Ashwalkers – Review
Follow Genre: Survival adventure game
Developer: Nameless XIII
Publisher: Dear Villagers, 24 Entertainment, Plug In Digital
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Ashwalkers – Review

Site Score
Good: Great storytelling, Simple mechanics
Bad: Sound effects aren't great, Controls tend to be hard to work with
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Ashwalkers is indie studio Nameless XIII’s first game. This title is a survival adventure game that focuses heavily on the narrative and lets choices dictate the flow of the game. Its unique visuals alone set it apart from others in the genre, but aside from that, the developers claim the game has over thirty endings and an intriguing mix of gameplay and visual novel-style storytelling. This made us excited to check it out. It’s time to wander into the ash-stricken wasteland in hopes of finding salvation!


An opening cutscene greets us as soon as we start the game, laying out the world we’ll be playing in. Over 200 years into the future, the world has fallen prey to a volcanic event of post-apocalyptic proportions, killing much of the human population and leaving the Earth a desolate wasteland. Ash rains down from the sky constantly and it’s hard to even breathe let alone travel in these conditions. Many survivors have taken shelter in a place called the Citadel, but with the structure getting more fragile by the day, it’s doubtful how long the safe haven will last. Thus a group of four brave explorers sets out to find a fabled Dome that is said to be humanity’s last refuge. Your ownly way of finding this place is by following mysterious beacons you can find on your travels.

How you’ll find it – and if you even do – will be dependent on your choices. Each playthrough takes about three hours to complete and with over thirty endings, you can keep going for quite a while. The story is delivered through text segments interspersed between the gameplay.


Ashwalkers uses an interesting, monochrome art style. The only pop of color you usually get is red, which coincidentally happens to be the color of blood. Make of that what you will. Its third-person POV makes the game easy to play since exploration is an important element. The characters are nicely designed and the landscapes you travel across in search of The Dome are as well. A lot of the more eventful plot scenes are only told through text, however, so there are not a lot of animations to be found. It should also be noted that the game isn’t optimized to play in the Switch’s handheld mode, as the entire UI scales down to a size that is too small to be legible.


If you’re expecting fun upbeat tunes while trekking across a destroyed version of Earth, you’ve come to the wrong place. This game has a haunting soundtrack, fitting the ominous and bleak atmosphere perfectly. It’s a bit of a shame that the sound effects disturb this fragile atmosphere rather often since they’re disruptive and sound as if they come from an open-source database. There’s no voice acting in the game either, meaning you’ll be doing a fair amount of reading throughout your playthroughs.


Ashwalkers is a survival game centered around plot more than gameplay. A lot of the story is delivered through text in what are graphic novel-reminiscent sections, making the actual gameplay feel more like side-dressing to the main event. Consequentially, it shouldn’t surprise that the game is pretty simple and not very difficult despite being a survival game. You will have to keep an eye on your group’s stats and make sure you have resources, but the game is slow-paced and there’s no combat.

While you’re walking, you can explore locations and scout for resources. Gathering these takes energy, so you’ll have to cycle between your characters to make sure everybody picks up some of the work to avoid overworking one person. Once it’s time to rest, you can set up camp. There you can light a fire to warm up and divide up food and medication as you see fit, keeping each scout’s condition in mind. There are also tasks around the campsite you need to do, such as standing watch. Alternatively, your characters can sleep there to become more well-rested, or they can talk to each other. The latter isn’t only great for their emotional stability but this is also how you can unlock more lore about the characters and their interpersonal relationships.

In between gameplay sections, you’ll have the plot which plays out in text segments with choices. Choices are usually more or less dictated by the character’s morals and who you choose to follow. You’ll be able to approach a lot of things differently, be it by adhering to a cautious approach, an empathic one, or by opting for aggression. The game only ends prematurely if three out of your four scouts die, so it’s entirely possible to lose a character or two along the way. This combined with said choices makes for the game’s diverse array of outcomes. Once you beat the game in normal mode, you can also try the custom mode with your own presets, if you want to try your hand at surviving under different (harsher) conditions.


Ashwalkers is a unique experience that certainly fits an indie dev’s first venture. Some minor issues such as weird sound effects and finicky controls aside, its laid-back but interesting gameplay accompanies its beautiful world-building and narrative. Ashwalkers is sure to be enjoyed by people who like simpler survival games or story-heavy games.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Ashwalkers - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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