Review: Roofed

(Another small review for a small game. This is a lovely day-in-the-life adventure about two brothers on a rooftop. Roofed - Details (ifdb.org))

Spizz.

You love your big brother Anton very much. Wouldn’t know where you’d be, how you’d survive without him. That said, Anton’s not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Closer to a spoon, to be honest.

Just now, he turned away from the handleless rooftop door that he was supposed to hold open while you were working. It clicked shut, leaving the two of you stranded on top of the building with no way to get down again.

I booted up this game without reading a blurb or a review beforehand. From the intro, I gathered that Toph (the PC) and Anton were a pair of chimneysweeping brothers, or maybe smalltime burglars with a hide-out on the roof. Until I reached the end of the starting room description and it turned out we were gathering spider silk. Or “spizz” as Anton calls it, however nastily suggestive that may sound…

This is just the first of many small and subtle but very intruiging bits of worldbuilding you’ll find while searching the abandoned rooftop for a way down. They come together very effectively to paint a fragmented yet evocative post-apocalyptic picture of the near future, one that I would love to explore in a bigger game.

Roofed is a very small game, six locations in total and maybe 45 minutes of (slow and attentive) playing time. It feels like a small slice-of-life in the daily goings-on of the two brothers, and it makes me very curious about how they spend the rest of their time. There are hints about a rivalling gang, about their boss who buys the spider silk, about the completely organic architecture in the newer parts of town, and of course about the spiders who left their threads to be harvested…

The puzzles are simple but clever. Even though there are very little resources to be found on the rooftop and the objective seems straightforward, it takes a decent amount of experimenting and getting to know the surroundings to successfully find an escape. Of course your trusted big brother is there to spring to your muscular help should you require it…

The relationship between the brothers is endearing and lifelike. Each stands by the other’s side and helps out with the skills nature has given him, be it brains or brawn. Helping them escape their predicament and seeing them walk off toward new adventures, little Toph atop Anton’s broad shoulders made me smile.

Good game.

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