Top Critic Average
It's fortunate, then, that this build is relatively refined. The Switch edition of Root benefits from months of feedback based on last August's Steam early access release. Many previous rough spots, such as slow combat animations and outright bugs, have been alleviated.
Root Digital is another phenomenal adaptation that I have just scratched the surface of. The game has lowered the barrier of entry for many fans, and there are hours of fun challenges that I will enjoy continuing to explore. With a few small tweaks from the developer, this could be one of the best digital board games on the market.
The ramp-up period to learn the game is long, even with the quickstart guide, because much of what factions can do and how they do it is new or just not intuitive. It's also the kind of game that can satisfy lots of different players, and I could easily see a group playing repeatedly with the same people playing the same factions because they learn specific strategies for each and like the style of one faction over all others. Just don't let the cute theme fool you—the forest of Root is a nasty, brutish place.
Pitting the player's wit against a changing set of circumstances is a fun and exhilarating experience on paper, but ROOT makes too many wrong decisions in executing this mechanic that it's hard not to see the majority of its level-by-level progression as anything but malnourished of some much-needed player-support. Be it the lack of checkpoints, lack of salvageable health, lack of difficulty balancing; there's not even the ability to reload your weapon.
I hadn't played the analogue board game of Root before this digital adaptation, but I'm going to buy a copy for the Christmas party circuit now. While it's not too complex, there's plenty of depth to Root's systems, and the careful balancing between them, despite their very different play styles and objectives, makes for a strategically chaotic, but massively entertaining experience. This is a masterful bit of game design, recreated with love for the play anywhere Nintendo Switch experience.
ROOT is a hard first-person shooter, an experience clearly designed for players who love the classics of the genre and feel that modern releases are too cinematic and too focused on narrative for their good.
ROOT is an odd fish, but a pleasant surprise. Deep Fried have done well here.
Atmospherically, ROOT does deliver the sort of intriguing digital dystopia so woefully underused as a genre for modern video games. Unfortunately, problems with some of the gameplay systems and AI spoil the experience and never quite allow the game to live up to its potential.
I'd just wait for Deus Ex to go on sale on Steam and get that instead; it's ROOT but prettier
Overall, Root is a strong adaptation of a great board game. While I’ll always prefer to play the board game version, the digital edition is a good alternative if I’m on the road or want to play against others while social distancing.