Walking Simulators

I’ve played two games that can be called walking simulators: Gone Home and The Beginner’s Guide. Walking simulators are games where you just wander around and you’re told the story as you go, and there’s been a lot of debate about whether you can really consider them games, since there’s very little to no “play.”

I somewhat enjoyed Gone Home because it had some interesting stories to tell, but I honestly was bored through a lot of it once I figured out that I had no reason to be spooked. I liked that they made it more interactive than a lot of similar games, but it still wasn’t enough. Also, I have an awful sense of direction so I kept getting lost in the house, but that’s completely my fault. I still think it’s an alright game, just boring.

The Beginner’s Guide was made by the same person that made The Stanley Parable, and I do like The Stanley Parable, so I expected to really like The Beginner’s Guide even though I knew nothing about it.

It was garbage through-and-through. Steam wouldn’t refund it so I straight up deleted it from my profile with no refund so I wouldn’t have to look at the title in my library, I was so incensed. Not only did it have no interesting gameplay, the story was stupid and the ~twist~ was even stupider.

I don’t know if walking simulators should be considered games or not but I certainly consider a lot of them lazy. There’s so much you can do in a game to make the player feel the emotions of the characters or to just evoke emotion in general, and yet these games try to do it all through a cut-up audiobook dispersed through a setting that can barely be called atmospheric because the player has nothing pulling them to be immersed in the atmospere. Try harder, y’all.

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2 thoughts on “Walking Simulators

  1. I would argue that walking simulators and visual novels/dating sims are on the same tier of playablity. Do you consider visual novels games? (not an attack btw, just curious)

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  2. I’m not sure about those either, because they’re essentially digitized cyoa books. I do like VNs quite a lot, though. I’d probably say that both walking simulators and VNs are video games because video game seems to be something determined by the medium more than the actual content of the game. So basically ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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