Rusty Lake: Roots is a strange sort of point and click adventure. It does things in its own way, at its own pace, and it works wonderfully well.
There are some moments of wonderful weirdness here, and some ideas that, while they might not be original, are presented in an original way.
And that originality feeds through everything in the game. From the art style to the esoteric way it weaves its story, everything here is at the very least an interesting twist on something we’ve seen before.
Lake what you see?
The game tells the story of a family through little snippets of their life. And wraps that story around the growth of a special tree.
Some of the moments are simple, some of them are confusing, but they blend together to make a wonderful patchwork narrative that drags you in slowly and holds you in place until the end.
Each chunk of the game is essentially a little puzzle. There are a variety of elements to interact with, and solving them opens up a new part of the story.
There are objects to open, crows to tease away from keys, and plenty of other strange items that you need to poke and prod in a variety of different ways in order to push things forward.
Sometimes things get a little confusing, but the size of the levels means that you’ll rarely spend that much time trying to figure out what you need to do next.
The logical leaps here are reasonably small, so if you’ve played any sort of adventure game before you’ll feel comfortable enough making them.
The controls are simple enough. You’re essentially tapping and swiping your way through the experience. There are no hints here though, you’re left to your own devices to figure out what’s going on.
And a lot of your time will be spent figuring out what’s going on. Like why did a man just fall out of that clock and why are you zooming in on his nipples and oh my word what on earth is going on here?
Lake to the party
It’s difficult to go too deep into Rusty Lake without spoiling things, and it’s the sort of game that it’s good to go into as blind as possible.
This is a dark and strange experience, but it’s definitely one that’s worth having. It’s grim and weird in all of the very best ways.
So pick it up, give it a try, and you’ll find an adventure that’s not quite like anything you’ve ever played before.