Top Critic Average
The core game of Ashwalkers is a great, atmospheric experience that takes classics like The Oregon Trail and transports them to a vividly realised post-apocalyptic setting. Characters are nicely defined, resource management is clearly presented, and I genuinely wanted to find out more about the world and its inhabitants. However, the actual process of playing the game is just too slow and becomes boring after the first couple of runs. There is a good survival and choice-filled game here, but you have to walk a long long way to get to it.
Seeing it through the prism of the old Oregon Trail, I enjoyed Ashwalkers and its myriad of tough, meaningful choices. Its heavy material and its dreary art style doesn't make it a game that I plan to revisit very often. I can appreciate the variety of scenarios, especially the idea that players can select different starting points after multiple playthroughs. In that sense, it's unlike a lot of survival games out today and worth playing through at least once.
Ashwalkers is an inventive survival sim that puts the story centre stage. Whilst managing resources and the survivor's physical and mental health is important, the choices you have to make are where it's at its most inventive.
While Ashwalkers has an interesting art style and atmosphere, it does little to capitalize on its survival mechanics, choice based narrative, and is far too easy for what it wants to be. While Ashwalkers may be worth a single playthrough, there's not much to motivate repeat visits to this wasteland.
Ashwalkers flaunts a system of choices, which only matter as a means to an end. The gameplay tends to be repetitive, and the story rarely strays from being formulaic and familiar. Despite all this, the environments are fairly unique and the run time is mercifully short.
As it stands I finished the game without a lot of desire to repeat the journey to flesh out the many endings (34 in total). Because while there are enjoyable moments, it’s spread across a sparse and long hallway to move through. Ashwalkers has the bones of some good ideas. I’m hoping to see more from this studio as there are unique things to be found here, Nameless XIII just never really hits their mark. There are plenty of walking simulators out there that make you forget what they are. Ashwalkers, unfortunately, is not one of them.
When you're advertising 34 different endings, your survival journey needs to be survivable. But Ashwalkers rarely made me feel like my survival was on the line. I was hungry for more human interactions between squad members. But the bulk of the writing is saved for the badge-ridden hall of fame at the end of this post-apocalyptic Oregon Trail.
In the end, Ashwalkers is a decent game. It’s simple in nature and there’s a nice reason why. This is a storytelling game above all else. It does a decent job here and offers up some different play styles when it comes to choosing the story the player wants to see. It’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, but I did enjoy my time with the game even if it did have a few moments where it frustrated me. This one is for the story fans. Not actually the survival players. If you’re looking for a choice driven game, you’ll get it here. If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic survival game, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Ashwalkers is nothing but a seedling of an idea that is struggling to grow in the fields of ash that surround it.
Ashwalkers attempts to do something new with its blend of survival and storytelling, but it fails to be both compelling and a challenge for those who play it