While there’s still some snow on the ground, let me introduce you to a game that suits the weather.
As the last of the winter blues start to roll away, it’s a perfect time to introduce Röki! A beautiful point and click adventure with roots in Scandinavian folklore, it boasts all kinds of features that make it well worth every playthrough. ❄️
In Röki, you play as a girl named Tove, who aims to rescue her brother from certain doom.
Since Tove’s mother died, she’s been the backbone of the family. Her brother, Lars, still needs a good role model, and her father is too drunk, drowning in sorrow, to step up to the plate. And when Lars is kidnapped by a terrifying beast straight out of a fable, it’s up to Tove to bring him home.
I loved playing as Tove because she’s a delightfully determined protagonist. In spite of her doubts and fears, she musters all her courage to save Lars, even when it seems impossible. (At this point, you all probably know how much I love protective older siblings, especially when they’re in a real pinch but refusing to surrender.) But more than anything, I love Tove’s kindness. Röki supplies you with options on occasion, like choosing which character to give an important item to, but these options almost always stem from Tove’s sense of love and compassion. She may care for her brother more than anything else in the world, but she still cares for the world, even the strange magical parts she’s only just coming to know.
Every scene in this game is rich and evocative.
Even if the landscape glistens under a coat of snow, there’s nothing blank or boring about Röki‘s visuals. Everything is reminiscent of a picture book, with rich shapes and colors that bring all the environments and characters to life, while still maintaining that gentle winter glow. Truly, there’s no shortage of atmosphere, even with the cold winter hush blanketing it all.
There are also some occasions that take on a more limited color palette, but I found them all the more impactful for it. They manage to bring Tove’s fear and loneliness to the surface when it counts most, truly deepening her character without coming across as heavy-handed.
Additionally, Röki boasts subtle but brilliant voice acting. Only a few words are fully spoken, like Lars and Tove’s names, but there are a variety of laughs, gasps, and other vocalizations that accompany the written dialogue on screen. Rather than feeling like a shortcut, this simplicity of voice acting compliments the atmosphere so well. You get the full experience without breaking the quiet chill, and whenever you do encounter fully spoken dialogue rather than sound effects, it’s that much more powerful.
The gameplay itself is wonderfully engaging, too.
Point and click games are a guilty pleasure of mine. Sometimes because I’m good at figuring out puzzles, and sometimes because it’s nice to just poke around the environment until something works. There’s minimal pressure, and it leaves time to really absorb the visuals.
Röki excels at this, boasting a wealth of clever puzzles that lead you all over the forest, back and forth until you reach the game’s conclusion. It never feels like a game built on endless quests, because even if you find a piece of one puzzle too early to use it, you’re always watching for the next step, always curious about how to apply this new item to your journey.
More than that, each puzzle is a piece of the plot. There’s little to no filler in this game, with every interaction serving a purpose. It’s tidy and neat, yet still full to bursting with activity in a way that speaks to careful, loving planning.
Röki is available on multiple platforms, ready for your to begin your icy adventure!
At this time, you can play Röki on PC, PS5, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch. Frost puzzles and intriguing magic await, but they’re in no hurry. After all, Röki is a game to savor, with the wonder hiding in the details. Take your time with this one; it’s so much better for it. 💙