What is That? Roadwarden Wants You to Wander Through Text

I’ll admit I’m not much of a text adventurer, but Moral Anxiety Studios new title the Roadwarden has me intrigued. In Roadwarden players take on the role of a Roadwarden, a profession that wanders the land delivering messages, assisting merchants, burning human corpses, and, where possible, getting rid of beasts and highwaymen. These actions are done through a rich text/rpg/puzzle hybrid that is unlike anything I’ve played before. Let’s take a closer look at the game shall we?

What is Roadwarden?

Screenshot of the Roadwarden.

Roadwarden is a new indie title out of Moral Anxiety Studios. The gameplay itself can be described as a lot of things. On the surface (ie screenshots) the game looks to be a text adventure which falls in the wheelhouse of Moral Anxiety Studios other text adventure titles like Tales From Windy Meadow. With that said the game developer describes the game as:

It has a lot of conversations and items to use, like an adventure game, and focuses strongly on the player’s character, so it’s like an RPG. An RPG with very small amount of combat, if this makes any sense. However, it also has a lot of narration and text in general, so it’s like a Visual Novel as well. And it has some gamebook-like branching scenes and invites the player to solve some puzzles by writing, so it has a pinch of an old school text adventure game…


This description is fairly broad but seems rather accurate. In Roadwarden you immerse yourself in the world through text. These interaction can be mundane or chock full of possible danger. As you travel the wasteland you will meet a number of different characters with different stories to explore.

Screenshot of the attitude system in Roadwarden.

How you approach these characters in the wasteland is made more complex through the Attitude system. The Attitude system allows you to choose how you start an interaction. You could open with a joke, or choose to be intimidating. These decisions impact the way you are perceived by those you are interacting with and creates multiple outcomes for the interactions you have.

Alongside the interactions you have, you will also be managing your characters health and inventory. Both systems influence you journey through the wasteland, and offer a nice spin on the traditional text adventure game style.

Complimenting the above gameplay mechanics is an interesting cartoony art style that displays the areas of each interaction as well as the overworld. As you travel from area to area you will listen to a enjoyable guitar soundtrack.

Currently Roadwarden is expected to release sometime in 2020 on PC. If you want to try the game out right now, there is a free demo over at the game’s itch.io.

This post is part of our What is That? segment which highlights upcoming indie titles you may not of heard of. Check out other What is That? posts here.

Thoughts on Roadwarden? Drop me a comment in The Pit below.


Enricofairme is the founder and lead writer on holdtoreset.com. He has been creating content about video games for the past 6 years. You can follow Eli on Twitter @enricofairme.

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