A walking simulator is a genre of video games. It is a relatively recent phenomenon. A widely discussed term in the gaming world, a walking simulator is a game that doesn’t have any traditional aspects of action games. These include winning/losing, fighting an enemy, or other forms of action. While playing, you get a first-person view of the protagonist, who embarks on a journey of exploration.
Thus, some people fondly call them ‘exploration games’ while others may find them unchallenging and dull. Walking Simulators came around in the 1980s with Graham Relf, who thought of making a purely explorative game with countless maps to explore. It quickly became a controversial genre in the gaming world.
Today’s wanderer-games may have a puzzle or mystery of some sort to solve. They have a prominent narrative-based game-play. This is what makes them different from strategy games. They cover a variety of tones and topics. Proteus, Gone Home, and Dear Esther are noteworthy examples. These games are high on aesthetics. Therefore, they brim with elements of literature, film-media. Criticized for lack of action or interaction, you will find the best story-telling in these. Usually, other games give you an ‘adrenaline rush,’ while simulators can relax you to the core.
The player has to make various choices over the course. As a result of these choices, the story of the game will change entirely. This happens with every move a player makes. To briefly sum up, a player visits a place, wanders in it, and experiences a story. This is what makes it an enriching experience for those who love the genre. The Telegraph defined one of the Walking Simulator games, Dear Esther of 2012, as “oil painting, poetry, eulogy, and video-game all at once.”
Walking simulator may be used as a critical element in other genre’s games too. Think The Walking Dead. However, critics believe that walking sims are games in which you only take a walk. A new invention, Walking Sims, VR technology, to create fitness tools.