The gentle, chilled out ambience of A Winding Path is incredibly compelling and very soothing; it’s a lovely little game that kept me utterly captivated throughout its brief length.
A Winding Path is a 2D adventure game that sees your little stick person protagonist exploring a minimalist landscape and assisting the people they come into contact with. Though light puzzles are sprinkled throughout, they’re rarely more taxing than simply talking to the right person at the right time – and it’s difficult to miss anything or go wrong due to the game’s nicely compact nature.
The fact that it is relatively small doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to explore or that there’s not much going on; nearly every person, animal or fantasy creature you encounter has a part to play in the story, whether that’s to give you something to do or to be the object of a fetch quest. There’s also the matter of a magical Lyre that you’ll earn early on which you can play in order to summon rain clouds; these will also come in handy for solving some of the game’s puzzles.
There’s also 12 Dewdrops to collect and – though you don’t have to collect them all to finish the story – for every three you find, you unlock a new hat to wear. Hats don’t add anything to the game or its puzzles, but it’s a neat little feature that pushes you to explore the charming monochrome world a bit more.
Only one section gave me a bit of trouble – an archery test, in which I was trying to hit 9 out of 10 targets – but practice soon made perfect.
Though only a few hours long, once I started A Winding Path I found it very difficult to walk away from; it’s charmingly written, has lovely audio design – adding to its calming ambience – and it’s incredibly straightforward to play.
I really enjoyed my time in the world of A Winding Path; it’s a cozy experience with an awful lot of charm – and it doesn’t outstay its welcome.
A Winding Path is released on Nintendo Switch on the 27th October 2022. Many thanks to Flynn’s Arcade for providing me with a code for review purposes.