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Review: Pathway – Competent XCOM-Style Combat, But Is That Enough?

It belongs in a museum.

Every now and then, you play one of those games that just feels a little bit too late. It’s not that a game in this category is bad or doesn’t have good ideas, but sometimes it’s just a victim of the current gaming landscape. How many Metroidvanias have you played by now? What about roguelites or 2D platformers? There’s of course always room for ‘one more good one’, but the explosion of indie game development over the last decade has certainly raised the bar for what a game needs to do to stand out. Unfortunately, Pathway feels like a casualty of this concept. It’s a decent game, but it’s more of an ‘also-ran’ kind of game than something that feels distinct.

Pathway follows the story of intrepid Indiana Jones-esque adventurers who fight Nazis, explore ancient ruins, and narrowly survive hair-raising conflicts with supernatural creatures, all while pursuing a quest for glory and loot. These adventures are spread out across five different episodes, each of which consist of randomly generated events that shift with each subsequent run. The basic flow of an episode sees you starting on a big map of interconnected nodes and tasks you with driving to a goal one node at a time. The path you take to get there is up to you, and most of the nodes are unmarked, but each one will have some scenario that necessitates a decision from you.

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