Alice’s Daily Walk: Abstract Ritual

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.

Abstract Ritual drops you into a quiet nonsense city to find a portal to a secret world. Ramps and catwalks fill the space between the wonky buildings, overlapping and interconnecting. I sometimes try to include specific skywalks, catwalks, or road bridges in my wanderings. Forced by cities’ weird growth, they feel slightly unreal. Roaming all Ritual’s absurd ones is great. While many walking simulators have slow movement, Abstract Ritual is playful with a zippy sprint and a high leap. (What’s parkour but an exuberant and dangerous form of walking?) As well as being jolly good fun, you’ll need these skills to clamber around and find some of its residents.

Oh. Hello.

Spirit monsters with grand titles but poor manners wait in the buildings, see, and will perhaps offer a clue before telling you to clear orf. They’re colourful and pleasant to look at, if lacking in the social niceties–a bit like London’s feral parakeets. Or perhaps they’re me. Oh no, that’s me.

As you might have guessed from the geometry style and tell-tale colour palette, Abstract Ritual is the procedurally-generated work of Strangethink Software. (We’re quite fond of Strangethink here on Alice’s Daily Walk.) It’s a pay-what-you-want download on on Itch.io, playable for free in your browser there, or is on Gamejolt with ads to support Strangethink. The downloadable version has the bonus of taking super-huge high-res screenshots if you press R. Just imagine what you could do with those!

I'll never tell how to reach the secret world.

I also recommend following Strangethink on Twitter. Several times each day, Strangethink will make a colourful and pleasant picture appear in your Twitter stream.

17 Comments

  1. Prolar Bear says:

    I wholeheartedly support the column. Orihaus’ fantastic games next?

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Already on the list, ta! I’m having a good root around in my memory for everything I’ve seen and played, but suggestions and recommendations are welcome and appreciated.

      • bill says:

        Maybe you should start with some high profile games to get things going? Proteus, Dear Esther, etc..

        For me, the best walking similar will probably always be either Daggerfall or Morrowind… cos I spent 90% of my time in those games just walking around and exploring.

        Oh, and how about Kairo? I always thought that looked intersting, despite being called “Hand Warmer”.

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          I should do those two, as they’re probably what spring to mind when people think “walking simulator”. I might introduce lesser-known or less conventional ones first though, showing the range of wandering. So many games I’d like to include.

          I’d like to do Skyrim at some point. I spent hours finding and trying different mods to turn my Skyrim install into basically a giant pretty forest with some gorgeous icy seas up north.

  2. fylth says:

    Managed to find the secret world, fun little experience

  3. GameCat says:

    Damn, I thought for a moment that’s some game based on Alice in Wonderland. It isn’t. :/

  4. Christopha says:

    Fantastic – this is my sort of column. Love a good FPWS but will still enjoy a TPWS..

  5. zproc says:

    This can only become the best column ever.

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    Bluerps says:

    Oh no, I’ve found the secret world!

  7. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    I love to walk and I love this column already.

  8. Caiman says:

    I really think the tag “walking simulator” is inappropriate. This is obviously a gliding simulator. There was certainly no sense that I was actually walking, I didn’t trip up once, nor did I stub my toe, and jumping from a great height didn’t break any of my legs. Please, a more accurate tag next time.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      One walking simulator I plan to cover involves drifting in zero-gravity. The hardcore walking sim enthusiasts will FLIP OUT. Let ’em come. I’ll fight them all. The biggest flamewar RPS has ever seen…

  9. equatorian says:

    Damn, this is going to be my favourite column, isn’t it?

  10. Vacuum Boogie says:

    This game is an achievement in I don’t know what.