed. While there's some discussions of substance use and flirtation, nothing's ever shown in the game. Violence is mild as well, with a timing-based punching game used to knock out opponents.

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What's it about?

Set in the 1970s, THE LOW ROAD is the story of Noomi Kovacs, a young graduate of an espionage school. She finds herself working for a car manufacturer before suddenly being sent to find a kidnapped researcher. It's up to Noomi and her boss, Turner, to work through six chapters of puzzles to uncover what happened to the researcher, and why. This stylized, side-scrolling two-dimensional game relies heavily on dialogue to move the story along, and adds in a variety of logic puzzles to perform a wide range of tasks, such as opening doors or picking pockets.

Is it any good?

Quirky characters abound but fail to rescue this stylized espionage adventure from being for fans of point-and-click games only. The Low Road captures the mood of 1970s espionage thrillers with its music, but the voice acting ranges from solid to over the top. The dialogue reaches for comedic moments, and while some funny segments hit the mark, most come out as hollow attempts to be amusing. Then again, some of this could be blamed on the actor's delivery of the lines. Graphically, The Low Road has a certain charm, and the visuals are bright and inviting. Plus, the puzzles are clever and can give your brain a challenge, adding some nice variety to play. For example, you may try to pick a pocket without alerting that person, requiring almost chess-like maneuvering in planning your moves ahead of time. 

But perhaps where THE LOW ROAD falters the most is with the story. While it's a progressive but linear tale, there are times where nothing logically leads to the next segment. Players may find themselves aimlessly wandering around, clicking on this or that trying to find something that leads to the next step in the story. See, the point-and-click style makes the game easy to navigate. But there's also the chance that something you do will cause the mission to fail, showing that the "bad guys" have won. This will require a rewind to the moment when the wrong choice was made for a do-over. Worse, the actions of the character in the game -- which relies on lying, manipulating, misleading, and stealing -- don't send a great message. Quirky characters aside, The Low Road is an average game that had a foundation of potential, with some good moments but plenty of rough edges that'll keep only adventure fans interested.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the elements of the game that encourage lying to others, misleading, stealing, and using violence to achieve goals. Why are these elements part of the game? Are they appropriate attributes in everyday life? Why is honesty and integrity important?

  • What's enjoyable about solving puzzles? How can the skills required for solving puzzles be used in real life?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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