About the Game

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Released

June 18, 2020

Platforms

PC | Xbox

Developer

Jason Oda

Price

US$ 19.99

(MAY VARY PER LOCATION)

Game Description

Locked in the darkness of a coma, you dream. In the recesses of your mind, voices call you home, beckoning you towards the light and the void beyond. But it is not your time. Not yet.
Waking is a uniquely personal journey of self reflection and remembrance combining third person exploration and real-world meditation. Traverse the twisted pathways of your mind in a quest to wake, and make choices that
…. (continues…)

Game Links

Website
Fanpage
Instagram
Twitter
Stores: Microsoft  |  Steam

Step 1: Playing Conditions

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Read below the game basic characteristics. If it is something you see yourself playing, move on to Step 2: Graphics & Sound.

Genre

Action | Adventure


 

Mode

PVE


 

Victory Condition

Complete story missions.

Gameplay Overview

Waking is a gamified SELF-REFLECTION EXERCISE, that has 2 big parts: gameplay and meditation. Being the main character of the story, you will fight your way out of a coma by killing mobs and rebuilding memories. You will run, pick-up objects, aim, shoot, and continuously select different spells to fight.
As objectives are completed, a voice asks you to CLOSE YOUR EYES and invites you to travel deeply into YOUR PERSONAL MEMORIES. Waking is not a traditional action-adventure gaming experience. To experience the game as it is meant to be you need to be opened to a self-reflection experience.

Step 2: Graphics & Sound

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Watch 5 to 10 minutes of any video below. If you like what you see and hear, move on to Step 3: Game Evaluation.

Waking Let's Play 10 minutes
Waking Gameplay Session During Game Review Process
How to Beat Fate for Page 8 | Loved Ones Palace
Waking Gameplay Session During Game Review Process

Step 3: Game Evaluation

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Build your expectations about the game by learning what it offers and how was The Partisan Spy’s experience.

USER INTERFACE

Game UI Rated as Questionable

​The game interface feels OUTDATED and impacts the pace of the gameplay. From the game menus to the HUD numerous things BREAK THE FLOW of the game combat.
For example, to use abilities you need to browse and select from a list. As the game progress, new abilities are added to a point of having more than 20 options. So, the further you go, the more menu scrolling has to be done.

STORY

Game STORY Rated as Game Basis

The story is the HEART of Waking and your personal memories fill in its gaps. Names of spells, companions, relics, and memories are all given by you. As mentioned before, part of the story is told as your eyes are closed and you are REVISITING YOUR OWN MEMORIES.
The other part is told by cutscenes and a voice-over that speaks an unknown language, so some reading is necessary.

COMMUNITY POTENTIAL

Game Community Potential Rated as absent

As a PVE game and not seen by the community as a big title, Waking shows NO POTENTIAL to create and sustain a player base. The roguelike elements of the game and the non-linear level progression makes a bit hard to create and share walkthrough content. Beyond that, the game is based on exploring your deepest thoughts and not everyone is willing to share or talk about these kinds of experiences.

GAMEPLAY MOOD TRACKER

Waking 25 hours Mood Tracker

MOOD ANALYSIS

Game MOOD Rated as normal

​Waking is a great example of how the gameplay experience influences players’ involvement in a game story. In the first hours, when gameplay was being learned and everything was new my connection to the game was huge. But AS GAMEPLAY BECAME REPETITIVE it slowly pushed me away from the self-reflection experience. The opposite probably wouldn’t happen as the gameplay can sustain average storytelling.

GRIND FEELING

Game Grind Feeling Rated as Secondary

The grind feeling starts being present after you figure out the game and all its variations. It becomes REPETITIVE FROM MID-GAME TO THE END as it lacks novelty in most of its elements. Enemies are the same from start to end, abilities and stages environment have a really small variation or none variation. The roguelike element of the game counts towards the feeling as death means restarting the stage.

LIKED THE MOST

The beginning of the game was really intense, it took me to special memories.


 

HATED THE MOST

Having to scroll up and down in search of abilities and items over and over again. Item wheels could make the game much more dynamic.


Reserved Space for Supporters

EVALUATION SUMMARY

 

When thinking of buying a game, the first question asked will possibly be: “IS IT FUN?“. Fun is the core attribute for any game, regardless of its genre.

Not for Waking.

Even before the first minutes of gameplay, FUN IS A BIG QUESTION MARK.

 

Waking is about SELF-REFLECTION and that’s the first thing to consider about this game. Self-reflection is not a common habit and CAN BE A PAINFUL PROCESS. There is merit for gamifying this experience as not everyone is open to search for help.

 

Waking feels more like a THERAPY EXPERIENCE than a gaming experience. Knowing this, making a choice is really simple.

 

Ask yourself what are you searching for: a therapy gaming experience or a fun gaming experience. There is no right or wrong answer, this choice is just about you.

Review Summary: Cons, Neutrals and Pros for Waking

Choices & Advice

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DON’T BUY IT


IF YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR AN TRADITIONAL ACTION-ADVENTURE GAME EXPERIENCE AND IS NOT OPEN TO MEDITATION.

SPY ADVICE

WAIT TO BUY


​IF YOU WANT TO TRY A GAMIFIED SELF-REFLECTION EXPERIENCE. PROBABLY, THIS IS A GAME THAT WILL SOON BE IN A SALE.

BUY NOW


IF YOU FELL IN NEED OF SELF-REFLECTION EXPERIENCE AND SEE GAMING AS AN ALTERNATIVE.

GAME LIFETIME


GAME CAN BE COMPLETED IN 25 TO 35 HOURS.

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