The concept of a walking simulator is taken to its most extreme application in Causeway – in the best possible sense. It’s a beautiful little game in which you leave home and try to make it on your own two feet. This would be scary thing to do at the best of times but it’s made worse by the fact that you’ve clearly left on very bad terms with your parents. Anyone can identify with the situation of the protagonist will get all the feels from Causeway, and you probably will even if you haven’t been in a similar situation.
The whole game plays out on a foggy, sandy strip of beach. Gentle waves push at either side of the shoreline. The story is told by picking up short written messages in bottles as you walk this strip of sand. After reading the message (which presents you with some background information and a life choice) you must choose one of two paths presented in front of you. These paths represent different paths your life could take and you will need to decide which direction you want to go.
Perhaps the most charming things about the game are the items from your life that litter the mini islands where you must stop and make your choices. These reflect previous choices and you begin to see how your life is playing out through these subtle changes. Did you choose the ask the beautiful woman on a date? Well you can see it turned out well because that shabby little dining table you’ve had since the beginning of the game now has two place settings on it instead of one.
Not all the paths lead you where you might think and the game incentivises you to replay it by keeping you wondering where your life may have gone had you made a different choice. That can only be a good thing as the game itself it only around five minutes long. You could easily spend six or seven times that much time trying to play the game in different ways.
The beautiful piano music that accompanies the game is a very nice touch. Not laid on too thick, gentle, and slightly haunting but not in an intimidating way, it adds weight to your choices.
The best thing about Causeway is that it leaves you with some pretty deep thoughts about your own life. It resurfaces all of those ‘what if’ moments you’ve come across so far in your life. It makes you think about the paths in your life that you might have seemed inevitable at the time but weren’t. It’s a joy to play but the highest praise I can offer Causeway is that it will leave an impact on you.
You can download Causeway here.
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