Posts Tagged ‘walking simulator’

Connor Sherlock’s Walking Simulator A Month Club collection visits a lot of strange places for $5

Connor Sherlock makes some of my favourite walking simulators these days. With bold colours, vast scale, and his cracking retro synth soundtracks, they explore strange places it often feels we really shouldn’t be in. I’ve wandered through mysterious structures on the surface of a comet, through caves and catacombs, and down the valleys beyond a walled kingdom, I’ve rocketed around megastructures and even had a potter through a graveyard. All these places and more are yours to explore in a new collection containing most of the first-person strollers he’s made over the past two years, and it’s currently on sale for only $5. After several hours of wandering this afternoon, and with plans to return, I heartily endorse this. Read the rest of this entry »

Go for a free stroll through a surreal wood in Forest Egg

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It’s my second day back after the break, and it turns out a magical forest adventure was exactly what I needed to dispel some of those post-holiday blues. Forest Egg is a brief, free little atmospheric game by Marek Kapolka, and it’s both an homage to and an extension of the ‘Egglike’. This page has a crash course in what that means, but the gist is that they’re “ironically shitty” games characterised by the use of pre-existing, flat image assets.

Forest Egg throws out the irony, takes that shittiness and turns it into loveliness.

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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter “probably” getting Free Roam mode on PC

A peaceful free-roaming mode mmmight be coming to pretty walk-o-puzzler The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, or might not. Developers The Astronauts today announced they’re adding Free Roam mode to the game as they bring it to the Xbox One, see, but they won’t necessarily bring it over to PC too. The feature “needs” to be exclusive to Xbone for a while, for starters, then there would be “some serious work” involved in porting it over. For now, they’re saying they “probably” will bring Free Roam mode to Ethan Carter PC – as long as there’s sufficient demand. Hello there, I am interested in such a mode. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I was all set to brand Medved-Taiga, the latest expansion for theHunter: Call of the Wild, “the perfect Yuletide mood generator”. Its stunning snow-mantled wilderness was putting me in a seasonal frame of mind almost as effectively as my usual aids –  The Greatest Christmas Movie of all Time and lashings of cream sherry – up until the point last night when I encountered the ‘Euthanize the Wounded Reindeer’ mission. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you played… The Vanishing of Ethan Carter?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Watching walking simulators evolve from the waffling emptiness of Dear Esther into remarkable narrative adventures like Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch has been one of my favourite spectator sports as a games journalist. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of the better stepping stones on this long and winding road. It has players assume the role of psychic detective Paul Prospero, who arrives in the gorgeous Red Creek Valley on the trail of a missing boy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Bright Light In The Middle Of The Ocean is a lovely lighthouse ’em up

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This is just what your Monday needed. A Bright Light In The Middle Of The Ocean [official site] is a short, peaceful jaunt up a lighthouse where all you have to do is soak in the scenery. It’s one of those ‘doing a lot with a little’ sort of games/experiences, which does an excellent job of transporting you to another place.

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Krypton Comet offers trek across a strange spacescape

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Game developer Connor Sherlock sent me Krypton Comet, the latest in his series of monthly walking sims (it’s a subscription service he’s running as a Patreon). It was an email exchange pretty much entirely based on my writing about Narcosis which is a game with a similar colour palette. I am very into this as a form of game recommendations, by the way, and it has meant I spent my morning trekking across the glistening wilderness of a freezing comet in deep space: Read the rest of this entry »

Explore an island of garbage in Mundo Lixo

Ashes to ashes, dustbin to dustbin. I reach you today through future garbage, a screen upon a device you will one day discard. You are reading this no doubt surrounded by more future garbage, wearing clothes you will cast away and sitting on a chair you will chuck. And let’s not forget ’tis the season to show friends and family our love through gifts of future garbage. When I die, just feed me into an industrial waste grinder.

But for now, we live! We are alive and we are exploring an island of garbage in the free Mundo Lixo [Itch page]. It’s really quite good. Read the rest of this entry »

Nice weird worlds jamming on the Ambient Mixtape

If you fancy wandering somewhere weird and interesting tonight, pop open the casette slot on your cyberdeck and jam in the Ambient Mixtape 16. It’s a collection of nine slow first-person games made around the theme “after hours” by nine developers. If you’ve followed walking simulators and other small interesting games on RPS, you’ll likely recognise folks like Connor Sherlock, Pol Clarissou, and Alice Lai. All the games are pay-what-you-want, and will take you to deserted desert highways, inside the Internet, onto rainy city streets, and who knows where else? Read the rest of this entry »

Alice And Pip: What Is (And Isn’t) A Walking Simulator?

Alice and Pip have been off wandering their way through digital worlds from Proteus to Sacramento and are now hobbling towards a shared definition of a walking simulator. Find out what conclusions they’ve reached and why their definition categorically does not include Dear Esther!

Pip: Alice, when I asked you to recommend me your favourite walking simulators so I could go on some digital expeditions what would you say were your criteria?

Alice: That… they surfaced readily in this trash heap of a memory? Which meant they struck me for some reason. I think I picked walking simulators with a spread of form and tone, all quite different but all games where you can mostly just walk around. Some fun! Some colourful! Some spooky! Some so linear they’re literally on rails.

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Watercolour Wandering: Sacramento Is Out Now

Sacramento [official site] is among the best-looking and most pleasant of the many walking simulators I’ve played. It takes a train across the water to a dreamy island painted with watercolours, home to weeping willows, grand glasshouses, and flying fish. I close my eyes and still see birds filling the sky at sundown. Sacramento is out now for free and I heartily recommend visiting for a few minutes to wander and unwind.

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All Aboard! The Endless Express WIP Released Free

Put on your best travelling clothes for a journey through a strange land by train, boat, and cable car in The Endless Express [Itch page]. It’s the full follow up to a game jam game I really enjoyed in 2014, building on the idea of a strange multi-change train journey run to a real-time timetable, or… it was supposed to be. The developers today announced they’ve stopped making it but they have released their work-in-progress version for free.

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Niten Looks Like It Could Be An Interesting Walk In The Woods

It beggars belief that “walking simulator” is considered by some to be a pejorative. At RPS we’ve long-championed the genre, years before it was given a name, and will continue to do so. Simulating walking in an environment otherwise unexplorable, or fantastically impossible, seems like a very splendid way to use our machines. And Niten [official site], which is set on an abandoned Japanese island looks like it could provide an example of that, provided its Kickstarter succeeds.
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Have You Played… Lumiere?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

You know that bit at the start of Mass Effect 2 with the space and the destruction and the fragments of tech lit up against the void? Imagine that far larger and without any context or goal, and you have sinister space disaster Lumiere [official site]. It’s a free drift ’em up made by Orihaus, and my mind still drifts into its shattered megastructure around a dark star.

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Clickhole’s Have A Low-Key Forest Adventure! Is A Laf

I like to think I know a thing or two about walking simulators – heck, I’ve even LARPed a few. So imagine my surprise when, within a minute of starting playing new walking simulator Have A Low-Key Forest Adventure! [official site], I had joined a biker gang and committed to a life of danger. Starting over, I strolled quietly through lush forest, pausing to stare at a rusty can and walking right past strange and spooky things – never stop by a cabin in the woods – until… I couldn’t help but listen to an old man weep over the thought of Johnny Cash being stung by a stingray. I’d failed again.

It is, you see, the latest text adventure from The Onion’s spin-off site Clickhole.

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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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