Road 96: Game Review

Road 96: Game Review

Residents of Petria are preparing for the presidential elections. There are only two candidates: the current ruler of Tirak (the surname is not just consonant with the word “tyrant”) and Florres, who can lead the country to a brighter future. Teenagers, realizing that Tirak will again dishonestly win, are trying to escape from the country – they left their families in the hope that they will be able to cross the border. But will it succeed? And will they be able to change the minds of the people before the X hour arrives? The player will have to answer these questions in Road 96.

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Away from here

When I talked about the game with its creative director Yoan Fanise last year, he promised a bright, emotional adventure with memorable characters. Everything is really so, and even his words that this is not a “movie” with some dialogues were confirmed. In recent months, this is one of the few games in which I was interested in everything until the finale: the gameplay “chips”, and the situations in which the characters will fall, and the finale. Disadvantages became apparent later, but about them later.

Previous game review about the game Tormented Souls you can read by click on the link.

The game is divided into six parts, each of which lasts about an hour. In all, we manage different teenagers and make a long way from the starting point to the finish line – that very border. The outcome can be different – either you manage to escape, or the character will be killed, or he will be handcuffed. My first passage was quite successful – all the guys managed to leave the country, except for one, but his death was not in vain.

Road 96 characters

The adventures of teenagers turned out to be very diverse and rich. Scenes are launched in random order – what someone will have in the first part of the game, another may happen at the end. In any case, you will have to get acquainted with all the characters, of which there are eight, and all are very colorful.

Reporter Sonya, for example, is a journalist for the propaganda television channel GNN, who travels in a limousine with a personal driver. Young genius Alex is a hacker, developer and inventor rolled into one. The gloomy type of Jarod in a raincoat and hat, smoking non-stop, scares me by his mere presence. You quickly become attached to everyone, and everyone has either skeletons in the closet or emotional experiences. Even Sonya, who is bound to annoy most players at first, can evoke feelings over time with her story.

Road 96 big bear dinner

Road 96 is not a movie

Many episodes are accompanied by mini-games, and you always take part in them with great pleasure. When you ride the same motorcycle with the thieves Stan and Mitch, a chase will begin in which you become an active participant. There will be funny moments with them, which are better not to spoil. With the red-haired girl Zoya from the debut trailer, there will be a funny musical mini-game. Alex will have to help with his technique. You never know what to expect, and therefore the interest does not fade away.

It must also be remembered that the main character is mortal – he needs to be in good shape and it is desirable to have at least some money in his pocket. If you can sleep somewhere, it is better to do it and partially restore energy. If the driver offers to drop you off now or later, it’s best to think about the choice – it determines how exhausted the character will be in the next scene.

Road 96 Zoe

It makes sense to explore locations – suddenly you stumble upon a burger forgotten by someone (even spoiled food saves) or a lost credit card. You have to decide whether to accept a temporary job, whether to participate in competitions like table hockey. As you progress, you unlock abilities that open up more possibilities. For example, if one character learns to pick locks, then this perk will be transferred to all subsequent teenagers – you can get into the back rooms, steal money, food, or even car keys there.

The better you prepare for the final, the higher the chance of escaping the country. There are several ways, and all are different – for one you need money, for the other you need to be energetic. You won’t know in advance exactly what conditions are set, and they won’t let you use the same method again – if they escaped or died, the next teenager will have to look for other methods. But if you explore locations and don’t jump on the rampage when you don’t need to, you come to the border more or less ready for any trials – at least that was the case in my case.

Road 96 gas station

For one time

Well, the ending depends on what actions you performed during all six hours and what dialogue lines you chose. Sometimes these are just phrases, and sometimes there are icons next to them that shape your personality and (apparently) influence the minds of the interlocutors. You can play a revolutionary and convince people to vote for Florres, or you can just be an observer traveler.

In my case, everything I did throughout the game led to the desired result – and some heroes met in the last scene, and some events were mentioned, and the outcome was expected. After the credits, New Game+ opened. I immediately fired it up, wanting to see alternative paths and new scenes, and then Road 96 unexpectedly disappointed. While the first scene was indeed new, almost everything that followed contained old content.

Road 96 graphics

Since the choice of lines mainly affects the ending, as you progress through the consequences, you almost do not see the consequences. The same dialogues that follow the same scenario regardless of your actions, the same mini-games with identical conditions. You can’t skip or rewind anything, so the second passage turns into a routine – you don’t want to repeat everything again in order to see an alternative ending. The description of the game on Steam promises “thousands of routes”, but this does not mean that Road 96 will be different every time.

It doesn’t make the game bad, it’s just that it’s rather one-time rather than encouraging to replay it. This is a very exciting adventure – with a great story, likeable characters and great music in the spirit of hits of the 80s. But there is a suspicion that those waiting for Road 96 are actually waiting for the wrong game – it is far from being as non-linear as it might seem.

Road 96 switch

Well, you can’t do without the traditional paragraph about how bad the Switch version is. It’s the only console that Road 96 comes out on, and one would have guessed that the portable version would get more time. But no, the frame rate drops in every scene, the downloads are long, and it’s hard to get rid of the feeling that the game is about to fall apart and crash with an error (it did happen once). It is better to stop at the version for the computer, otherwise headaches are guaranteed.

Conclusion about Road 96

Road 96 pleased and upset at the same time. The first passage leaves only positive emotions – an intriguing story gradually acquires the details that you expect, and all this is accompanied by a solid and varied gameplay. You even forgive the plot for unrealistic coincidences – it’s more fun with them. But how great is the desire to replay the game after the credits, just as boring to do it.

Pros: a fascinating story from beginning to end with the ability to influence the ending; bright characters; solid gameplay, with which the game does not slide into a “movie” with dialogues; great music.

Cons: repeated passage is far from being as interesting as the first; animation sometimes looks too budget; nightmarish optimization on Switch.

Questions about this game:

How long is Road 96?

The game has an average play time of about 8-10 hours.

Road 96 when will the killer attack?

Road 96 is a procedurally generated narrative game with different storylines and endings, and the game’s events are determined by the player’s choices and actions. Therefore, the timing of the killer attack and other events may vary depending on the player’s decisions and the path they choose to take.