Before Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Chinese Room worked on another indie “walking simulator”. Guiding you through a stunningly realized island in the outer Hebrides, the game tells the story through beautifully poetic prose to Esther as you walk through the countryside. If you’re looking for one of the best-written walking simulators around, we cannot recommend this high enough.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Giving you the freedom to explore a beautifully detailed open-world Shropshire countryside, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture tells the story of a little village where everyone has disappeared. As you walk through the countryside, you’ll slowly piece together the puzzle of what happened to the community, and experience their stories through fragmented memories.
The Stanley Parable is an indie game that plays with the idea of choice. The narrator is telling you exactly what you should do and where you should go. However, the more you vary from these instructions, the more things go wrong, and the more endings you come across. Saying much more wouldn’t do it justice. Just give it a try and experience the weirdness for yourself.
The Beginner’s Guide
Following on from The Stanley Parable, its Creator, Davey Wreden created indie title, The Beginner’s Guide. Beginner’s Guide is all about observing what you’re seeing and taking in the narrative that’s being told to you. It’s a story of a person struggling to deal with something, and it’s one of the most open-hearted experiences you’ll come across where all you do is walk.
Set in the Wyoming wilderness, Firewatch tells the story of a guy who, trying to escape reality becomes a Firewatch in a national park. As you explore the great outdoors, with Delilah on the other end of the phone as your only company, things start to go awry and it’s down to you to explore the goings on.
Journey sets you down in the middle of vast deserts and tasks you with finding your way to the top of the mountain in the distance. It’s an incredibly lonely, quiet, and emotional experience but one that everyone owes it to themselves to play.
Rather than take you through a tranquil and calm world, The Path is a short horror game telling a modern day version of Little Red Riding Hood. Six sisters each venture into the woods to visit their grandmother and are told specifically to stay on the path. Of course, we all know from the tale that that doesn’t happen.
Passage is a 100 x 16 pixel game by Jason Rohrer that runs through a character’s life. Starting out with you choosing whether he should fall in love or not, and then simply walking and aging. It’s a simple experience, but one of those games that people will always refer to as an example of video game art.
Proteus, like many of the other games in this genre, isn’t about gameplay, but immersing yourself in another world and forgetting about everything else. There’s nothing to distract you here, just simply take in the surroundings, listen to the soundtrack, and walk at your own leisure.
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist
Dr. Langeskov is another game from the designer of The Stanley Parable, William Pugh. While the title and the game’s Steam store description may suggest that you’ll be pulling off a heist, this is anything but. It’s a short, funny, and lighthearted experience to whittle away a couple of hours, and it’s free to play, too!