Published on September 24th, 2021 | by Chris O'Connor
Road 96 PC Review
Summary: Making your way from point A to point B with a lot of personal exploration along the way.
Road 96 is a way to travel across a fictional landscape while confined to our homes in reality. Hitch hiking can be dangerous but Road 96 shows it can also be very rewarding, financially and emotionally. Your task is essentially to make your way to freedom, unfortunately that may not be as easy as it seems. As you make your way towards the border you will come across many interesting characters, some will be helpful some may be dangerous. But each experience is different and your choices will determine if you make it to safety or not.
If your aim is to simply get over the border to safety, you can “complete” this game in a pretty short amount of time, but if you left it at that, you would miss out on so much. Each journey will see you meeting a select group of people, when you go on another journey you learn more about some of the characters and continue to build up the stories of all these other people traveling on the roads. It’s not really a game to think about in terms of how long it takes you to complete though, it’s more about the way it speaks to you. Whether you approach a stranger in a friendly manner or not can make a big difference in what you learn about them and each characters story is worth listening to.
Help someone in one journey and they may be in a better position to help you on another journey. In a way it’s like a more interactive visual novel, but a visual novel with more of a Choose Your Own Adventure feel to it.
Visually it’s got a nice soft, cartoonish style. That probably helps with some of the darker elements of the game (I mean runaway/missing kids do play a large part of the game narrative). That narrative is ultimately what you play this game for, well the characters… but the narrative is what binds them all together. It’s not exactly a complicated or mysterious narrative… it does kind of boil down to the importance of voting and how every voice can make a difference. You can take away a message after playing the game or not (but seriously… do vote if you can), but don’t be surprised if you feel a bit connected to some of the characters. Whether their story sounds familiar to you or you just empathise with them… there are some well written and perhaps even more importantly well acted characters on display here and they are what make the game compelling.
I think I’m rambling now, but I don’t want to go into much more detail because discovery is kind of what the game is about… discovering destinations, discovering friends or foes on the road and discovering yourself… who you are and what you believe in.
It could be argued it’s a little pricey for a game that can be quite short… so maybe wait for a sale, but if you like storytelling then you will likely enjoy this title.