Thursday, July 04, 2013


Walk It Out: Continuing Impressions

It's been a couple weeks since I started Walk It Out.  Of course, the question with a game/program like this is whether it will keep you going in the long run.  So yeah.  Here are my continuing impressions.

Right from the start, I've been concentrating on building bridges, opening paths, and unlocking new songs.  Taking 10,000 steps a day, I've got the whole island opened up and 95 of 120 songs.  So, is the game still interesting now that I've completed so many of my goals?  Well, so far yes!  I still spot the odd CD here and there that I've missed, but most of my steps have been going toward building landmarks around the island.  I walk around wherever it seems to be the most interesting, and whenever I see a landmark I can afford, I pop it.  Mostly these have been minor details -- trees, street signs -- so now and then I stick a few multi-hundred step projects into the queue.  And the island's starting to look more and more alive.  Instead of just wandering around blank landscapes searching for green bubbles, the landscape is starting to look more like a place that's worth exploring in its own right.  So that's fun.

It helps that there's a wide selection of music to walk to.  Some of the users on Amazon wish that there was more of one style or another, but I'm fine with it.  Even if I wouldn't normally listen to this kind of music, it's great to walk to, and some of them have become genuine earworms.  If I had one complaint, it's that I wish there were more fast songs.  Now that I've acclimated to the exercise a bit, I have to cut songs out of my playlist to keep from getting bored.  So far, I've axed everything below 120 beats a minute, and I have a feeling I'm going to need to cut even deeper soon.  And that sucks, because I want to exercise for about an hour every day, so I don't want to cut it down so far that I have to listen to repeats.

One song I won't cut is Clumsy.  What can I say?  The girl can't help it.

One thing I didn't quite understand when I first started was how the system clock affects things.  Certain event capsules -- the CDs, for instance -- only appear at certain times of the day.  I didn't realize this until I tried aiming at a CD I was passing only to see it vanish as the clock rolled over.  Kind of a pain for someone who wants to unlock everything when their schedule only allows them to play at certain times.  But hey!  There's a "magic clock" that allows you to change the time of day without changing your system settings!  All you have to do is... wander around the island and find all of the pieces.  Which, incidentally, only show up at certain times of the day.

Between these time shenanigans and the dwindling number of CDs that I still need to find, I've found myself wishing that the developers had given us some way of programming the course of our walk and then just following along it.  I doubt they intended us to play the game by opening up the map and figuring out how to get to the next CD every time we found one.  I even ended the game early one day because I realized that there were no more CDs to find at that time and it made me feel demotivated.

But then I think to myself, why do I want this experience to be over so soon?  What will be left to keep me motivated once everything's unlocked?  So I continue to meet the game on its own terms.  I've unlocked four of the 24 magic clocks, and I plan to use them.  And every day, I pick away at the number of unbuilt landmarks still floating around.

We'll see how things go.


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