All style and very little substance, Ashwalkers feels as cold and lifeless as the world it portrays.
Ashwalkers is a low priced, brief survival adventure that offers neither satisfying decision making nor engaging gameplay mechanics.
Ashwalkers tells an open-ended story the right way, mixing equal parts agency and powerlessness, hope and despair.
As it stands after a first completed expedition I had no desire to try another. The characters stay the same and the management element never adds new twists. The end screen for each playthrough shows quite a few possible conclusions to work towards but the world never feels interesting enough to try and get them all. Unless you truly love slow, moody stories and choice-focused titles avoid Ashwalkers unless updates deliver a tighter, faster version of the experience.
Ashwalkers feels like several games in one, incorporating various unique gameplay elements pulled from the survival and choose-your-own-adventure genres. But where this may seem like cause for concern, it expertly brings them together to create a special experience unlike anything else. My time with Ashwalkers was brief, but enough to leave a lasting impression that has me yearning to go back and play it all again.
Ashwalkers is a rather unique take on the survival genre that relies on narrative and choice rather than outright combat. Sadly, its slow paced exploration can quickly wear out its welcome, pushing players away before they complete their journey.
The gameplay may be a simple run-of-the-mill survival design but the beautiful art style and the non-linear storytelling with its melancholic atmosphere make Ashwalkers a very enticing proposition.
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Ashwalkers is still a fascinating little narrative experience. There's an interesting and at times surprisingly uplifting world to explore, and it's worth playing through the game multiple times to see where its branching pathways lead. That said, its brevity means that there's not quite enough meat on the bones to really envelop anyone in its atmosphere, which could leave some explorers wanting more.
Ashwalkers provides a great first impression through its atmosphere and mechanics, but each playthrough weighs on that experience. The repetitive nature of this adventure simply has you playing until you wear yourself out after so many of the different endings are similar to each other. These 2-hour game loops had me wishing for longer paths or something else because there’s a good foundation here but it’s repetitive nature ultimately leaves the adventure unfulfilling.