Road Not Taken – Should You Take The Path On iOS?

4.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Duration: 4/5

Compelling puzzle set-up | High quality design | Great theme

Can be tedious at times | Some mistaken inputs

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Children are stranded in the bitter cold, and it’s up to you to find and rescue them in the new iOS game Road Not Taken. It comes from Spry Fox, the makers of Triple Town, Bushido Bear, and Alphabear. Road Not Taken is a puzzle based adventure that has you explore each region of the forest, and try to figure out the path forward. Your character has a special torch that can levitate and move objects, which sets the basis for the entire puzzle challenge. The ultimate goal is to grab stranded children, and send them to their mothers, but a lot gets in the way. Each level also gives you the option to play standard or with a timer for added difficulty.
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Road Not Taken is set in blizzard conditions to test your survival skills, and you also have a limited amount of energy to use your magical ability. Each section of the forest is blocked, and you will need to line up items to clear the path forward. You may need to align three rocks, seven flowers, or even three deer that move on their own. There are tons of forest items that you will encounter including spirits, bears, statues, imps, and more that you can keep track of in your notebook. Each entity has their own behavioral patterns that you need to learn, and then figure out a way to use or contend with. For example, deer move out of your way, statues can’t be moved when something is next to them, and spirits can be combined together.

Road Not Taken takes some cues from Triple Town in making matches to combine things together, but it’s much more than that. There’s an actual adventure, so that you have a set number of children to save each year as you work your way to retirement. The core puzzle structure also presents its own challenge as you need to get on the right side of an object to throw it into the proper position. There’s spatial puzzling like A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build, in addition to the puzzle idea of interacting with the different forest entities. It’s all presented with a finely crafted 2D design, and the overarching story keeps you coming back. The only real drawback is that it can be a bit tedious to swipe to move each square on the board, and there can be some miss taps when trying to grab and throw items. That set-up fits with the standard Zen puzzle idea, but is more frustrating when trying the timed mode.

Road Not Taken ($4.99, Universal) delivers an engaging puzzle style with a compelling adventure set-up that is well worth picking up.

$4.99, Universal


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