Last Visit To The Shard – How not to make a walking simulator

 

LastVisitToTheShard_Featured

Last Visit To The Shard is an indie walking simulator “game” released by Connor Sherlock. On GameJolt it was released on the 26th of February 2016.

About

The game is a walking simulator, because why not? We don’t have enough of those around. Compared to I’d say half of them, this one is not gorgeous, which is a big minus. Actually only this alone is such a big problem that it surpasses everything else the game has.

The whole idea of a walking simulator is to go and explore some pretty cool looking places, maybe experience some emotions and whatnot. This one doesn’t do that. It is a minimalist game as advertised by the developer, so minimalist that it doesn’t even have a menu. Once started the game just throws you into the world, a world made out of mostly textured boxes.

LastVisitToTheShard_Screenshot_01.jpg

Boxy graphics, 0 shadows

The feeling of the game is a dark and eerie one having desaturated colors with a few exceptions. This feeling is accentuated by the filters applied: non-colored noise, blur on the top and bottom side of the screen and a lense effect when using the right mouse button.

As much as I’ve saw these are just for aesthetics apart from the blur (maybe) through which some black spots could be seen.

LastVisitToTheShard_Screenshot_03.jpg

Blur, weird light from no source

No Gameplay

Gameplay wise there’s nothing to talk about, you walk and jump around. The jumping is kinda broken on walls, and the walking is slow.

Good walking simulator games have something, be that crafting, puzzles or some kinda of story. These gameplay elements should not be enforced whatsoever because then the game wouldn’t be a walking simulator, however they should be accessible.

Zoomed Camera

The camera is rather annoying as the field of view is too narrow. It has a basic LOD mechanic implemented which to be honest I question the need of. It’s such a graphicless game – why use a LOD that activates so close to the camera?

Good Music

One good thing about this game though is the music created in Mixcraft 6.1 which can be downloaded separately from the game. It fits the game really well, so the developer seems to have a good ear for this (if he’s the one that made the soundtrack).

Miscellaneous

It uses around 580-600 MB of ram because it appears to be loading a lot of resources at the beginning of the game…meh. It has a chance of 1 out of 3 to crash when you try to quit it. Other people have reported it to crash at the beginning where it does freeze for a bit.

How to enjoy it

The only way I see myself enjoying this game would be to be high as fuck. The game could possibly set the mood then, however the boxy graphics are really a concern. Something more organic would have done wonders.

Let’s Play

My Let’s Play video can be found here, although I would advise against watching it since it’s boring.

Summary

An overall disappointing experience. I was expecting much better graphics from a walking simulator, but hey – it’s free!

Review written as one of the judges for GameJolt’s competition The Jolties 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *