Ashwalkers (PC) Review

Monotoned survival

I’ve played my fair share of survival games. While a few standout to me, the majority of them are sometimes not my jam. They sometimes are far too cryptic or too complex in nature when I’m trying to balance all these different stats on top of exploration. That’s not to say I’m not willing to try one with an open mind. Same goes for Ashwalkers. What Ashwalkers does is go light on the survival and lean more on the storytelling and choices. This is more my style.

Players control a band of explorers that are on a mission to find the great dome. This supposed dome is the ultimate safe haven from the post-apocalyptic world that is now completely covered in ash. They must work together to traverse the harsh environment while trying not to starve, overextend, or get killed on the journey there.

MSRP: $11.99
Price I’d pay: $11.99
Tagline: Monotoned survival

Developed by some of the original people from Dontnod, creators of Life is Strange and Vampyr, Ashwalkers itself is a management style game. Players will have to keep up with certain stats for all the party. This includes hunger, tiredness, health, and morale. Letting these get too low will result in poor chances when it comes to choices made or even result in the death of a party member. Each party member represents a style of choice. There’s the strategic character, the diplomatic character, the brute force character and so on. While the choices made during encounters may show different immediate results, the entire party will begin to lean in a certain direction both in how they handle situations as well as how some encounters will view the party.

The actual gameplay is rather simple. Players click on an area in real time and watch the party walk when they clicked. Players can interact with things that may add to their inventory like food, wood, and medicine. They can also choose to set up camp and assign party members to tasks like looking for resources, guarding the camp, resting, or talking. All of which have consequences both good and bad.

Continuing on the path will eventually lead to events that take place whether it be running into hostile creatures, meeting a stranger, or taking on a war tribe. How players choose to respond will play out differently based on their stats as well as the way the entire party leans. Think of this as like an interactive text adventure with some minimal survival mechanics thrown in.
Visually, Ashwalkers can be really nice. It doesn’t have the insane realistic graphics, but what it does have a nice black and white hue that fits in with the ashy world and the desolate feel of the entire experience. It was almost like I was reading a black and white graphic novel at times.

What I didn’t think was so great was the controls. More particularly how the controls work with the camera angles. Sure, clicking on an area and having my party walk to it was fine, but not being able to move the camera proved bothersome when the angle provided wasn’t showing much of anything. There were multiple times I found myself wondering where my actual characters were on screen or when they were actually going. Along with that, there were a few hitches that cropped up as well. Twice the game froze on me and I ended up losing progress also, there were times the audio would just cut out completely almost like I had turned off my speakers.

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.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Nice choices
  • Interesting look
  • Simple mechanics
  • Camera angles can be bothersome
  • A few audio glitches and crashes
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Drew is the Community Manager here at ZTGD and his accent simply woos the ladies. His rage is only surpassed by the great one himself and no one should stand between him and his Twizzlers.