Review: A Winding Path
When I was a kid, I had this best friend, a total nerd whose parents were involved in one of those medieval reenactment groups. He was my only friend and would make up all kinds of games for us to play involving stories. In one of those games, we would draw on a piece of blank or graph paper back and forth, making up little battles or adventures with limited resources using stick figures.
Playing A Winding Path by developers Three Eyed Games and publisher Flynn's Arcade immediately made me think of those paper-and-stick figure games. The art style brought back those memories of drawing little landscapes and towns for us to adventure stick figures through. Unlike those little adventures, A Winding Path is animated and, in its 2D landscape, breathes life into the world of these little stick-figure guys.
The protagonist embarks on an adventure of walking through wonderfully sketched scenes as they journey along, helping people as they go. The fun of the game isn't as much in the walking. If you're an impatient person, the character walks at a leisurely pace, so it would get a little monotonous if not for the lyre your character can play at any time and the scenery. The penciled aesthetic is well-detailed and interesting to look at for such a simple game. The details in the drawn imagery interested me in this game, as it reminded me so much of those little stick figure adventures I'd draw with my friend.
A Winding Path feels like a kind of poetry, a prose hymn to the celebration of people coming together, so long as you solve the puzzles correctly. There's a kind of nostalgia in it of simplicity. Much like playing with my friend, this game is an adventure of bringing a bunch of different people together for a celebration of a simple kind of life.
Some other details I liked about A Winding Path is that it is full of sounds like much of what we hear in real life. Birds, wind, the lyre, and rain especially sound realistic and provide relaxing acoustics as you go along. The game isn't very long, but worth the playthrough, especially if you're looking for something short and new to fulfill your gaming needs.
At just $7.99 on Steam and $6.99 on the Switch, it's also good for a quick, low-cost adventure.