Posts Tagged ‘walking simulator’

Time To Admire Art In Secret Habitat

By Alice O'Connor on December 17th, 2014.

ART.

I like Secret Habitat. I like it an awful lot. I’ve been playing this latest from Strangethink Software for a fortnight and I keep returning to see more but it’s taken me this long to post because I want to do right by it. Oh, this’ll have to do! Secret Habitat is wonderful and special, okay?

It’s a free walking simulator on a procedural island covered in procedural art galleries with procedural layouts and procedural wallpaper and procedural collections of procedural artwork with procedural names by procedural artists, accompanied by procedural sound exhibits.

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Walking Simulator With A Gun: Ultimate Pâté

By Alice O'Connor on December 10th, 2014.

How tranquil!

Ultimate Pâté is a free walking simulator with a gun. It’s a big gun too, a double-barrelled shotgun. You can use it to kill exotic and whimsical animals like flamingos and unicorns. To process into cheap pâté. And yet… I do think it’s a walking simulator rather than a hunting game. We wander around low-fi woods, follow skittish animals, and listen to soft music in sterotypical walking simulator ways, so I feel a giddy transgressive thrill whipping out a shotgun to blow away a magical horse.

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Longing For Walking Simulators Wot You Do Swimming In

By Alice O'Connor on November 24th, 2014.

Lovely lovely Kenwood Ladies' Pond.

I’ve taken to swimming in a pond. I can only see a few inches into the silty water, but I know it’s deeper than I can dive. It is quite cold, and I’ve learned to exhale when plunging in so air contracting in my lungs doesn’t shock me. I tread water to let the cold sink in before I slowly kick away. I swim front crawl in pools, but here I do lazy breaststroke. The pond is a magical place to savour. It’s ringed by water-lilies, reeds, and trees. London’s feral parakeets squawk from the branches. Kingfisher teal flashed past me once. I move jerkily: one burst from my legs, another from my arms, then a second of decreasing inertia as they circle back round. It smells wonderful, rich. The north-eastern corner is always warmest and, though I’ll say with authority that’s rising warmth of decay from the lily bed, I don’t know why. Sometimes my leg brushes slimy things I fear might not be rotting stems.

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Musical Wandering: Porapora

By Alice O'Connor on November 22nd, 2014.

Pretty.

Come on, that’s enough. You’ve had enough. It’s noon. Get up. Get out of the house. I’m going for a swim, and if you’re still there when I get back, I’ll be sorely disappointed. We follow a strict Victorian physical code here, you know: a brisk walk, a dunk in some nice cold water, then a seven-course lunch once we’re all back. Don’t pout. Oh, at the very least, do go for a virtual walk. It’ll still enrich you, and might help you shake your grumps off if you’re playing the delightful Porapora.

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Water Witchery: Dovetail Games Fishing On Early Access

By Alice O'Connor on November 7th, 2014.

How tranquil!

Fishing, as I understand it, is not about catching fish. It’s all a macabre ritual to invoke a pleasant Sunday afternoon by the water, isn’t it? The fisher delicately scratches the hook across their fingernail and nods at the white line left by a sharp point. Fingertips descend into maggots, grubbing for a fresh sacrifice, a juicy virgin. Meat and metal meet as, with the greatest of care, they pierce the flesh between the maggot’s eyes. The weighting of the line, the winding of the reels… the rituals are minute and endless. For hours, they stare intently at mirror waters reflecting the sun’s passage across the sky. Silence, solitude, ritual, and contemplation. Witchcraft.

Train Simulator developers Dovetail Games are now dabbling in that magic, having launched their fishing game into Steam Early Access this week. It’s only £4.99 at first.

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Video Game Tourism: First-Person Grand Theft Auto V

By Alice O'Connor on November 5th, 2014.

My little cousin will freak when he sees my holiday snaps.

It’s awfully exciting. I’ve played squillions of first-person games and, thanks to mods, even first-person Grand Theft Auto. And yet, here I am, oohing and aahing like a weary traveller handed a cup of tea. The new trailer showing off Grand Theft Auto V‘s first-person mode is awfully exciting.

Not just that it’s gorgeous – it is – but that it’s surely a sign that Rockstar recognise GTA is a tourism simulator at heart, and intend to do away with all this guff about Johnny Crimes and his pals Ricky Murder and Ian Knives. GTA VI’s final mission will be to find a good vegan breakfast on a foggy San Fierro morning, mark my words.

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Wot I Think: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

By John Walker on September 29th, 2014.

The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, the first game from The Astronauts, offers a strikingly beautiful haunting journey exploring the mystery of the disappearance of a young boy. From the developers who brought us Bulletstorm (when they were People Can Fly), it couldn’t be a more different game. Here’s wot I think:

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Waggly Wandering: Explore An Alien City In Bernband

By Alice O'Connor on September 24th, 2014.

My new local.

I’m still pining for Prey 2, but Bernband has sated that desire a little. It’s a walking simulator set in an alien city, all stark architecture, colourful lights, and noise. Lots of noise. Trains roar past, flying cars zip overhead, machinery churns, and crowds all mutter and growl as you gawp at them. It’s a low-fi version of everything that excited me about Prey 2’s world, and you don’t even kill anyone. It’s out now, it’s free, and it has the most delightfully waggly first-person hand animation you’ve ever seen.

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Ultraworld Is Ultrapretty Wandering Inside A Computer

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

Dammit. Ultraworld was going to be the name of my stunningly beautiful neon landscape filled with mystery and wonder. Ex-Crytek James Beech pipped me to the post with his first-person explorer (a term he prefers to use over ‘walking simulator’, or my personal invention ‘Feels ‘Em Up’) about helping a video game character come to terms with existence. Sort of. In the style of the genre it’s a story to be explored and to say much more would spoil the experience. Having played the first twenty minutes, I do have some mechanical thoughts though and there’s a supremely pretty trailer below.

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In Dreams, I Walking Simulator With You: Oneiric Gardens

By Adam Smith on September 16th, 2014.

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There’s a video store just across the goopy lava, which doesn’t seem to burn as much as it sucks, so perhaps it’s tomato soup with charcoal croutons, perhaps it’s the freeze-frazzled gazpacho of recent cultural remembrance, lapping at the shores of a Skullbuster VHS rental outlet. Oneiric Gardens is a free game (donations welcomed through itch.io) that is made up of a “series of chambers drawing from half-remembered spaces, feelings”. WASD will allow you to navigate the strange and occasionally sinister spaces, holding ‘E’ when prompted will open doors or use objects and scenery, and the only other instruction is “try to grind into as many things as possible”.

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Alice’s Evening Walk: Césure

By Alice O'Connor on September 12th, 2014.

Oh, where do these stairs go?

Isn’t walking great? I adore wandering semi-aimlessly, looking at stuff and thinking about things. Now modern technological advancements mean we can complement our walks with virtual walks from the comfort of our own homes. What times we live in! Shall we walk?

It strikes me that the most famous walking simulators are set in relatively familiar places. They wander countryside, cities, forests, and offices, even if these are sometimes a bit metaphysical or metafictional. For our second walk together, let’s head off in the direction of the weird and alien and unsettling to see something different. Let’s look at Césure, a free game by Orihaus.

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Alice’s Daily Walk: Abstract Ritual

By Alice O'Connor on September 11th, 2014.

Abstract, yes.

Maybe Alec and Ben were taking the piss in suggesting this. I certainly don’t intend to back down on rhetoric, though. We’ll see who starts a regular (?) series about walking simulators, shan’t we?

Welcome to Alice’s Daily Walk! Isn’t walking great? I hugely enjoy wandering semi-aimlessly, looking at stuff and thinking about things. Now modern technological advancements mean we can compliment walks with virtual walks from the comfort of our own homes. What times we live in!

Today, let’s take a stroll in Abstract Ritual. Purists might object to it having an objective, sprinting, and a mighty jump, but hey, let’s not bicker! You know what’ll help shake that stress out? A nice walk.

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Post-Apocalyptic Exploration: Days Of The Electric Sky

By Alice O'Connor on September 6th, 2014.

Oh me oh my, Electric Sky!

Cyberpunk cities, alien malls, climbing frames of doom, hell pyramids, wonky roads, and unknown palaces. Almost every day, Strangethink Software drop a screenshot or two on Twitter of their latest work in procedurally-generated environments. They release some, like Error City Tourist (which I’ve mentioned before) and error-turned-playground Strange Climber, but I have no idea what most of them are from. Are they experiments or games? Doodles or designs? Possibly all these.

But the latest, oh gosh, the latest looks like an actual thing that’ll actually be released. “Weird post-apocalyptic exploration” is how Strangethink describe Days of the Electric Sky. Just look at it!

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