Posts Tagged ‘walking simulator’

Impressions: Corpse Of Discovery

A new phenomenon of modern games criticism is playing a game for a bit, then stopping to double-check if you missed its being in early access. That’s certainly something I did when playing Corpse Of Discovery [official site]. (The punning title rendered even more clumsy when a character pronounces its near-homograph with a hard ‘ps’.) But no, despite a growing certainty as I started playing, this is entirely released. That might not be for the best.

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Wot I Think: Submerged

Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from all the murder. Even the most red-blooded psychopath needs a day off. Which makes Submerged’s [official site] combat-free, climbing-n-boating exploration of a half-drowned city an extremely refreshing time. Here’s wot I think:

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Dark Obelisks Await In Free Horror Walking Sim Sanctuary

Ah, Sanctuary!

Connor Sherlock’s games often remind me of slow, dready horror movies from the ’70s, the sort of oddball thing you might catch at 3am on a Friday night then spend years trying to remember the name of. From ghost stories in the woods to eerie deep space encounters with deserted alien ships, he’s happy to let things unfold slowly and build unease. It’s part pacing, part tone, and part his splendid synth soundtracks.

His latest freebie is Sanctuary [official site], a walking simulator which reminds me of the ominous dreams of lost lands and dark obelisks that’ll surely turn out to be all too real for our protagonist.

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Wot I Think: TIMEframe

There will one day be a game that brilliantly applies the time-loop concept. It’s not TIMEframe [official site], but that’s okay. This is a very pleasant, very brief little pocket of experiences that very nearly works very well. Here’s wot I think:

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Tonight You Die: An Eerie Free Brutalist Walking Simulator

“Tonight You Die” is not an e-mail subject I especially relish finding in my inbox, but I can get used to that brief shock if it brings me more games like Tonight You Die [official site].

It’s a spooky walking simulator exploring a deserted brutalist estate at night, all angular concrete and dark shadows. And your footsteps. And some suitably eerie music. After all the E3 bustle, I’m pleased to end the week with something quiet – and playable now. It’s pay-what-you-want on Itch.

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Crytek’s VR Walking Simulator – Robinson: The Journey

While we here at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been ardent admirers of walking simulators for years, the mainstream video games industry is only now starting to cotton on to their wonders – and I suspect that’s mostly because expensive cybergoggles somehow make it ‘cooler’. While video games are still searching for our Citizen Kane (searching so desperately! crying ourselves to sleep over this hackneyed metaphor!), we might have found our Avatar.

Crysis folks Crytek today announced Robinson: The Journey [official site], a virtual reality game about exploring a lush alien planet and discovering its odd wildlife. It sounds like a walking simulator to me. I wonder if their recent Dinosaur Island VR demo is related.

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Astaeria Lets You Walk Through A Garden of Poems

'Because I am utterly dreadful at marathons,' he sighed.

Poetry is beautiful. Poetry is hipster-ish. Poetry is weird. Poetry is anything you want to be, including eye-searing colours and procedurally arranged music. As spotted by Offworld, Astaeria [official site] is a strangely mesmerizing “first-person exploration game” that feeds on rhapsodic stanzas. Like a Tamagotchi, except with more refined tastes in literature.

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Gorgeous Walking Sim Shape Of The World Hits Kickstarter

Shape of the World [official site] is certainly the flashiest walking simulator I’ve seen. Its world appears before you as you walk, ground rising up, rocks falling down, and trees unfurling. It’s gorgeous, and doesn’t sound half-bad either. Flashiness takes time and money, though.

Developers Hollow Tree Games have launched a Kickstarter seeking $75,000 Canadian (£39k) to help finish up development. Look, look how pretty this is:

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Ruah: Breezy Walking Simulator Released Free

Ruah‘s [official site] idea of drifting around a low-poly landscape as a breeze, gathering deer and making flowers come alive, sounded fab last July. It’s finally out, though not quite what I’d expected or even what the developers wanted, they concede. But it’s a free, short, and pretty blowing simulator with an enjoyable few minutes of wandering and gawping, and you might like it.

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Trippy, Dreamy Exploration: Gardenarium Released

Of the innumerable walk-a-explore-o-awe games I’ve played, few have entranced me as much as Gardenarium [official site]. Hand-drawn flowers and trees grow, unfurl, sway, swirl, and dance as you explore cloud lands. They’re full of strange characters too, teachers, hitch hikers, and other hand-drawn lovelies with weird things to say.

The Wild Rumpus gang showed Gardenarium in our Mild Rumpus chill-out zone at the Game Developers Conference this year. I sat watching it from within a big metal leaf for a whole day, still cussing in wonder at the animation by the day’s end. Now you too can coo, aah, and cuss at Gardenarium, as it came out yesterday on Windows, Mac, and Linux at $4.99 (£3.30-ish).

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Watch Pretty Wandering In The Lost Valley’s Trailer

Total Alicebait.

I watched all six minutes and twenty-two seconds of The Lost Valley’s [Greenlight page] trailer expecting a jump scare. I’ve come to associate pretty ‘realistic’ natural landscapes with sandbox survival and jump ‘em ups, and appropriately expect cannibals, sharks, and Slender Men. No, not here. It’s simply six minutes of someone wandering down forested paths, wading through streams, and poking around scraps of abandoned civilisation.

Curiously, the makers’ last game was one of those pretty world spookfests, Lex Mortis [Steam page], which seems to be praised for prettiness but cursed for many of its gamey bits. Sorted!

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Childhood, Memory & Hope: Home Is Where One Starts

Home Is Where One Starts screenshot

I’m quite fond of short, experiential games that set out to tell a simple story. I think of them like short stories: something that does not take long to experience but which can subsequently stay with you for some time. Alas, many such games fall under the umbrella of ‘walking simulator’, a rather pejorative name for a genre, but until we have a widely accepted alternative it’ll have to do.

Home Is Where One Starts [official site] is on Greenlight, and aims to tell a story about childhood, memory and hope: pretty universal as themes go.

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Weird Cyberspace Wanderings With Im Null

I'm hung up on its website name. Say it aloud: mooosh. Mooosh. Mooosh mooosh. Mooosh.

“You might like this,” my flatmate tells me, sending me a link to Im null with no explanation. The free browser-based game’s site won’t explain what it is either, simply asking you to define yourself with a number then dropping you into a void with a few white wireframe models. Ah, yes, this is something I might like: a weird little cyberworld to explore, and multiplayer at that. I think. Probably.

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