I bought The Way Remastered for about a dollar last month during an eShop based on mediocre to positive reviews, the fact that it was so cheap, and most importantly the style of game it was emulating: a puzzle platformer in the same vein as Another World or Flashback.
The Way was originally Kickstarted back in 2014, released in 2016, and updated with the Remastered tag in 2018. It’s the first game from Polish developers Puzzling Dream, and based on the credits looks like it was made by 2 people (plus a 3rd for music). It’s a tiny little game that seems to be relatively forgotten about in a world of 9 million pixel indies.
With very little dialog, the game tells the story of a researcher in the future, who’s wife dies suddenly (don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler, if’s literally the title screen!). They had been researching an ancient alien race that had claimed to have discovered the secret to eternal life. Not ready to give up on his wife yet, he steals her body away and travels back to the planet they were working on in order to try to bring her back.
Playing the game, I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face. The game wears its inspirations on its sleeves, with some direct nods to its pedigree: for example, your protagonist’s death pose when impaled on spikes is instantly familiar to anyone who’s played the original Prince of Persia. The Way did surprise me, however, with more complex puzzles than anything seen in something like Flashback. For the vast majority of the game, you have access to an alien artifact which gives you various abilities, and some of the puzzles built around these are rather ingenious.
That being said, the game also has a fair amount of jank. I definitely got a puzzle mechanic stuck once and had to use the “Emergency Restart” option in the game, which brought me back about 30 minutes to the start of the chapter. The controls can be rather clunky, the voice acting is pretty poor (though thankfully sparse), and the finale of the game ends with a finicky action sequence with multiple Lucasarts adventure game references (no joke), and a final boss that is literally a Bullet Hell Shmup sequence, all of which feels really out of place.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with the game, which lasted me around 6 hours. If you’re craving something like Flashback, it might be worth looking into, especially if you can get it on sale for a buck or two.
Has anyone else played this one?