In a fantasy world in a seemingly never-ending drought, a no-named hero is bestowed upon The Rainmaker, an instrument that manifests a solitary rain cloud. A Winding Path is a hand-drawn 2D adventure game that pops with a unique minimalist art style. With the crops beginning to wither and humankind on the brink of starvation and dehydration, explore towns and villages in order to solve the mystery on this sudden drought.
The first thing anyone is going to notice about A Winding Path is its art direction. All throughout its 2-3 hour runtime, you'll be shown areas and landscapes depicted as though someone has drawn on a blank landscape piece of white paper. Due to the game's short runtime, this style doesn't get old, and it adds a certain charm that'lll keep you smiling. Each human character (yourself included) is depicted as a stick figure, which is a nice touch - it also makes me feel better as it's the only type of person I can draw.
A Winding Path's sound is just as minimalist as its art direction, and this is wonderful to see and hear. The developers at Three Eyed Games didn't feel the need to compensate for the game's simplistic art style, but rather they opted for sound effects to be subtle and atmospheric; leaves rustling in the wind, a low humming in caves, etc.
In addition to the minimalist charm of A Winding Path's art and sound, the game's story has some wonderful themes about community and helping those around you. There is but one villain in the game, an obese (the game's words, not mine) merchant trader guilty of various illegal business dealings. A Winding Path is quite anti-capitalist, but doesn't force it down one's throat. Rather, it just wants everyone to help one another and do good for the good of humankind; and I think that's lovely.
- Charmingly minimalist art direction
- Atmospheric sound design
- Themes depicting community and togetherness
A common issue with games set on a 2D plane is that if the character moves slowly, it takes a while to get from A to B. This is especially the case for point-and-click adventure games and those alike as you'll find yourself wandering back-and-forth in order to solve puzzles. A Winding Path acts similarly to the genre mentioned as you're tasked with solving issues based on context, and this involves walking from one side to the other, and then back again. Throw in the fact that the character here moves paaaiiinfully slow and it gets old well before the credit roll.
As you collect items in order to solve puzzles, you'll often find yourself wanting to be able to check what you have in your inventory. While this isn't all that bad as if you have the correct item to solve a puzzle, the game will automatically use the item if you interact with the object/NPC of the puzzle, but it does make puzzle solving to feel somewhat lacklustre, especially if you're just interacting with anything until something happens.
- Tediously slow back-and-forth movement
- Purposely lacking inventory/item management
Final Score: 7/10
A Winding Path is wonderfully charming in every stretch of the imagination. It keeps its gameplay simple and uses it as a crutch in order to tell a story that is sweet and charming. Its simplicity may keep it from being a standout in various lists, and the slow walking movement quickly becomes tiresome (especially when you're at a loss of what to do) but when it was all said and done, I looked back on my time with A Winding Path with much fondness.
Thank you for checking out our A Winding Path Switch review, thank you to Flynn's Arcade for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: