The Way Remastered was February's most downloaded game on the Nintendo eShop. It helped that it spend the month with an absolutely massive price reduction taking it down to 89p instead of the usual £13.49. That naturally meant that I had to buy it to try it out. Well, that and the game actually looked like it could be a fun puzzle-platformer.
Originally a Kickstarter project, The Way was released on PC a few years ago in 2016. Following an appearance on Xbox One last year, developer Puzzling Dream's game was ported to the Switch arrives on Switch with the subtitle 'Remastered' along with some tweaks and extras.
Playing as Major Tom (gave me a chuckle), you are a bereaved scientist on a mission to find the secrets of an ancient race that will hopefully be able to resurrect your recently departed wife. You store her body in cryofreeze before setting off on a dangerous journey to decipher an alien language, find some artefacts and do whatever is necessary to reach your goal. This involved solving a host of puzzles using some abilities that you discover along the way.
When you get a gun, things become even more interesting as you can blast away certain problems which are rather satisfying. What really isn't satisfying though is the difficulty of some of the puzzles. Some are a challenge, which is great and really gets your mind thinking as you backtrack to something you saw earlier that might be related. There are some though, which are downright hard with no clear way to see how it's meant to be solved. Thank God for some YouTube videos that explained one or two of them (one of which I still don't know how they worked it out)!
I wish that was the only bad thing about this game. There are a few bugs that have crept in as well. Thankfully there is a solution, although that can be almost as infuriating. On one level, I completed all the tasks and it opened the entrance/exit of the level again. Great. Except I couldn't get to that door because the one next to me that was meant to open upon completing the task didn't open. It was annoying, but at least doing the Emergency Restart put me back at the beginning of that room so I only had to do three tasks again, which I got through easy enough having worked out how to do them previously. The second time though was almost enough to make me rage quit for good. In fact, I did actually put the game down after the Emergency Restart and picked it back up the following day. This time, the Emergency Restart didn't take me back to the beginning of the room, it took me back to the beginning of the whole story section which meant that I had to repeat two whole stages. The problem that caused this? A lift that you raise and fall by using a beam of light. I took it to the bottom, realised that I'd missed a task so took it back to the top. Completed the task, went back to the lift and it was back down the bottom, with no way of getting it back up as you have to be stood on it for it to move. A few hours of progress lost. If only the Emergency Restart had just taken me back to the top of that level, I'd have been a lot less annoyed.
The game makes up for a lot of its shortfalls in the locales, which are diverse and beautiful, even with it's pixel art. Some scenes are absolutely stunning. It's not just a static background either, with some nice looking alien creatures sometimes walking around or popping out of their little holes now and then. The detail that has gone into creating the places that you visit is incredible at times. The artwork, music, sound effects and environments are fantastic and make for an immersive experience.
Also, I love Tincan.
The Way Remastered is a mournful story with beautiful visuals and some complicated puzzles. Your enjoyment will depend very much on your temperament - some parts I really didn't enjoy, but for the most part, the challenging nature of the puzzles was quite fun and engaging. There's a lot to enjoy in the game, providing you are aware that there are some bugs in the game that can halt and overwrite progress when you have to do an Emergency Restart, but for the most part, it's a fun game. Would I pay full price for it? No, over £10 is too much, to be honest. Picking it up for less than £1 though is a bargain. If it's ever on sale again so that it's below £10, I would recommend giving it a go.
Out of 5? 3.5 - which is a shame as it could easily push to a 4 if some of the tasks weren't way too hard.