The genre of text adventures has practically made video game history, being one of the first forms of this ever-expanding interactive medium to appear. Over time, however, this style of production has increasingly gone unnoticed, due to a rapid progression that has pushed many users away towards a very different type of experience. However, its niche has remained faithful over time, so much so that titles have been created that make the most of the genre’s potential. Roadwardens it is therefore one of these and, in this review, we have analyzed the work created by the individual developer of Moral Anxiety Study.
Discovering the world
One of the elements that most forms a creative universe is the storytelling as a whole, the ability to create interesting characters and a universe that is enjoyable to understand in every single aspect. Roadwarden accomplishes this task brilliantly, transporting the user into one interesting and enthralling read. Unfortunately we cannot talk in detail about the plots, but the important thing is to know that the screenplay is well written, especially given the narrative divergences present.
The gameplayin fact, is structured as a sort of digital game book. The user must read the dialogues of the secondary characters and the thoughts of the protagonist, while at the same time having to make choices in the speeches as well as decide his own approach in all kinds of situations. Choosing one answer instead of another can totally change the course of events, so much so that you feel the weight of your decisions and your actions at all times. Obviously they have the same level of importance, but the protagonist’s approach changes completely the reactions And relations with the characters that populate the game world.
At other times, however, the player must solve problems puzzles, through deduction and correct reading of the text. Everything is rather guided by the very nature of the genre, but the work manages to create situations where attention to reading is certainly fundamental. In this sense we recommend the product only to who knows English wellgiven the lack of translation into Italian or any other language.
A great addition are also the newspaper and the archive. The first contains all the lore information, so you can observe the details of monsters or settings, as well as seeing all the currently active missions and those already completed. The archive instead shows every action performed, excellent for remembering every kind of movement and decision made within the selected save.
A survival mission
Roadwarden is a more varied product than you might imagine at first glance. The protagonist has the task not only of to survive and discover the secrets present within that land, but also to achieve its goals within a certain time limit. This last dynamic, missing in the easy mode, introduces a certain very particular state of anxiety and fury. A continuous internal battle, where it is up to the player to decide how to move correctly based on the dangers he faces. Each decision is capable of both saving time, but also bringing the hero of the story closer to an untimely death.
The only way to prevent tragic events is to know use your days in the best possible way. In this sense it is not only necessary to continue your journey but also to obtain food, water and perhaps treat any possible wounds obtained. Everything comes together in the presence of a inventory, where you can insert indispensable elements such as weapons or objects related to the story, such as some kind of consumables. These RPG dynamics, the management of the character and the relationship with the NPCs, are fundamental to guarantee the success of one’s mission, otherwise the game over is guaranteed with the obligation of restart the adventure from the beginning.
They cannot be missing combat sections, which in this title always prove to be relegated to the canons of the text adventure genre. The user must therefore choose the type of action, also based on his current equipment, in order to be able to exploit the situation to his advantage. If the enemy is asleep, for example, you can decide to attack him or try to get past him without waking him up. A dynamic that offers further freedom, in a sort of Dungeons & Dragons game where the master is Moral Anxiety Study.
The last gameplay feature is related to the graphics themselves, i.e exploration. During the experience we had for this review of Roadwarden we were pleasantly surprised by how each single area is represented by a pixel art thick, studied down to the smallest detail with a well-defined artistic touch. This care is not an end in itself, given that great importance must be given to observation in gameplay. The same cannot be said of the soundtrack and the ambient noises, which are quite basic enough to be easily forgettable.
It certainly has great merit to optimizationwhich given the general style is capable of running perfectly even on PCs with low performance.