Roadwarden is the first text adventure that I enjoyed as much as a good book

Personal Choices

(Image credit: future)

In addition to our main Game of the Year Awards 2022 (opens in a new tab), each member of the PC Gamer team highlights a game they loved this year. We’ll be posting new Personal Picks, alongside our main rewards, throughout the month.

Despite my love of fantasy books and games, I rarely clicked on text-based adventures, but not for lack of trying. I first said that Roadwarden felt like opening a giant fantasy novel, and if it did, I would now be hunting a hardcover copy for a place of honor on my bookshelf. Roadwarden nails the intersection between romance and adventure game in a way that, for the first time, doesn’t make me wish it was just one of those other things instead.

Roadwarden makes a great first impression visually. There’s no account for the taste, but personally I’m not tired of the two-tone retro pixel illustration style and it’s a fine example of the shape. It’s not just the style that’s accessible, but the visual design as a whole. Like much older dungeon crawlers, Roadwarden opts for a multi-panel design with text in the center, stats on the right, and artwork of your surroundings that changes as you explore each area.

(Image credit: Moral Anxiety Studio)

All the while, there’s an ambient sound of screaming insects or running water intercut with the mellow soundtrack of the acoustic guitar I’ve since been playing on repeat throughout my workdays. Its style is certainly what convinced me to give Roadwarden a chance, and its soft colors and relaxing soundtrack set the tone for what turned out to be an equally well-tuned adventure.

Less is tradition

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