Tracing back genealogies is all the rage these days, but what if you could actually grow your own? That is the unusual premise behind Rusty Lake: Roots, a new indie adventure released today on PC and Android devices. But then, we wouldn't expect anything less than unusual from a series that proudly wears its strangeness on its sleeve.
Rusty Lake: Roots stars James Vanderboom, whose life "drastically changes when he plants a special seed in the garden of the house he has inherited." This seed grows until it literally becomes a family tree, allowing James to "expand [his] bloodline by unlocking portraits in the tree of life." That's about it for story detail, though the game promises that players will be able to actually "experience the beginning and end of characters' lives."
A spin-off of the developer's free Cube Escape games, as well as their first commercial adventure set in the same Rusty Lake universe, Roots features the same distinctive hand-drawn art style as its predecessors, as well as an undercurrent of dark suspense that belies the seemingly peaceful aesthetic and can emerge at any time. The simple point-and-click mechanics make the game "easy to start", while it's 33-plus levels packed full of puzzles to solve will make it "hard to put down."
The budget-priced Rusty Lake: Roots is available for download now on Steam and itch.io for Windows and Mac, as well as Google Play for Android devices. An iOS version is expected imminently, as it is currently undergoing the final approval process for the App Store. (Update: The iOS version is now available as well.)