As our regular walking simulator enthusiast, I instantly understood when Alice Bee asked me to play a new game that explores the forest. I’m always ready to wander in the woods. To me a bit of a genre purist yes with such a name Sons of the forest, I was worried that this might be another one of those so-called walking sims that are more concerned with making you listen to a dramatic Radio 4 monologue. Fortunately, no, it’s just a cute walking sim that explores an island full of wildlife . Check out this video of some of my leisurely walks.

Watch closely to spot all the wonderful birds, rabbits and other critters I’ve seen on my walks, and definitely no mutants. I don’t know why I said that. Why would anyone expect mutants. Haha Friday right?

Returning after making a cup while loading the game, I was delighted to find myself on the banks of an icy mountain stream. The snow is lining the banks, crunching pleasantly under my feet as I approach (and not only am I leaving footprints in the snow, I can see my feet as well). I am fascinated by how the refracted rainbow light dances on the surface of the water, and the salmon lazily roam beneath it. Like a child of the water, I go with the flow.

This world is beautiful and full of life. I follow the streams that meander through the forests and then flow downstream into the rivers, where I watch the salmon jump up the falls. I follow the rabbits along the paths. I hear the songs of birds that I do not recognize, which, frightened, take off and fly around me. I watch the ducks land on the lake. I see several hawks far overhead. I chase deer. It’s getting dark in the woods and I look up to see thick clouds passing in front of the sun, soon dissipating. I notice the ivy climbing the thick trees of the forest, then notice the changing leaves as it enters the clearings and meadows. I find flowers and fruits. The thick undergrowth pushes aside as I wander, rustling and shaking as the animals make their way through them too. My boots slosh in the wet mud, and the twigs crack under my feet. How pleasant it is to wander through these quiet forests! Except for one moment, I think I got bitten by a squirrel (as you can see in the video).

I’m not quite sure where this is going. A few times I’ve watched the sun set and then the game gets incredibly dark. You can still move by the sound of footsteps, but I can’t see anything. Does this mean death? Could this be the heavy family message I’ve been dreading? Maybe after death we don’t exist to see life, but some facet of us lives on through our sons and daughters? Movement beyond us? An unprecedented succession? I do not know. But I’m happy to close the game at this point and then come back another day for a whole new ride.

I look forward to exploring this island even more, wandering the other trails, getting deeper into that forest and finding better places to swim. I’ve had the chance to spot glum deer in the trees, so I’m excited to find out what else might be living here.

At our Oli’s Sons Of The Forest Early Access Review last week called it “a luxury island filled with cannibals and little else.” I’m afraid I’m too old to understand Gen Z humor.

If you want another nice walk to metaphorical death, I highly recommend the classic walking simulator Proteus (disclosure: made by a friend). Or, if you’re feeling brave, you can enjoy literal death Tonight you die, 2015who roams the Brutalist estate.