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Welkin Road (PC)

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Did you ever feel like all those parkour games lacked a true challenge? Maybe they took it a little too easy on you and you never felt like those completions were truly earned? This indie game may well be the platformer you have been long awaiting. Welkin Road is a creative and thoroughly challenging puzzle game to keep the most devout player on their toes.
Developed by Gregor Panič and published by Nkidu Games Inc, Welkin Road is an exciting and fast paced blend of “grappling-hook-powered aerobatics” and puzzle solving. Each level presents a new and unique puzzle which challenges you to use the skills and abilities taught to you throughout in different ways. There is a huge thrill in the speed and accuracy that can be achieved, but this is not just a game for the perfectionist.



Though you’ll barely be looking at it while you run your way through the puzzles, the atmosphere around you is quite picturesque. From the very first moment you are impressed with just how tentative your situation is and you know that it will not take a lot to screw up here and fall to your death. You’ll be leaping over monstrous abysses’ just praying as you fly through the air that your toes find that next ledge, running walls at breakneck speed, grappling at orbs and throwing yourself into the ether trusting that next platform will be where you need it to be.



Surprisingly, you are rarely left wondering where you should be going. Even as the path runs out in front of you it takes very little time to see where you need to go. What is more elusive at times is how you will get there. Make sure you pack your share of bravery because this is where you are going to need it most.

“The road ahead will test your resolve, your concentration and your reflexes, forcing you to master your swings and movement as you learn new techniques to overcome the obstacles in the world… or plummet to your doom.

The gameplay is driven by two core components: grappling and parkour. Make use of the two grappling hooks to swing from point to point, creating momentum while using parkour-inspired movement to explore the world. Sprint, leap, balance, run on walls and hold on for dear life as you perform incredible, high-altitude, acrobatic stunts.

You have full control over the grappling hooks, as well as the direction, speed and timing of your swings. Master and blend all of these elements into fast, fluid and elegant runs. Challenge yourself further by competing against the clock and the time of other runners around the world.”


To match its challenging nature, Welkin Road is also ripe with tutorials to give you that helping hand. Save points are also very often meaning if you stuff up that last manoeuvre you’re able to try again without a truly painful process. The reloads are very fast which means you can try over and over again without losing your momentum.



Once you have finished the game there is excellent replayability in the speed run mode or simply by trying to increase your average speed, or decrease your respawns and play time. To play through each level at top speed and without respawning would be a real thrill!
My only concerns in the game were, firstly, that some of the controls were a little undefined, but this is a minor complaint really. You can play this with your usual WASD keyboard and mouse configuration, or you can play with a controller. I would definitely opt for the controller but which ever gameplay style you choose it’s ideal to play with it from the beginning, so there is no confusion about which button is which.



Secondly, there is a pretty dense tutorial through the first level and a rather steep learning curve from the beginning, but once you have mastered the controls it does ease a little. Still the game will push you to utilise everything you have been taught and makes sure it’s well ingrained by the end of the level. This may sound punishing but the reward of that euphoric sense of achievement can make you quickly forget all that frustration.



Welkin Road can be found in the Steam store for PC and supports Linux as well as Windows. Currently it will set you back $12.99USD. While the game looks fairly basic there is plenty of content here to keep you entertained for hours, so there’s value for your money.
Welkin Road is a strong game that offers a truly super human experience to those who will seek to earn it.

-Rem

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