Many modern, first person adventure games are labelled as "walking simulators," particularly the ones with a narrative focus. This term refers to a game in which players walk throughout the in-game environment without doing much else like engaging in combat or finding collectibles. It's a label that, while superficially accurate, is often applied to a game because players can't decipher much more beyond the surface characters or stories. However, more often than not that couldn't be further from the truth of what these games offer. Take, for example, Dear Esther; it features the final fleeting thoughts of its narrator as his life fades away. It's true that the gameplay only involves walking from one set piece to the next, but what makes the game substantial is the emotions and memories the narrator presents. The walking simulator is the most effective at allowing players to really get into the head of a game's character.
Firewatch, the first game from Campo Santo, is the latest inclusion in the walking simulator category. The fact is that this game offers much depth of character, narrative interactivity, and even some role-playing which can only be achieved by utilizing this unconventional and divisive genre.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR FIREWATCH CONTINUE
READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
Continue reading Firewatch: Not Just a Walking Simulator
PC, Mac, Linux
The Count Lucanor, from Baroque Decay Games, is the result of blending The Legend of Zelda and survival horror. It's a combination that's intriguing enough to support the core gameplay, but its execution is only effective for a couple of hours.
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Everyone has something to hide. Sometimes it is just more obvious than others...
Octodad is pretty straight forward game. You are a husband/father who goes about his day completing tasks like any other husband/father would. Such activities include grilling, grocery shopping, taking care of yard work, and spending time with your kids. These simple tasks turn into a comedic struggle when you have no bones.... For example, imagine flailing about the house and sloshing milk everywhere while pouring your daughter a glass.
Continue reading Octodad: Dadliest Catch Xbox One Review
Video games are expensive products to make. The multi-million dollar project is not uncommon in the modern game development industry, in fact it's become the standard. It's like proclaiming the cost of production is some kind of bragging right owed to the developer. But now it's become popular to discuss how minuscule a game's team was or how it was made of a six figure budget.
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Jump scares and gore have become commonplace in modern horror games and films, but Home: A Unique Horror Adventure avoids all of that to create a creepy journey full of revelations.
Continue reading Indie Review: Home: A Unique Horror Adventure
Source: Sandstorm's itch.io page
The sun heads west and the world spins as you make your journey through the desert to Mount Distant.
Sandstorm is a small game for the PC developed by Daniel Linssen with a simple premise. You play a wandering traveler on his pilgrimage to Mount Distant. Nothing is known of your destination, just that you must arrive safely and brave the treacherous sandstorm that obscures your vision.
Continue reading Indie Review: Sandstorm
There's something eerily wrong in Red Creek Valley and it's your job to piece things together in this atmospheric "weird fiction" detective game.
Continue reading Review: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Escape Goat 2
2014, Magical Time Bean
There's a really popular indie game about goats that came out this year. It's a glitchy, open-world mess of a game. And Escape Goat 2 isn't it. Instead, Escape Goat 2 is an amazing puzzle-platformer with tight controls, excellent level design, an old school sensibility, and gorgeous HD visuals. Also, it has a mouse that wears a hat. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's slow down and take a look at this excellent game.
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There's a current trend in the video games scene to abandon the strict conditions synonymous with large-scale major name development studios in favor of smaller teams that focus on projects they are highly passionate about. This one of the major shifts that's currently changing the way we look at RPGs.
Once role playing games were associated with developers like Square, Atlus, or BioWare, but now smaller teams, some the size of a household family, are making names for themselves. They are the new trailblazers who are defying today's RPG status quo. They are the passionate creators who work on projects that are labours of love. Whether the game is the result of artistic expression or love of the bygone golden era of RPGs, these new names in the gaming market are generating a lot of buzz.
Continue reading IRPG?: RPGs and the Indie Scene, Plus Four You Should Keep Your Eye On