With the summer now officially in full swing and the pesky coronavirus not backing down, here’s a bit of indoor fun (as our options are limited) to make things a bit easier on the mind and soul. I present to you Walk Master by Two Men and a Dog, a walking action simulator and a game I consider to be one of the best time-wasters these days.
Learning how to walk
The gameplay is simple enough. Here’s the gist: you control a character on stilts (you start off with a goat) who needs to traverse a terrain safely, avoiding random obstacles along the way. You do this by simply but carefully swiping right with each step. And that’s it – time your swipes to get to the finish line while avoiding a fall in a piranha-infested pond or falling off a seesaw or just tripping up. It’s a really basic concept with an impeccable execution that surfaces as you progress.
Like most good games, Walk Master is easy to grasp and hard to master as the difficulty level rises incrementally. The challenges become more complex, requiring better timing and more precision to pass through – just enough to make you play and play and play (and then play some more) without feeling like you finished an Olympics-sized course in composure.
The game flows smoothly thanks to this seamless increase in trickiness, managing to circumvent any form of frustration which is normally a thing with walking simulators. It helps that levels contain checkpoints so do-overs are not a big deal. As a bonus, you can compete against other people via achievements and leaderboards.
The Finnish-based studio really took the hyper-casual mechanics to a new level of fun with a heavy focus on content and animations, and it shows. You can unlock all kinds of wacky characters (up to 24 distinct ones), from a fly-like creature aptly called Goldblum to a paperclip that resembles the iconic Clippy and virtually anything in between. In addition, you can use in-game currency to customize your characters with different hats, accessories, and stilts.
It’s all packaged in cartoon-like visuals reminding of one of those late 90s Cartoon Network shows. The game looks lovely whether you prefer your gaming in portrait or landscape (both options are available) and will surely appeal to even the aesthetically-demanding casual gamers.
Hours of entertainment guaranteed
I normally don’t mention the monetization aspect when writing ‘Game app of the month’ posts but this time, I have to commend the frequency of the ads. A flurry of advertisements is usually the biggest complaint of any mobile game that is free to download. People don’t understand that ads are one of the foremost ways for mobile gaming studios to earn money and continue doing what they love. Naturally, some go overboard in their ad-based monetization approach but not Walk Master.
It manages to hold off being aggressive and pushing too many ads in succession, particularly when you have to give a particular section another go. In fact, I dare even say that the ads felt like a welcome break from the game to get your mind ready for the next level.
I could sing plenty of praises for Walk Master but you should really try it out for yourself as it’s one of those unique games in the mobile games landscape. Rarely has there been a game where something so basic was accurately captured and successfully translated into a digital form. Properly gamifying a basic human action such as walking is no small feat, and I can only hope more people do such quick, simple, yet incredibly fun games in which you can immediately see the effort that was put into them. The guys and gals from Two Men and a Dog definitely mastered that aspect with Walk Master. Kudos – I’m waiting in line for the next game!
Walk Master is available via Google Play and App Store.