10 Running Simulators in Fantastic Environments – TheGamer | Dauktion

The gaming landscape is so often dominated by frenetic shooters and painfully difficult third-person slashers, all of which require your undivided attention and quick reaction times. Running simulators instead give you the opportunity to absorb a game’s world at a much slower pace.


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Running simulator games usually tend to have a compelling narrative that covers thoughtful and provocative human stories. Many of them take place in grounded and realistic environments, although there are some in fantastic locations that make traveling from point A to point B an absolute pleasure.

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10/10 Tacoma

After the critically acclaimed Gone Home, Fulbright decided to expand his narrative game repertoire with Tacoma. Instead of spending time in an abandoned family home, this time you must explore an empty space station set in the near future and unravel the mystery of what happened to the once-populated and bustling high-tech facility.

You must observe the surveillance holograms of the station’s past residents by fast-forwarding and rewinding these echoes of the past in a fully explorable 3D space. The narrative is deeply compelling as it offers poignant commentary on the nature of humanity and the advance of advanced technology in the not too distant future.

9/10 night in the forest

Full of personality, the anthropomorphic animals you meet and talk to in Night in the Woods play a huge role in the unfolding story of this whimsical and touching 2D narrative exploration game.

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You take the reins from Mae Borowski, a college dropout returning to her hometown to reconnect with those she left behind. There are light platforming mechanics and mini-games to dig into, but you’ll mainly be running around town, socializing with friends, and talking to a whole cast of friendly characters. It’s a great time with a surprisingly painful and melancholy message.

8/10 into a dream

Into A Dream is another side-scrolling 2D adventure that contains heavy themes and touchy subjects. You must penetrate Luke Williams’ mind to save him at a time of personal crisis and free him from severe clinical depression.

You explore memories and dreams that point to what caused Luke’s suffering, and must speak to the people of his past to access darker and more impactful memories in order to piece it all together. The graphics are simple but colorful and blend well with the beautiful ethereal soundtrack that makes for an unforgettable and unique experience.

7/10 discolored

A running sim with puzzle-solving elements, Discolour is short and sweet – that’s what you’d get if you combined the intriguing 1998 film Pleasantville with the thematically disturbing puzzle-solving escapades of a portal game.

You investigate a lonely street restaurant that has lost its color and it’s your job to figure out why and how to bring it back. You must find out what happened to this quaint little eatery by collecting and piecing together various clues and mysteries. There’s a clever color-based puzzle system to uncover new parts of the level to explore. It’s rewarding to unravel the head-scratching mystery within, and it’s an entertaining and abstract take on the genre.

6/10 death stranding

Hideo Kojima’s post-apocalyptic world in Death Stranding is oddly beautiful and dangerously quiet. You play Sam Bridges, a glorified delivery boy, played by Norman Reedus, who must deliver packages to connect disparate communities separated by great distances.

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You must maintain a delicate balance by carrying as many boxes as possible while managing your stance and composure as you navigate highly unpredictable and rugged terrain. More mechanics than walking are offered here, including stealth and combat with the invisible monsters that roam the lands, and a story to rival Kojima’s best.

5/10 east shade

Eastshade is a wonderfully relaxing and slow-paced game in which you walk through a beautiful and colorful world creating enchanting works of art in a scenic setting. As a traveling painter, you will encounter idyllic and lush landscapes where you can magically transfer what you see onto a blank canvas.

From there, you can sell these fantastic creations to a variety of colorful characters, all of whom are animal-human hybrids with adorable personalities. It offers a more peaceful type of experience than your usual fantasy offerings, and the vivid vistas are enchantingly beautiful and a treat for the eyes.

4/10 The unfinished swan

Before making the fantastic What Remains of Edith Finch, Giant Sparrow came out with The Unfinished Swan, a weird and wonderful narrative exploration game set on a literal blank canvas. As a ten-year-old orphan, you must chase a magically painted swan into a fairytale kingdom, discovering a story of sorrow and loss along the way.

The mechanic is wonderfully unique, requiring you to slosh around large amounts of black paint to reveal the barren environment, which at first is just a plain white void of nothingness. As you progress and discover new environments, you’ll unlock more traversal options and meet interesting characters. Its cheerfully simplified gameplay is accompanied by wonderful graphics and a gorgeous musical score.

3/10 Trip

Journey often comes up for discussion when debating whether games can be considered art. Journey was ahead of its time in many ways, offering players a refreshingly unique way to interact with and explore the world, and boy what a beautiful world this is.

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The goal is simple – get to the top of the looming mountain on the horizon. There’s a lot to experience on this quaint little adventure. Solve puzzles, collect symbols and glyphs, and explore every nook and cranny to uncover the game’s intriguing mysteries. It’s a surprisingly emotional experience that makes you appreciate the here and now. After all, it is the journey and not the goal.

2/10 deduction

Abzu has the same art director as Journey and it shows. Instead of bright and expansive desert landscapes, descend instead into the vast deep underworld of an endless ocean. There’s no big goal here other than digging deeper and deeper to see what you can discover.

You can gently interact with the aquatic wildlife and move with the movement of the sea while discovering collectibles, solving smaller puzzles, and discovering subtle clues to environmental storytelling. It can be difficult to keep focus as it’s a graphic treat with stunningly beautiful, vibrant images.

1/10 What remains of Edith Finch

Although set in a somewhat “normal” family estate, there’s a lot more to discover in What Remains of Edith Finch than meets the eye. Possibly one of the most critically acclaimed and acclaimed running simulators of all time, the game blends an intriguing narrative with fantastic environmental storytelling.

The game tells the story of Edith, a young woman who returns to her childhood home to reveal who fell victim to the family’s ill-fated generational curse. You’ll go through each family member’s individual stories in unique reality-bending ways, like navigating through a comic book-style horror movie, taking control of various wild animals, and even giving a nice hint at isometric RPGs. It’s one of the most beautifully told stories ever told in a video game.

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