Röki is an adventure game developed by Polygon Treehouse, and published by United Label and CI Games. Inspired by Scandinavian folklore, there are puzzles abound in this beautiful adventure into a dark fairy tale.
To say this game is charming, is an understatement. The art style alone is wonderous, whisking you away to a fantasy land filled with trolls, tomte and giants. You play as Tove, a young girl who has lost her mother long before the story begins, and who risks losing the rest of her family if she cannot rescue her younger brother Lars in time. When a monster comes and destroys their home, Lars and Tove must escape. Lars is swept up into a portal to another world, and following after him, Tove now must help the creatures of folklore she meets in order to get her brother back.
Each puzzle in Röki feels unique, and you must have a keen eye to obtain all that you need for whatever you may face – be it brewing tea for a bridge troll, or unlocking the seal to the dwelling place of a Guardian Giant.
The sound design is beautiful, subtle and adds to the fantasy setting. There is little to no voice acting – just enough to capture the inclination and tone of the speaker, giving you a glimpse as to how they sound, and how they are feeling.
It is so hard to discuss this game without spoiling it. And while it is always something I aim to avoid, in this game in particular I don’t want to give away a single hint. This game is something to be enjoyed for yourself, unlocking its mysteries, unravelling it’s story. To even explain the title would be a give away of an aspect that helped drive me through the more difficult puzzles.
Folklore and mythology is a big passion of mine, and to experience a game that delves into Scandinavian folklore in such a sweet way, capturing the sometimes scary aspects of folklore, has been a pleasure and an honour. So many creatures I now wish to know more about. Sure, we’ve all heard of trolls, but who’s heard of the tomte? I hadn’t.
A nice touch is that Polygon Treehouse had Kari Kinn, a postdoctoral Fellow in Nordic Language at University of Oslo, on board as a Nordic Language Consultant. She advised the team on the naming and terminology used within the game, to ensure they were as authentic as possible. The entire game was made from a team of 8 people, Kinn included, and their hard work truly shows in this title.
There are collectibles for the completionist among us too, in the form of little items you may find along your way, that are then strapped into your journal to peruse at your leisure.
You will be doing yourself a disservice to not experience the wonder that is to be found within Röki. This indie title is an adventure into fantasy and folklore that should not be missed, especially by those who enjoy puzzle games. Now, I’m off to put out some food for a tomte, because while playing the game, my room has become quite a mess…