The Walk is a fitness game that came out in December. I picked it up right away, because it’s by Six to Start and Naomi Alderman, who also made Zombies, Run! (which I love). It’s got a similar philosophy behind it: activity and fitness motivated by story. That is, unsurprisingly, a motivation that works rather well for me. It also has many of the same voice actors, which gives it a nice familiar feel. No zombies in this one, but it’s a suspense thriller, so I’m still in.
Expectations are a little different for this game. Zombies, Run! is more of a workout app, where you set aside some time to go on a run. The Walk is more like a pedometer: it uses your fitness level for the entire day to progress through the story. One of the nice things is that you don’t have to listen to the story points right as they unlock. It works well for me, as I alternate between listening to them as soon as I can, and saving them up to blow through whole sections in one go.
There are also game play elements based on the map: you can choose different paths through the mission to open up collectables which are extra images that add to the world. There are also landscape features, which appear as small squares on the map when you’re in range of them. They usually have little text notes for the scenery, but are sometimes sound files with additional stories. At first the landscape features annoyed me: if you don’t happen to open the app while you’re in range, you can complete the episode with some missing. I’m a bit of a completionist, so I found that frustrating at first. I’ve pretty much gotten over it. I don’t know if they actually increased the range at which the features appear (it feels like it), or I just started checking the app more, but I don’t miss as many as I did at the start. Apparently some of them also depend on the path you take, so I’ve accepted that I’ll have to do some maps more than once (though four times for the one I just couldn’t catch was irritating).
The only thing I’m not a fan of so far is the challenges. They’re levels with a twenty-four hour time limit, and you draw your own map to try and hit as many points as possible. There are absolutely not story sections (that I’ve found so far, anyway), in the challenge maps, and the few interesting points you open up aren’t really worth it in my opinion. I find them to be an arbitrary twenty-four hour delay in my story progression, and that grates on me. I know I could just draw myself a really short map and get it over with, and I might start doing that now that I’m into part two, but again, completionist. But when I hit the delay before they release part two, I was starting a challenge right before doing a run, and it seemed to get me through them. I might just save them up and complete them after I’ve finished the story.
The Walk is available for both iPhone and Android, and I’m glad part two came out already. I really didn’t want to be waiting for months to find out what happened next!