The walking-sim genre has long been seen as a “game, not a game”, where the paucity of gameplay has meant that many players don't take kindly to the genre. In recent years, fortunately, this trend is starting to reverse, with many players starting to discover this particular genre. In this article, we wanted to bring together five of the best indie walking-sims out there. In case you are interested, we have also compiled a list of the 10 best indie horror games.
5. Dear Esther
Dear Esther was born as a mod of Half-Life 2 and then became an independent walking-sim game years later. Many industry critics have long debated whether the title could be considered a real video game, but nevertheless, Dear Esther has managed to pack generally positive reviews. In this game there are no puzzles or activities to do, the object is to explore an uninhabited island of the Hebrides while listening to the narrative voice of a man who tells of his deceased wife. It is certainly one of the more introspective walking-sims and therefore must be approached as such.
4. The Unfinished Swan
The Unfinished Swan is one of those games where the line between art and game is very malleable. We play Monroe, a 10-year-old boy who follows a swan that has escaped from an unfinished painting that will take him to a fairytale and surreal world. The game is divided into multiple chapters, each of which will tell different story pieces that will serve to connect the dots and discover the plot. The Unfinished Swan is based on exploring different environments and interacting with some sometimes dangerous creatures that inhabit this fantastic world. This walking-sim certainly has a strong visual and emotional impact, so it is definitely recommended for all those who have the will to try their hand at this impactful work.
3. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
In The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, we play a paranormal investigator, who receives a letter of help from a boy named Ethan Carter. Once we arrive in the small town of Red Creek Valley, we immediately realize that something strange is hovering in the area. The boy, in fact, has awakened an old evil entity that threatened the lives of him and his family. The gameplay of the game is set in an open world-like where the player can freely explore the environments in search of clues that can shed light on this macabre story involving the Carter family. We would like to recommend this game not only to walking-sim fans but also to all those who don't disdain a story full of mysteries and creepy implications.
Firewatch is set in 1989 in Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. We play a man named Henry who decides to leave the busy city life to become a forester. The protagonist's workstation is perched on the mountains and our job is to warn if smoke is seen and to protect the animals. The only contact with the “civilized” world is with the supervisor Dalilah who will entertain us in various conversations. All seems peaceful until something strange happens and Henry is forced to inspect the wild forests trying to keep the only remaining human relationship in balance. If you are passionate about walking-sims, you cannot miss this game, as it will be able to keep you focused all the time.
1. What Remains of Edith Finch
In What Remains of Edith Finch we play Edith Finch Jr, the only survivor of her family. Edith decides to return to the old family home built by her great-grandfather Sven after he had decided to leave Norway to leave some sort of misfortune behind him. Things went wrong and his family members continued to die. It is precisely for this reason, therefore, that the young Edith decides to return to investigate the old hidden mysteries of her family to shed light on what appears to be a gruesome situation. The game has a very evocative atmosphere and a perfect pace for the events that are told. Surely one of the best exponents of the walking-sim genre.