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What are the best walking simulators?

Walking Simulator tends to be a term with a derogatory use, but like genre a good game can be made within confines of the genre.

By definition:
Walking simulators, or environmental narrative games, are narrative games that generally eschew any type of gameplay outside of movement and environmental interaction that allow players to experience their story through exploration and discovery.

Walking simulators imo are an easier genre for small teams to create due to the lack of action but the best ones can be as intriguing as any game.

That being said what are some of your favorite walking simulators?

In no particular order ones that I find superb not just in the genre but the medium:

What Remains of Edith Finch
Soma
The Stanley Parable
PT
Death Stranding (arguable)
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
I didn’t play Death Stranding but it’s only one that has actual mechanics for traversal unlike most other walking simulators with you just move slowly.
 
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Bridges

Member
Not really a fan of the genre but I did really like What Remains of Edith Finch for what it was. Stanley Parable is also cool, never really considered it a walking sum but I guess it counts. Virginia was also kind of interesting since it was paced more like a movie than a game


Death Stranding being a walking sim is a funny joke given most of the game is walking, but I don't think it seriously qualifies, it is way more mechanically complex than any actual walking sim.

Everyone's Gone to the Rapture
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice
Firewatch

And Death Stranding is not a walking simulator
I forgot about Firewatch, that's probably the best one I've played actually
 
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Monument valley are amazing games who corespond to your definition. Mobile game, but so good!
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Death Stranding being a walking sim is a funny joke given most of the game is walking, but I don't think it seriously qualifies, it is way more mechanically complex than any actual walking sim.
I would argue that Death Stranding is the only one who qualifies as “ Walking simulators” because similar to games like flight simulator it has proper mechanics behind walking and taking best route.
 
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ToadMan

Member
Hell let loose

At least that’s how I feel about it. Spawn, walk for 20 Minutes across the map enjoying the battlefield scenery and imagining you’re in a war movie, usually without seeing another animated character/player - die due to random explosion or shot from an unseen foe usually without having used my weapon. Respawn and do it again 🤣

Also yeah - fire watch was ok to the point I actually finished it. Most walking sims I get bored early.
 
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kyliethicc

Member
If by “walking sim” you just mean an adventure/story game then there’s a bunch, like Edith Finch, Outer Wilds, Abzu, etc. Adrift was a cool one I played last year. Even shit like The Witness is basically just that (but with those fucking line puzzles.)

If by “walking sim” you literally mean a game that simulates walking & hiking as it’s core mechanics, then Death Stranding.
 

ParaSeoul

Member
Any of the big PS Exclusives/first party games except Bloodborne

Usl Championship Soccer GIF by Oakland Roots SC
 

Bluecondor

Member
The discovery tour in AC: Valhalla is an excellent walking simulator that has interesting characters, a plotline, and several dozen artifacts/locations that each have historical details about Viking life and culture. I bought a used copy of the game just to play the discovery tour, and have never played the main game (I played through Origins and Odyssey, along with all of the previous AC games, and still need a break from AC).
 

rofif

Gold Member
Everyone's Gone to the Rapture
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice
Firewatch

And Death Stranding is not a walking simulator
everyone gone to rapture is terrible. You walk slower than a turtle. I’ve hacked walking speed and the game was still nothing. The story sucks and is delivered awfully.

I recommend:
Gone home
Fire watch
What remains of Edith finch and soma you already played.

Hellblade and death stranding are not walking simulators like that.

The forgotten city is amazing but not fully walking sim either
 
The ones that I've played and remember:
- Observer
- Call of Cthulhu
- Outlast 1
- Outlast 2
- Amnesia A Machine for Pigs (it feels a lot more "walking sim" than the first one)

And as you said, Soma, PT and What Remains are pretty good.

I don't know if I would consider Death Stranding and Hellblade as walking sims, but I really loved those games too.
 
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Fools idol

Member
My personal favourite is Everybody's gone to the rapture. I have a soft spot for the Shropshire'esque British countryside village it's based in, since I grew up in that neck of the woods as a kid.

The world design is brilliant, and ever so british. The nostalgia is thick. Not to mention the story is really quite intriguing as you go through the game finding new audio tapes and tidbits of information leading up to the ending.

I loved it so much I got the platinum despite the horrendously slow movement speed + several playthroughs to get it.
 

engstra

Member
Interesting to see people mention horror games on here. I've never thought about them as walking sims even though they share the same mechanics. I would say walking sims are by definition meant to be slow-paced and relaxing so games where you're running while being chased doesn't really fit that definition.

Of the games that haven't been mentioned yet, I really enjoyed Vanishing of Ethan Carter. One of the first games I played on PS4, the graphics really impressed me at the time.
 

Bankai

Member
A walking simulator is a game which solely focuses on the narrative. It wants to tell a story and there's isn't much gameplay at all.

A game like Death Stranding isn't walking simulator at all, for that reason IMO. Death Stranding is a walking simulator in the most literal sense on the term of course, but it's an action game: you shoot guns.

I also really like walking simulators and I think of the following titles:
- Dear Esther
- What Remains of Edith Finch
- Gone Home
- Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
- Among the Sleep
- Firewatch
- Promesa
- Tacoma
- Sagebush (loved this one, great story and artstyle)

Vanishing of Ethan Carter is more of a puzzle game, but was also amazing.
 

Markio128

Member
I’m currently playing through Paradise Killer, which predominantly features walking and talking. Awesome game and highly recommended, especially if you like games that are quirky, or have an 80’s vibe.
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
Technically, Death Stranding is a walking simulator in the same way as Snowrunner is a track simulator, it's all about where you put the tires, or foots. But

I played few walking simulators (in the common sense of the terms), and the only I liked was The Stanley Parable, where your decisions can actually change the game.
 

Skifi28

Member
Dear Esther is a classic. Yeah, it's short and it has less things going than more recent titles but I think it works in its favor. It's a great experience if you actually pay attention to the narration, one of the games that makes you think for a while once you put it down.
 
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skit_data

Member
Seems everyones definition of a walking sim is kinda different.

I liked What Remains of Edith Finch, that’s probably the only ”real” walking simulator I’ve played.

Edit: Death Stranding is definitely not a walking sim, way too much interaction, win/fail conditions. You fight enemies and have quests/orders and equipment, something that I’d say put it outside of the definition of a walking sim.
 
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wipeout364

Member
I really liked the disappearance of Ethan Carter and Deliver us the Moon.

Call of chtlulu and fire watch were decent.

Dear Esther was good but short.

Terrible tier: Tacoma, gone home, everyone has gone to the rapture.
 
Death Stranding redefined the genre and is miles better than anything else, the only one that actually has walking simulation mechanics.
 
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Flabagast

Member
I think Silent hill shattered memories qualifies.

It's sort of proto walking sim actually, setting up a lot of quirks and mechanics of the genre before the term even appeared.
 
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Lunarorbit

Member
Gone home for sure and firewatch. I expected something out of firewatch and even though I was narratively let down I recommend it.

Is prey a walking simulator? I've heard people argue that before even though I don't agree.

If you consider it then definitely prey.
 

Bragr

Member
Walking game simulator: A game where the only gameplay mechanic is walking and the game interacts through reading and looking. Taking in the environment and pondering about stuff is the purpose of the game.

Death Stranding has tons of gameplay systems just for walking up a hill. Far from a walking simulator.
 
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