Spry Fox have created a unique and original rogue-like puzzle game titled Road Not Taken, which is the developers take on Robert Frost’s poem of the very same name. The studio behind such titles as Steambirds, Triple Town, and Realm of the Mad God are looking to offer a unique experience in their latest game that puts players in the shoes of a an outcast on the fringes of society.
Most games offering obstacles, villains, and enemies for their players to overcome but Road Not Taken begs the question “What happens when life’s events throw you off the path you expected to take?”. Taking control of a mysterious drifter players will “die many times” as they explore the secrets of a ominous forest that holds many mysteries of it’s own. Confronted with “wild animals, impassable barriers, and lost children” the game echoes the sentiments of other indie games such as Don’t Starve.
But where does such an original premise originate?
According to a post on the Official PlayStation Blog by Spry Fox’s Chief Creative Officer Daniel Cook the idea comes from a very personal place. He speaks at length about his picture perfect upbringing and foresaw his future to match, but the real world can be harsher than expected. “I did well in school; checked all the official checkboxes. Then upon entering the real world, things fell apart.” Daniel said.
He then touches upon his roller coaster professional life which spanned from start-ups to a golden and “safe” job, leading him to live in a urban condo rather than the picturesque rural home he had planned for himself.
He began to question his “abnormal” life in the face of the medias representation of where he should be by his age, but as many learn the hard way; normal is what you make of it. Here’s a great insight into Daniel’s change in mentality:
“Many of my friends are raising families. They are nesting in their perfect houses (with yards) and bonding over baby-induced sleep deprivation. Their conversations revolve almost exclusively around sleep schedules and potty training. It is like watching a whole different life veer away from me. I woke up one day and realised, “Hey, that really is not my future.””
As he made this profound change in mindset he began to notice many of his friends and peers felt very similarly and life wasn’t as straight forward as he thought. How does that play into Road Not Taken? Due to the nature of the character you inhabit, you lead an isolated existence separated from the local village. The villagers need your help despite the fact you are not exactly one of them, and as you do brutal and surprisingly joyful events unfold; reflecting the ebbs and flows of life.
What is the perfect life? I’m not sure, but Road Not Taken looks to help you carve out your own.