Indie Review: Walker
Walker is yet another highly entertaining indie game that is completely free and simply begs you to play it. That said, do you even need to read this review before you decide to download it?
- Worth The Time?Yes, of course, and there's extra incentive because it's free.
- Things LovedThe simple yet addictive and entertaining gameplay, the ease of play, the colourful and attractive visuals and design, the cute and catchy music, the checkpoint system, the variety in gameplay and dynamic world.
- Things HatedThe slow pace to the game, the frustration involved in making a mistake, sometimes you just won't know what to do.
- RecommendationWalker is free and it's fun, and there can't be a better reason to play it.
- Name: Walker
- Genre: Platformer
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Invincible Time
- Publisher: Invincible Time
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
You can download the game for free here.
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Walker is probably the simplest game I’ve played in recent times, and the easiest game to describe and write about. You play as a little, orange marshmallow creature who, at the beginning of the game, wakes up and decides to go on an epic adventure for some reason. You’ll travel through a colourful world that is impressively dynamic and vast, and along the way you’ll encounter all sorts of dangers in the form of enemies, environmental hazards and really long falls, but the upsides would be super powers and, well, winning at whatever it is this Walker nooblet does. It’s hard not to fall in love with this game because of how darn cute it is, but I’ll try not to get too carried away during this short review.
The game is simple to play. Your orange marshmallow character is constantly moving in a single direction, and all you’re able to do is jump. Your jumps vary in height and length depending on how long you hold the button for. Certain environmental obstacles, or vaulting off walls, will enable you to change your walking direction, which is of course necessary in case you missed a collectible or need to head back to solve the puzzle you’re currently on. Your character has a little health bar above his head which appears when you take damage or pick up a heart to heal, and when it depletes after a few hits Walker will collapse and you’ll need to rapidly tap the jump button to revive him. The catch is that each time you fall, it gets much harder to get back up, and if you fail to win the revive mini game, you’ll respawn at the last smiley block checkpoint. It’s hardly punishing, and enables the game to flow easily.
The idea of the game is pretty much to survive until the end of the level, and collect golden coin thingies in the environment, of which there are 68 in total, according to the main menu screen. The game autosaves your collectible progress, as in how many coins you’ve collected, but not your level progress, unless you’ve finished a level, where you’ll then be able to pick up where you left off or use the level select. Keep in mind that pressing escape exits the game, and that the enter key is used to pause. It’s all really simple, and the game is very easy to play and get into and enjoy immensely.
What keeps the game constantly interesting are the dynamic and vibrant levels. You’ll encounter all different kinds of enemies, such as toads which jump into the air when you approach, or sneaky spiders that stick to the ground, and strange obstacles, like harmful cacti or little blue ghost thingies that cause you to turn in the other direction. Walker always stays intriguing and fresh because you’ll practically be seeing something new every few minutes, especially if you’re early on in the game. For an example of a cool mechanic Walker makes use of, there are light switches which turn the world dark or light at a touch, and this naturally brings changes to the environment and what you see. Then there are other little bells and whistles like springs that fling you into the air, and fire lines that make you run faster or mud which slows you down, or feather boots that enable you to double jump. I could go on, but really, Walker is packed with cool stuff that ensures that the game is always entertaining and fun.
However, the game does suffer from a few very hard to ignore faults that damage the experience, but definitely don’t hurt it too badly. The first is that the pacing can be quite slow due to Walker’s speed, and there is constantly the possibility that you’ll be made to head in the other direction and will have to wait until you get the opportunity to vault off a wall or use a little obstacle to head back into the right direction. Secondly, and this kind of links with the first issue, but it can be quite frustrating to make a mistake, especially if you miss a jump or mess up your timing, which can often result in starting down at the bottom again or waiting until you find a way to get back to where you should be. What could have helped this might have been a button to make Walker move faster or run. The final issue is that sometimes you just won’t know how to progress forward, and will be stuck trying all sorts of things to advance forward that probably don’t and can’t work. It can be quite aggravating at times.
Walker will definitely win you over with its graphics, visual design and music. It’s pretty damn cute, and its colourful, vibrant and dynamic world has a powerfully attractive charm. Walker brings an absorbing degree of nostalgia with it, and I couldn’t help but remembering gaming on my good old Gameboy Colour for some strange reason. Maybe that’s my subconscious cry for Walker on a handheld platform. I know I’ve stressed this a lot, but really, the game’s music only makes it more adorable. It’s catchy like you wouldn’t believe, and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t keep me playing the game an extra few minutes each session. There’s just nothing I’d want to fault Walker for in this department.
Walker is free, it’s fun, it’s charming, it’s insanely cute and it’s damn hard not to love. It’s very few problems might do enough to waver your excitement at odd times, but they definitely don’t take away the enjoyable and absorbing experience you’ll find here. When you throw in the fact that the game is free, then you can’t really go wrong playing it. In the end, to say a lot in a little words: go and get it!