Posts Tagged ‘walking simulator’

Krypton Comet offers trek across a strange spacescape

Krypton Comet

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 Albert 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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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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