TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 37

Thread: Recommend a first person, non-violent walking sim

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas

    Recommend a first person, non-violent walking sim

    My kids were introduced to gaming on the Wii, but they've suddenly become really interested in the PC games I play after they go to bed, and they want to play them too. They seem to be really keen on first-person exploration. The problem is that the first-person games in my library that have hubs to explore also have a lot of bad guys. Even if you play as a pacifist, there is more violence, attitude, and strong language than I'm comfortable with at their age. I think they would like a first person walking sim, with some easy quests and puzzles, set in a detailed world with NPCs to interact with. And I think they would appreciate a near real-world setting rather than fantasy or cartoon animation. Any recommendations? Or should I just get The Sims?

  2. #2
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I thought Firewatch was all around excellent, as was The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, though the latter does have some violence, and a bit of disturbing imagery. I've heard a lot of good things about What Remains of Edith Finch as well.

    There are also games like Night in the Woods and Oxenfree. I wouldn't classify them as walking sims exactly, but they're cut from the same cloth.

    Oh, and if you feel the need to go for the Sims for some reason, go with Cities Skylines instead. Kids love towns!

  3. #3
    Firewatch? That does have some uncomfortable scenes and themes. Gone Home, Edith Finch (can be sad and disturbing too), Proteus. Ethan Carter – nope, too much crime/horror. Talos Principle? Might be too hard with the puzzles at some point, same thing with The Witness.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I guess Portal is too complicated for the walking sim parts to really work? Slime Rancher might be fun to explore for a while even without the farming stuff. Similarly, Proteus or Flower might engage them for a bit. The Witness looks pretty, but the subject matter is probably a tad boring to kids.

    Can't really think of many first person games that aren't either horror or violent action.

  5. #5
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Firewatch? That does have some uncomfortable scenes and themes. Gone Home, Edith Finch (can be sad and disturbing too), Proteus. Ethan Carter – nope, too much crime/horror. Talos Principle?
    Firewatch and Gone Home do have their moments, but nothing a kid wouldn't see in your average 1980's era PG rated movie. Ethan Carter would probably be too much for a kid though, I'll admit. I thought back on it after my initial recommendation, and it does get really gory in places.

  6. #6
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I've only played a few minutes of Journey. Just to check it out. I want to play the game some time later. It seemed like a nice, friendly, bright game. A bit mysterious. Maybe I am completely wrong. Did others play it, and finish it ? I have no idea what the game is about. Would it be suitable for children ?

    Of course it's not first-person, there might not be NPCs to interact with, and it might lack other qualities that Heywood is asking for. But from the first few minutes that I played, I got the impression that it might be a nice game for kids.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 12th Aug 2019 at 20:49.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    If you don't mind introducing your kids to the equivalent of crack cocaine, maybe Minecraft?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and, if not recommend, then at least mention a game I haven't yet played myself, Eastshade. I've had it on my wish list for a while. One thing that makes me hesitate is the anthropomorphic animal NPCs, who might be a bit uncanny valley like, and the voice acting seems to be a little annoying in part. I have played their previous game, Leaving Lyndow and liked it, seeing past the NPCs, who were, in part, slightly creepy (something with their eyes), and it being a tad bit short. I really liked the exploration and environments, which is why I'm looking at Eastshade, which is in the same style and will have more exploration and interaction plus a painter mechanic.

    For a purer walking sim, maybe Shape of the World; no violence or strong themes, some, although limited, interaction with the creatures you meet (no spoken dialogue) and light puzzles (mostly exploration-based where you have to find the way forward) and some platforming. Patience and a drive to explore on your own is required. Might or might not be the best walking sim to start with for someone who is new to the genre.

    For any other FPEs I could recommend, they are probably either too dark or too empty for what you are looking for.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    What about Infra?

    First-person exploration game, a few puzzles, absolutely no violence (other than a few ways you can die.)
    Extremely long. I guess some of the readables later in the game do mention people dying in accidents IIRC.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Forgot to mention Aporia: Beyond The Valley; great exploration and light puzzles, although I played it some time ago, so my memory of it is a little foggy now.

    I'm seconding INFRA as it is one of the best exploration games (if not the best), although I'm not sure how kid-friendly it is as it does feature lots of drug-related humour. Also gets darker as it progresses. The first third is pretty mild, though, and all about the exploration.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Gone Home & What Remains of Edith Finch is made for teens/tweens.
    Minecraft has fan-made adventure maps, and a lot of them are basically walking sims geared towards a younger crowd. They're fun, but you have to do some digging to find good ones and you have to install them.

  12. #12
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    How old are these kids, heywood? As much as I love Firewatch and Gone Home, I'm not sure such story focused games will do much for young kids. Minecraft really is the obvious answer.

    Also:

    Free first person exploration games:
    Bernband
    The Endless Express
    Gravity Bone
    Transmission: Lost - kinda spooky

    Road trips:
    Jalopy - first person road trip adventure.
    Under the Sand - like a budget-version Jalopy.
    In Search of Paradise - oh hey how did this get in here

    edit: oh my god I almost forgot PET THE PUP AT THE PARTY
    Last edited by henke; 13th Aug 2019 at 02:19.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Mystic's Keep
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    I've only played a few minutes of Journey. Just to check it out. I want to play the game some time later. It seemed like a nice, friendly, bright game. A bit mysterious. Maybe I am completely wrong. Did others play it, and finish it ? I have no idea what the game is about. Would it be suitable for children ?

    Of course it's not first-person, there might not be NPCs to interact with, and it might lack other qualities that Heywood is asking for. But from the first few minutes that I played, I got the impression that it might be a nice game for kids.
    I've only finished it once, but I'd call it pretty kid friendly generally. It's not particularly long though, and designed to be played in one shot (it's about 2-3 hours). There are no real NPCs to speak of, but in a certain area another player will spontaneously show up. There's no way of communicating other than movement and a single cryptic symbol that you're randomly assigned, and you don't even find out their username until the very end. Flower (another game by the same developer which has already been mentioned) is also broadly similar in that it's definitely kid friendly, but it's not very gamey.

    Antichamber might be worth considering, but it's got many of the same pitfalls as other games mentioned here in that its puzzles can be quite dense, with the additional pitfall that the game is designed to be an incomprehensible surreal labyrinth. It has no violence of any kind, however. You can't even die- the worst thing that can happen is you get lost. In comparison (or by really any scale), Portal and Portal 2 would be a decent option just out of sheer accessibility.

    While it's not first person, A Hat in Time has a decent amount of exploration in a mostly kid friendly setting. There are some adult jokes here and there, but by and large I'd say that they'd fly over kids heads unnoticed. There's also one specific level (anyone who's played it knows what I'm talking about) which is decidedly more intense than the others, because it just turns into straight up survival horror. It's only a single level, though, and it is kind of optional.

    Also, though it may go without saying in this particular forum, the original Thief games wouldn't actually be all that bad of a starting point, with some parental discretion depending on how old the kids actually are. I was allowed to start playing them when I was 9 or 10 and I turned out alright. I'd watched my Dad play them when I was much younger as well. A few of the horror levels might be a little intense, but I got through them at that age. There's a few FMs that are exploration only out there, but if you have a little Dromed know-how, you could probably make custom versions of most of the levels enemy free and just let the kids rip through them unopposed.

    The Rollercoaster Tycoon games are neither first person nor exploration based, but I had a great time with them when I was getting into gaming at a young age. Planet Coaster is a more contemporary re-imagining which would work equally well. I also spent many hours in both Stronghold Crusader and Dungeon Keeper 2 at a fairly young age (I think maybe 7 or 8).

    Also, while this suggestion may sound silly, I did play Serious Sam in co-op with my Dad fairly young. It was my first FPS, and the relative simplicity in combination with its Hippie Mode (which turns all the gore into flowers and fruit) was just the right combination. It's also got some platforming and pseudo-exploration, and very little in the way of language or mature themes. In fact, I think Serious Sam is kind of the embodiment of immature themes. The Second Encounter has at least two fart jokes that I can think of offhand.

  14. #14
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Supraland sounds right up their street. I haven't played it, but every review I've read makes it out to be rather good. There is some fighting, but it's nothing you wouldn't see in a Saturday morning cartoon (cartoonish skeletons, etc.). If you're concerned about the amount of fighting, there's a pie chart at the end of this trailer (yes, really).



    Or if you really want pacifist puzzling, there's... hang on, let me rummage around the backlog - here we go:

    The Witness (possibly too difficult?)
    Rime (not first person, also tweeest ending)
    Flower (Epic store only, also a bit... flowery)
    Journey/Abzu (not first person, also fairly short, *Journey is an Epic store exclusive)
    Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (not first person; also features a lot of building and crafting stuff)
    FAR: Lone Sails (2.5D, but absolutely beautiful in a stark apocalyptic way, also possibly the best music in an indie game in ages)

    Out of the lot, Yonder's the one I'd say most fits your criteria - except it's third person.

    I'd also throw Quern and Aporia: Beyond the Valley out there, but they're very Myst-inspired and thus the puzzling may be too difficult depending on how old your kids are. If you feel that's not a problem, Obduction would also possibly beguile or bore them (or more probably, quantum superposit itself for the duration) accordingly.

    Oh yeah, also props to qolelis for mentioning Eastshade. It's a beautiful, easy-going game about finding things to paint photograph. It fits all of your criteria to a tee. Yes, it's a bit uncanny in its talking animals universe, but since when did any of us grow up with stories and art that weren't at least a bit weird?
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th Aug 2019 at 04:21.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by qolelis View Post
    Shape of the World
    Not a real world setting, though, and instead very stylised (flat-shaded).

    Quote Originally Posted by qolelis View Post
    Aporia: Beyond The Valley
    I just replayed it a bit and had forgotten how linear it is, not a lot of side-exploration and no creative climbing allowed at all -- which I think is a shame, because the environments really make you want to wander off before moving forward, so for exploration there are better games. No NPCs to speak of. Still beautiful, though.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: state of quantum entanglement
    Amazing no-one has mentioned Dear Esther here yet. Between the visuals, the ambient sound and the slow pace of the story I find it extremely meditative... and it does offer quite a lot of exploration potential, if only to find yet another bit of rock markings.

    That's all I've got as far as first-person games are concerned but I'll mention some more titles because they are IMHO definitely worth having a look at:

    - I would highly recommend Beyond Eyes. Absolutely beautiful, the core gameplay concept has been very nicely executed and while it is a bit sad at times, I have ultimately found it uplifting;

    - A Bird Story is pretty good too if you don't mind the retro graphics, although this one is more of an interactive story than an exploration game;

    - Somewhat surprisingly, I would say FEZ is in fact a pretty good exploration game - my son has been playing in this fashion and he really enjoys it. If you play it to finish rather than to find all the secrets the puzzles aren't that difficult and you can concentrate on taking the world in;

    - Finally, do keep Night in the Woods in mind because it is absolutely great. You might want to leave it for a bit later though, as there are some disturbing bits there.

  17. #17
    Noone mentioned it because it's not really for kids (they'll probably find it's literary bits pretentious).

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: state of quantum entanglement
    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Noone mentioned it because it's not really for kids
    Nor is Firewatch, or Gone Home for that matter.

  19. #19
    Gone Home actually is more for teens, Firewatch is a quite dark towards the end. Dear Esther is kind of the most obvious choice, at least video games history-wise, and that's why it wasn't mentioned. Sure, it was important at the time, but from today's perspective the pacing isn't its strongest suit (and from kids perspective I suspect it will be even more boring).

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Istanbul, Turkey
    I am surprised that no one has mentioned The Stanley Parable.

  21. #21
    Because that's a meta game joke about games that also gets quite dark at times?

  22. #22
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    It's a fun lead-in to meta jokes about gaming if the audience playing it already has some experience with gaming tropes. I wouldn't underestimate kids, because my 6-year old nephew was able to make sense of Opus Magnum's first set of puzzles (he's pretty damn smart), but The Stanley Parable's clearly aiming for a sort of cultural riffing that might not gel with a kid's expectations. It's a narrative without much in the way of play, puzzling, or NPCs.

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2019
    Location: Warrington, UK
    Depending on the age of your child I'd recommend Blackwood Crossing if they are pre-teens. It's an interesting game with a strong and easy to follow narrative.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    If you like the vaporwave aesthetic and don't mind a bit of meme humor, Broken Reality is a good one.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Memory of a broken dimension is another. That game is excellent. No violence in it at all.


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •