Road 96 is a randomized story-driven game developed by the French studio DigixArt. Released in 2021 on Steam and other consoles, the title is an adventure set in the fictional nation of Petria during 1996.
Gamers are treated to a roguelike road-trip simulator as they can play a series of teenagers who ran away from home to escape a fascist government. Thing is, not one story will be the same. Each playthrough or story you embark on is randomized, but one overarching story is the election in that nation. It has over 148,268 possible route combinations, but there are scenes where you can interact with one of the main characters in the game.
The game hammers on the fact that you’re playing some unknown teenager through how the avatars are stylized: they don’t have names or faces. You can only see some stylized icons, ages, and stamina bars. It means that the world before them is bigger and much more dangerous for them.
Road 96’s randomization aspect adds a level of thrill in between runs: you don’t know how difficult your story will be. It can just seem like a slice-of-life game, where things will be quiet, introspective, and low-stakes. Alternatively, it can also be one difficult run to reach the border.
This game is something we'd recommend for those who love playing story-driven games, and each run is not the same– which allows multiple playthroughs!
Image credit: DigixArt