When I first heard of Roki, I was really intrigued about what the game is going to be about. When I got the chance to play the game, I was really not expecting it to be very enjoyable but it really surprised me.
Roki is a narrative-driven adventure game. The game starts us off with our protagonist Tove and her little brother. It also teaches us the basics of the game. The setting is in the style of a 3D side scroller. However, each section is fully explorable. I don’t know how else to explain it but I guess you’d have to see it to believe it.
Roki is a point-and-click game but you can fully control the movement of the main character. You can get her to investigate things and pick them up and then you can inspect this later in your backpack. To use an item, you’d need to press hold over it and then drag it to any of the highlighted objects on screen.
You can highlight any objects on screen by pressing L3 and it will highlight all objects that you can interact with. It’s a very simple mechanic but it messes with me some times. I would usually forget that you needed to drag the items instead of clicking them. I wish you could customize the controls then that would have made it better for me.
The story of Roki is very interesting and it was something that kept me going on to finishing the game. The story is inspired by a Scandinavian folklore and it is a great introduction to their world of fairy tales. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I wanted to know what fates await my character. They were all very interesting characters that you’d even feel sorry for the enemies. The only moments that made the game uninteresting would have to be when you get stuck in a puzzle because the game can’t move forward if you don’t solve them.
There was this one section of the game where I was at a loss on what to do next. I felt like I have already searched at every corner of the game and yet I was still not going anywhere. Luckily enough, the L3 button was my saving grace. It will definitely show you what items you might have missed. This is because there are moments in the game where if you don’t walk to an object as near as possible, then it won’t trigger the interact button to show. I’m not sure that it is a design flaw but it is frustrating to know that you’ve passed by that rock several times and yet it seems you weren’t close enough to be able to interact with it.
Another good thing about this game is that Tove takes notes of every place she has visited. In her Journal, you can read up on any location you have already visited and she will highlight points of interest. She even updates her journal once you’ve solved a puzzle or when you need to take down written texts that points to a riddle.
Speaking of puzzles, Roki is laid down with a lot of very interesting puzzles. Some would require you to think outside of the box and use what you can within your environment. Other puzzles will have you combining items in your inventory so that you can use the item effectively. What I really like about this game is that each of the puzzles are unique and I don’t believe there were any puzzles that repeated.
The art in this game is actually really good. The environments were beautifully drawn and even the items were intricately designed. The colors actually indicates the mood of the situation. Vibrant and sunny when it needs to be and dark and grim in sections where you are facing danger. There was even this one puzzle that utilized light as a mechanic and I was really impressed by it. I also like that each area has its own music and that it really sets the tone of the game.
The game runs beautifully and seamlessly on the PS5. However, I feel like this could have run on the PS4 as well as it does fully utilize the features of the PS5. The DualSense is not even being fully utilized so I don’t see why this could not have been made for the PS4 as well.
The game can take around 10-15 hours to finish if you know exactly what you’re doing. However, I am a little disappointed that there is no Post Game or a Free Roam mode where you can just explore the game to collect any collectibles you might have missed. There is also only one save file so you cannot play a new game without overwriting your completed game. This is kind of a letdown for any trophy enthusiasts looking to platinum the game.
Overall, Roki is a good little adventure about family, about sacrifice and about compassion. Roki will definitely pique the interests of those who like games with a good solid narrative. Roki excels in its smart storytelling and its emphasis on character development. If you’re looking for a nice adventure or if you just want to play the game again on console, then I totally recommend this game for you.