In this article

I don’t know what this says about me, but Instagram has been pushing to me a game called Path to Nowhere (PtN) recently. Yes, I have personalised ads turned on.

Featuring a low, raspy voice, the ad depicts a beefy man, his arms restrained in front of him. Then, a woman takes his place, wearing a top skimpy enough to make me cover my eyes.

It feels a little bit too raunchy to describe it all in detail, so feel free to watch the ad yourself to catch my drift:

Admittedly, the ad did its job of hooking me in. Sure, it made me laugh incredulously, but it also made me curious enough to click on the link.  

A strategic RPG tower defence game, PtN is a free mobile game (available on iOS and Android) with a gacha mechanic that was released globally in October 2022.

Gacha is where players are encouraged to spend in-game currency for virtual items as they progress, but there’s an element of RNG (random number generator) to it. Some liken it to gambling.

Relatively high expectations going in

While downloading Path to Nowhere (PtN), I researched the game and the studio behind it, AISNO. The game already has a dedicated subreddit to its name, boasting over 13.5K “Chiefs”, AKA the character that Path to Nowhere gamers play as.

There doesn’t seem to be much about AISNO out there, other than it being a Chinese company. PtN is regarded as the studio’s first game, though a Redditor suggested that it’s backed by Paper Games, a relatively known Chinese game company.

Some character art from the game

The proof, they claim, lies in the shared phone number and email address, alongside other incidences (like when Paper Games’ Shining Nikki, an Otome dress-up title, accidentally posted news about PtN on Facebook).

While doing my sleuthing, I found reviews on another subreddit, r/gachagaming, that praised PtN extensively. I also saw comments about how the game “respected its players”, which further hyped up my expectations.

Will PtN live up to the anticipation, or will it only lead me down a… path to nowhere?  

A fairly interesting plotline

Immediately, the opera music and moody visuals set the dark and dramatic tone of the game. We’re launched into some kind of dream and asked to select our gender (and thus appearance), as well as a name.

Pick your gender, Chief

The annoying thing here is that the “name” is the username, not some placeholder nickname. This meant I couldn’t just put in “Claudia” as it’s already taken. So, every time the game refers to my name, it spells out “kkyclaudia”, which breaks my immersion. But I digress.  

We play as the Chief of the Minos Bureau of Crisis Control (MBCC), but alas, we’ve lost our memory—the catalyst to every other game out there—when we were attacked during a riot.

That’s us, on the left

Thankfully, we’re supported by a loyal aide, Nightingale, who tells us that we have a special ability whereby we’re able to detain (read: shackle) the Sinners and harness their powers.

Meet Nightingale, introduced as “Calm Woman”

Sinners, of course, are the bad guys. As the worst kinds of criminals, they’ve been locked away at the MBCC, but were released by the villain during the riots.  

In this dystopian world, people have become infected by Mania, making them lose consciousness and mutate into hideous monsters. But the MBCC uses the strength of these Sinners to deal with these monsters while also subduing other dangerous Sinners.

We’re given two starter Sinners, Hecate and Hella.

Players won’t get full reign of the actual game until completing the intro/tutorial segment. For those who are impatient, there are skip buttons waiting to be spammed.

Not me, though. I’m in it for the… plot.

Genuinely, though, I found the storyline to be interesting enough not to skip, and the charming voice acting of the characters helped too. Which brings us to the next point.

A very… attractive cast indeed

One thing’s for sure, the thirst traps are real with this game. I suppose that’s how gacha games lure people in.

I can’t complain, because I have fallen victim to them as well.

My managing editor, Sade, doesn’t really like the Sinners, finding their designs to be too derivative. But I’m easily appeased, so there’s that.

All jokes aside, I do really think the art is lovely

Yet, I must say that the art is indeed reminiscent of many other Chinese roleplay games. I noticed some Redditors compare PtN with Goddess of Victory: Nikke, a third-person shooter game that was released roughly the same time as PtN was.

Also, being a gacha game, Nikke also uses a lot of, uh, tactics that might be catered to the so-called “male gaze”.   

In any case, yes, the art style isn’t revolutionary, but I still like the art itself. I’ve marvelled more than a few times at the portrait art of the characters.

Once again, I find it a little difficult to go into the details of what makes the art good, so just… just gaze upon them, respectfully, yourself:

From left to right, here are Bai Yi, Langley, Ninety Nine, and Ariel

While there are many “waifus” in the game, it’s a little lacking in the “husbando” department, with only one male S-tiered character available right now. Going by the name of Demon, he’s the restrained Sinner featured in the ad I saw.

Hello, Demon

Hopefully, down the road, there will be a more diverse set of playable characters to select from. But for now, each character I’ve come across does seem to have its unique charm, playing up various tropes (e.g. sweet-looking nurse, vampiric lady, goth girl… you know the drill).

These S-ranked Sinners are Chelsea, Stargazer, Bai Yi, and Zoya

As mentioned, I also found the voice acting to be impressive. The dialogue can be slightly cringey at times, but that’s the nature of RPGs, I fear.

So far, I’ve only played in English, but gamers can choose Japanese and Chinese audio too.

The music is nice as well—not striking, but doing its job of adding to the atmosphere.

Gameplay, and all that jazz

I’ve played some tower defence games as a child, but haven’t touched them in ages. So, going into PtN, I was worried that I wouldn’t like the actual gameplay itself.

But I actually found the game mechanics to be fun, with each character having their own attack styles and ultimates that charge up. Once again, it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s a faithfully entertaining representation of the tower defence genre, full of action and strategy.  

I like the interactivity of the gacha mechanic too. Instead of just rolling, players have to drag the crosshairs on the screen around to locate and “detain” the Sinners.  

There are three ranks of SinnersS, A, and B. PtN has a “pity” of 80 for S-ranked heroes and increased rates (“soft pity”) after 50 pulls, which is pretty standard as far as gacha games go.

My first pull brought me the chainsaw-wielding Wendy

So far, I’ve found PtN to be entirely entertaining. True to reviews, the game isn’t very pushy when it comes to the gacha, which makes me feel like PtN is more than a cash-grab (though, let’s not kid ourselves, profitability is always important to any developer).  

While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, Path to Nowhere is off to a really good start, and I look forward to seeing where it goes next.

  • Learn more about Path to Nowhere here.
  • Read more articles we’ve written about gaming here.

Featured Image Credit: Path to Nowhere

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay updated with Vulcan Post weekly curated news and updates.


Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)