Walkerman – Act 1

Score: 8.0
Ages: 13+
2017

Walkerman is a fantasy visual novel with a rich world and a cavalcade of interesting characters. The first act also includes a short prologue to the story, introducing the protagonist and walkermen in general. They are monster hunters, which is a dangerous job with bad pay and no recognition. But someone has to do it.

The main character is a newbie in his job and naive in his understanding. The society in Walkerman is filled with inequality, strict gender roles, fanatical religion and so on. The main character is like any other kid – pretty much brainwashed – but he has some curiosity and compassion, so I’m hoping the later chapters will offer more and more choices towards understanding and accepting all the different people and views.

The art in the game is lovely: beautiful backgrounds and attractive sprites who still fit in the world. Even though the first chapter introduces a lot of different characters, they are all interesting, representing different nations and places in society. Several of them (male or female) certainly possess a lot of potential to become romantic interests, but the first chapter doesn’t really have any romance in it.

The monsters are definitely creepy and protagonist is still far from being a hero. The danger feels real for the player.

The game has its own mechanic for the monster encounters: a grid with a turn-based combat, which is handled mainly by puzzle-solving. Certain monsters react differently to various items, for example turning away from them or picking them up.

The first chapter only introduces two combat settings and an item shop I still found very confusing. I’m quite unsure if this mechanic will seriously add anything to the game, but it doesn’t at least seem bad enough to make it any worse.

Similarly it’s still quite impossible to say how the choices will affect the later chapters, but some of them already had a clear impact on the monster encounters.

For some reason in Steam there’s nudity and sexual content tags for this game – probably just because it’s a visual novel. Walkerman with its themes is definitely not for kids, but so far there is zero sexual content, unless a character with some cleavage counts.

I finished the prologue and the first chapter in four hours, so this should be a lengthy game when all of its five chapters are ready. The second chapter is still in production, and I am waiting for it eagerly. Walkerman’s rich world and characters lured me in, and I’m expecting even greater things from the story’s continuation.

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