For me, summer is synonymous with travel. First in childhood with family, later with friends, now with my own family. But among the latter, there is one summer when the road asks you to travel alone. A journey of personal self-discovery, getting to know other people, different perspectives on life, sharing the road with other travelers like you, in search of “more”. Road 96 has come and gone surprisingly in my life a deep imprint that a video game hadn’t left in years.
Road 96 couldn’t come at a better time: the humble DigixArt studio title is poised to completely shake up the map of narrative adventures and games that touch the depths of emotion.
The journey in it begins for us as an anonymous teenager who sets off alone in the land of Petria, a kind of dystopian and dictatorial USA in which we are ready to escape tyranny, to the border. The goal is to end the Highway 96 (road 96)
Because yes, there is a clear component of rebellion against the system and, depending on our decisions, we can be the engine of change in Petria’s politics. Do we want to support the democratic way? Or will we perhaps feed the violent rebellion? With our little actions here and there, we will weaken the system by election day. Or we can just run away and have someone else deal with the problems.
Every decision is valid because we will have to try the journey many times before we really see the “end” of the game. Learn how to get through the trip and stay in good health with enough money just in case. And that purpose of learning is with life 8 characters that we will meet again and again along the way.
Each trip is unique, so the encounters with each of them and the conversations vary. If we fail with our character, we will have to start the journey with another while at the same time unraveling the secrets of our fellow travelers and their motivations, even though it is all about two events: one that changed their lives 10 years ago and another was developed in 1996 in the presence of the game.
During the encounters, the characters help us acquire skills in order to survive on the road that are not lost from a trip to another of our playable characters and that are essential to progress, such as using a pickaxe or forging a government passport to get out of trouble. In most encounters we will have to master various puzzles and dialogue challenges, although there are so many variations and possibilities that we are not sure if we have found even a tenth of them.
The puzzles are a mixture of exploration, experience and skill. To name a few, we’ve found mini-games of trileros with a ball, shooting from a moving vehicle, playing a musical instrument, taking a short vacation with QTE …
It seems like an adventure with more suspense than possible, but it couldn’t be more different. Road 96 is a journey about finding our place in the world during that time of late youth when we want to eat the world and still don’t know how to do it. It’s a way to contemplate landscapes (its artistic design fondly reminded us of Firewatch), stop to help a stranger, change a car wheel, help a young man reconnect with his family, or two crazy people To help robbers in his odyssey against authority. And this is where the game’s outstanding soundtrack plays an essential role. 28 moody themes with a 90s vibe that burns the traveler’s experience.
We don’t want to gouge out the experience anymore, because we couldn’t either. No two journeys are the same on Road 96, and every time we go we will come out with a different character and a different place. Every encounter with the characters is real and never experienced before, which adds a touch of replayability. The way is important and enjoy it like life itself.