Walking Simulators are a new style of game that little by little is increasing its audience thanks to the fact that more and more proposals are made. These new games do not follow the classic mechanics of video games, but prefer to bet on an intense narrative and overflowing scenarios that trap the player. These are short plots, but capable of leaving a deep emotional mark thanks to the immersive experiences they offer.
During the harshest months of the pandemic, the video game sector grew notoriously, and it was precisely during that time that this new genre began to become popular. Not surprisingly, these are exploration games that focus on the gamer experience. They rely heavily on telling powerful stories that immediately grab attention, putting the player’s experience at the heart of the experience.
Walking Simulators, What makes them different
Compared to other video games, walking simulator games are often short, but nevertheless much more impressive, and best of all: they linger in the minds of the players long after the game has finished. In fact, this style of play is usually integrated into other types of video games, where players need to travel through open spaces to move from one city or objective to another. One such example is Red Dead Redemption 2, where the slow pace and realism of Arthur Morgan’s life as a cowboy is incredibly natural.
Although this type of product does not sweep sales compared to other classic titles, it does so in terms of transmitting sensations. As an example, some of the most interesting Walking Simulators on the market will be analyzed.
What Remains of Edith Finch?
With this suggestive title, an adventure begins that takes just two hours to complete, but lasts much longer in the player’s memory. His ability to convey emotion is unmatched, while maintaining tension as the death of the entire Finch family is uncovered. Its incredible narrative structure is one of the best in this new genre of immersive games.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
In this case, it is a title inspired by science fiction from the beginning of the 20th century that takes the player to the experience of a detective with extrasensory abilities who must investigate the kidnapping of a child. A series of mental skill tests will help you dig deeper and test players as the story unfolds.
She could be classified as one of the references of Walking Simulator for her beauty and simplicity, but at the same time captivating. The game takes you to a walk on a desolate island where you have to find out what happened to Esther. The story unfolds at certain points on the map, so you have to persevere until you get the full narrative. It is a plot so well done that it leaves its mark for weeks on those who dare to play it.
This title gives its name to a psychological game of environmental exploration that takes place in the Wyoming desert. In it the player puts himself in the shoes of Henry, who has left his previous life and his marital problems behind to take his new job as a firefighter, alone, in the middle of nowhere. An experience full of emotions that captivates any player.
Other titles such as Go Home, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Kona, The Park, Virginia, Fragments of Him or Ether One are also great exponents of this new wave of titles of the genre that captivates while entertaining. And, in addition to having fun playing, there are surprising mental and psychological benefits to Walking Simulators. Psychologist Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the Oxford Internet Research Institute, said in an interview that these types of games are positively associated with well-being insofar as the game satisfies the psychological needs of competence (sense of efficacy) , autonomy (sense of choice) and relationship (sense of belonging), thus helping players to take care of themselves, deal with problems and, in the case of augmented reality games, such as Pokemon Go, to have a reason to get out of the house.