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.