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Walden, the Henry David Thoreau survival game, comes out on July 4

Walden, as Chris told us last week, is a unique take on the survival genre. Instead of monsters or zombies, you are Henry David Thoreau, and you've decided to "live deliberately" in the mid-19th century woods around Walden Pond. At the time, developer USC Gaming Innovation Lab said it was aiming to go from early access to full release sometime in July, and so it will be: It announced today that the full release will take place on America's freedom day, July 4. 

Walden has a clear educational bent, but the launch trailer released today throws off a pleasantly meditative ambiance too: A taste of solitary life in harmony with nature for people who don't like to go outside. 

"The audience for the game is broad: from experimental game players to lovers of Thoreau and Transcendental literature. As such, the game offers more opportunities for reflective play than strategic challenge," the website at explains. "The piece has a subtle narrative arc, in homage to the original text, which is not an adventure of the body pitted against nature, but of the mind and soul living in nature over the course of a New England year." 

A "near-final" edition of the game remains available in early access on for $18.45. As you have likely surmised, the figure is significant: 1845 is the year Thoreau took up his two-year residence on Walden Pond. 

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.