Ashes – Review
Follow Genre: Walking Sim, Adventure, Action, Indie
Developer: WindLimit
Publisher: WindLimit
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Ashes – Review

Site Score
Good: Atmospheric, Walking Sim is mixed up with puzzles and combat, Easy enough for a casual playthrough, Voice-over
Bad: Slow story build-up, Not likely to be replayed, No sense of exploration, No manual saves
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Ashes is a first-person narrative walking sim that is mixed up with melee combat and casual puzzles. The game is a short experience that can be enjoyed in one sitting where you explore a dungeon and be immersed in the adventure and the character’s story. Uncover the mystery of your lost memories, your past, and how the hell you ended up in a prison cell of an abandoned castle.


You play as a man who wakes up in an eerie, medieval dungeon. You feel lost, confused, and are missing any memory of your past and how you got there. With nothing but only a headache, you walk out of your prison cell and progress through the dungeon, slowly finding your way out of this dark forsaken place. Along the way, you get your memories back, unraveling the mystery behind this strange situation. Your goal is getting clear and you’re now set on escaping the castle so you can finally be reunited with your wife and daughter. Alas, your journey won’t be that easy.

The storyline is discovered through the man’s narration only. While traveling through the filthy dungeons and rubbles of an abandoned castle, the character will occasionally tell his thoughts out loud. Since there’s no other way to discover the story besides his narration, his history is being told quite literally which makes it feel impersonal and hard to relate to. Even though the voice-over sounds genuine enough, the content of the story still makes it feel forced and stiff.


For an indie game by a small game studio, the visuals are quite impressive; if we look past the menu and its options, which look as if rapidly designed in 5 minutes. The in-game graphics/lighting, however, are very well done. Since the game is heavily based on narrative and atmosphere, it’s a big deal to be able to create the right ambiance and actually succeed in this. True, it could use more polishing and some finishing touches, but besides that, there’s not much to remark on.


Besides the very dramatic voice-acting, there’s nothing that truly stands out. The game has everything from voice-over to sound effects, but it lacks a memorable soundtrack. At least there was some atmospheric background sound to fill the silence. It also helps bring out the ambiance of the game.


For mainly being a walking sim, the gameplay of Ashes is fairly straightforward since there is not much to it. The controls and the gameplay are pretty easy to figure out, and navigating is quite easy. You basically just follow a given path and go from save point to save point. This sounds monotonous, but Ashes is, however, still adventurous enough to play because the game mixes up exploring with some action sequences such as platforming, melee combat, and puzzles.

It’s nice to have a bit of a mix from different game genres, making the game less dull and repetitive. Still, it feels like it’s lacking something and still quite dull and repetitive. Perhaps it’s because there’s barely a challenge in anything that the game offers. The melee fighting exists by just attacking and blocking the same type of enemy, the puzzle-solving is mostly logical/obvious, and collecting skulls is as easy as picking flowers in a blooming meadow (if you’re into collecting and game achievements, there’s no other purpose besides that).

There’s also barely to no exploration in the whole game. There’s nothing to discover – except the 25 skulls you can collect throughout the game. So basically, you can just run through the game, making it a very short game to play through. It’s even possible to play it in one short sitting, depending on how advanced you are at PC gaming.

Personally, the platforming part of the game was unnecessary. It was a hassle to do some specific platforming when you’re locked in the first-person view while you have to perfectly time yourself to press the keyboard keys for a perfect jump (shift for running + space for jumping). If you would miss your landing spot and fall down, you had to painstakingly go through the whole part you already went through, to get back to the point you fell from. This also goes for dying. This is due to the game’s autosaves that simultaneously work as a check-point. There are no manual saves. So, you can’t just load up a save file and start again from where you want. Also, if you would go back to a previous area, you would also activate that previous check-point. Your progress isn’t lost, but you do need to travel through everything again to get back to where you were.


Ashes is a short game that doesn’t have a lot of content, but just enough to play through it once. The story builds up very slowly and the narration wasn’t so enjoyable. It was hard to fully get into it and relate to the character because of the stiff and literal storytelling. The game, however, does easily achieve in bringing out the ambiance that it sets out to do with its impressive graphics. The controls and the gameplay are pretty easy to figure out and quite obvious for an avid PC gamer. That is why the game is recommended for beginners who are still learning the ropes. Ashes is also just barely interesting enough to play because of its mix in game genres. Without this, it would be very boring and repetitive.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Ashes – Review, 5.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

“Keep your friends close, but your memes even closer”.

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