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Walden, a game (XONE cover
Game Box forWalden, a game (XONE)

Walden, a game

Unusual adventure game with survival elements created by Game Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California.

Adventure | FPP | survival | indie games | experimental/art | exploration games

Walden, a game Release Date







Walden, a game is a unique narrative game with elements of survival. The title was created at the University of Southern California as the work of Game Innovation Lab, led by Tracy Fullerton. The project met with considerable media interest and was awarded at the Games for Change Festival 2017 in the categories Game of the Year and Most Significant Impact.


In Walden, a game we play the role of Henry David Thoreau, an American philosopher from the 19th century, who stayed in 1845-1847 near Lake Walden. During his two-year stay, Thoreau considered various issues and contemplated nature, including his experiences in a book entitled Walden. The game is an approximation of his views on simple living, peace, independence, and opposition to blind progress.


Playing Walden, a game is based on two contradictory concepts. On the one hand, we have typical survival activities that boil down to taking care of the basic needs of the hero. So we have to build a hut, find food, water, and appropriate clothing. However, too much devotion to this segment of the game will cause the world to start losing colors and the music to calm down. This is the result of declining inspiration, and maintaining it involves exploring the area and experiencing various things: contact with animals, the presence of sounds of nature or civilization, finding and reading books left by Ralph Waldo Emerson (mentor of Thoreau), etc. By the way, we discover secret locations and objects, and all the activities bring us closer to the philosophy contained in Walden.

Technical aspects and other

Walden, a game is available via (PC version) or PlayStation Store (release on PlayStation 4). The title has a predetermined playtime of six hours, which is the equivalent of one year in the game world.

The game employs photorealistic graphics created with the use of the popular Unity Engine, but without exaggerated waterworks and not as great as in high-budget productions. During the game, we are accompanied by calming music composed by Michael Sweet. An additional attraction is the presence of actor Emile Hirsch, who lent his voice to the main character.

Game mode: single player  

Age restrictions Walden, a game: Good for all ages.

Walden, a game System requirements

PC / Windows

PC / Windows

  • Minimum:
  • Dual Core 2.4 GHz
  • 8 GB RAM
  • graphic card 1 GB GeForce GTX 560 or better
  • 2 GB HDD
  • Windows 7/8/10
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