Being cooped up shouldn’t mean missing out on the heat death of the universe. To help fight off those quarantine blues, Connor Sherlock’s Walking Sim A Month Club Vol. 1 is completely free until the end of March in a “self-isolation” sale. The first volume in Sherlock’s Patreon-funded worlds lets you explore over a dozen alien hiking routes – from colossal megastructures to decaying wildernesses and quiet meadows – all without putting yourself at risk of infection.
In far future of the 55th octillionth millennium, there’s no new strain of coronavirus. There aren’t even any people, really. There’s only walking.
Walking Simulator A Month Club’s first volume is Far Future Tourism. Weird and terrifying alien worlds caught at the end of time, impossibly huge megastructures and decayed ruins long-since removed from any context they may once have held.
These are proper vast spaces too, ranging in scope from 5 square kilometres to worlds a little larger than New York City. There’s no goal or objective – just a space to experience, with no explicit story save a brief blurb hidden in a readme file. Throughout the collection, Sherlock plays with different forms of movement, giving each world a tactile physical character as you jet/jump/trudge through the space.
To be real for a moment: I’ve known of Sherlock’s work for a minute, but I’m absolutely bewildered at how hard I’ve slept on this. Alice O is painting one hell of a picture in our work chat – describing skies that rains giant radiant shards over a ruined world, an actual apocalypse where unknowable acts slowly play out. A graveyard, simple as. She was glowing in her coverage when Vol. 1 landed in 2018, describing worlds so massive that “even trying to figure out the scale can be disorientating.” Sold.
They’re the sort of spaces I occasionally bash out in Unity myself – albeit more vivid, colossal, and with the important step of having actually been released.
If you somehow end up exhausting all that space, Sherlock has two more hiking compilations to explore at £4/$5 a pop. Volume 2: Zones explore distant planets and hidden planes, while Vol.3: Peak Bleak Blues gives you nine dead worlds to unearth.