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

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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 waldengame.com 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 itch.io 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 has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.