Critical Play: Walking Simulators — Allie Littleton

I played The Sailor’s Dream, a very pleasing and relaxing game. Like most walking sim games, the mechanics of this game are simple – the player swipes across the screen to sail from one landmark to the next and swipes down to “set anchor” in a specific spot and go visit it. Inside each landmark are various rooms to be explored, each with items that tell parts of an overarching narrative.

In this game, there are no real shortcuts – you go through each room to get to the next and discover each part of the story. Since the story is related to the sea/sailors, the setting helps the player fully take in the narrative. It is also much easier to feel immersed in the story when you feel like you are present in front of the objects in the story.

This game is simple but draws on many types of fun, including sensation (the setting is beautiful and peaceful), fantasy, narrative, and discovery. The mechanics of sailing/walking make it easy to feel a sense of discovery and, as previously mentioned, aid in the narrative. The setting and content of the story contribute more to the sensation and fantasy, but just the simple actions a player can take to explore really drive the story of the game. I am usually not a huge fan of sim games, but I really enjoyed getting lost in this peaceful and beautiful world for an hour or so!

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.