Games of the Year

Valley

Valley Screenshot 1
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Valley is a First-Person adventure unlike any other. Hidden deep within a remote region of the Rocky Mountains, you find yourself bewildered within a secluded valley. With the power of a recently discovered L.E.A.F. suit (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality), run and jump your way through beautiful forests, dangerous ruins and vast environments all the while utilizing the power to control life and death to uncover the startling secrets of the mysterious valley.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

I was getting bored until I played the train rails part, that was like a simple running, but effects and that speed you feel.. it was better than the whole game itself. This game somehow makes you feel fast in a good way, it has decent gameplay, graphics are a little better but If you love first person parkour and a bit story, then you should absolutely give it a try, 10/10 recommend.

Review from Steam

I am a tranquil gamer. I don't like horror, my motor skills and survival instincts are not very well developed and I like good stories and beautiful views that I can enjoy at a pace that is set by me, not by the game.
Valley gives me all of this, plus a challenge now and again: a not too difficult puzzle, a not too challenging shoot out.
The game (and the music!) is beautiful, the story is interesting, the world is magic. And I didn't find it short. Just long enough for the story to be told, leaving enough gaps to be filled in by our own imagination.
So thanks for this secret marvel. Let's keep it to ourselves ;)

Review from Steam

After beating this game in a single setting, I must say I really liked it. Doesn't mean it's perfect though.
The start of the game is absolutely beautiful. Genuinely they've done the best with what they had and it shows. Beautiful color palette, artstyle and level design. It definitely has the vibe of a high-effort Skyrim mod. I know it sounds like a negative, but it really has the effort in it. In the second half of the game, the visuals are still alright, but perhaps not as beautiful as the outdoor areas.
The level design also demands an applause. There was only a single time that I had to slow down for more than a moment to figure out where to go and sadly it's also just a really bad area. The game has a habit of making areas bigger than they perhaps need to be. Large empty spaces are frequent. It's normally not a big bother, but in one area it got literally so bad that I had to glitch my way to the right path since I couldn't find any place to go to after a solid 10 minutes of searching. Other than that, really well done.
The gameplay is great. It emphasizes the strengths and avoided the potential frustration from the shortfalls. The precision platforming would have been genuinely an awful floaty experience. However, there's no need for that. You're given enough room to account for the floatiness.
The game has two resources to collect through various gameplay elements. Acorns through reviving trees, medallions through finding chests. Both are used to open various optional rooms and areas, which always are well rewarded.
The story has two sides. Environment vs. Industry to put it very generally. The game starts with confusing environment lore which just wasn't compelling at all. Once you get to the industry part and both sides start melding together, then the story also peaks. It's no Mass Effect or The Witcher, but it's very solid regardless.
One thing that I understand is there for a reason that I'd like to remove is the fact that you can properly accelerate to real speeds only through downward slopes. The feeling of speed is so good that it's a shame you can't feel it even more often.
3 hours and 2 minutes later I finished the game. It wasn't too long, it wasn't too short. A great time overall. Play it. It's cheap and totally worth the sale price at the very least.

Review from Steam

the best necromancy parkour game

Review from Steam

Valley is a first-person adventure platformer game set in a remote region of the Rocky Mountains. Your character set out in search of a mythical Life Seed and stumbles on a secret greater than he ever imagined. You explore the remains of a Top Secret research site that was researching alternative weapons at the same time as the Manhattan Project was ongoing. The setting is stunningly beautiful, the music epic, the lore very well developed, and the gear you use to explore really fun to use.
You find the basic model of a L.E.A.F Suit shortly after the game begins. The suit gives you the ability to run faster and jump farther than you could without it. You'll get the chance build up exhilarating momentum while you sprint and leap through forests, fields, and abandoned buildings. The suit is also tied into the life and energy of the Valley, allowing you to take or give life as you see fit. Dying while wearing the suit results in a Quantum Death. Your life is restored but life in the Valley is taken to recover you. If the Valley ever dies completely, you will be unable to respawn, making it imperative that you restore life whenever possible.
Restoring life to the trees has a chance to drop acorns, which you can use to open up doors to optional areas of the world. These areas generally contain upgrades that provide your suit more energy or will contain optional collectibles that cab be used to access a later section of the game. As you explore the Valley you'll also find utility upgrades for the L.E.A.F. Suit, granting you the ability to double jump, grapple on preset hooks, run on train rails, magnetize boots to the sides of buildings, and walk on water. The upgrades are well spread throughout the game to give you a constant feeling of additional freedom without the game ever feeling like it's dragging on.
I really enjoyed playing Valley. It's not a long game, but it offers the perfect amount of content to keep you excited as you explore the secret history of the abandoned research site. The game gives you a plethora of beautiful settings to explore, and the game constantly rewards you for taking the time to actually explore each of the many areas. The production is all-around high quality! If you're so inclined, you can even continue to explore the Valley after beating the game to find additional secrets that you couldn't access when you first visited various areas.
Valley could nearly be called a Walking Simulator. The game focuses heavily on ambiance, soundtrack, exploration, backstory, and mystery to keep you interested and invested throughout the game, but it mixes in ample opportunity for platforming too. The inclusion of platforming elements and a minor amount of trivial combat elevate Valley slightly outside the realm of the Walking Simulator genre tag, but if it were a Walking Simulator, Valley would be the perfect example of what every Walking Simulator should aim to be.
The only negative I can say about the game is that it lacks the ability to perform manual saves and the checkpoint system will restart you to the start of a level if you need to quit and come back later. You'll retain your progress from finding secrets and unlocking areas, but you'll need to traverse on foot back to where you left off.

Review from Steam

Valley is a momentum based runner with a side of exploration. The game does a great job of making you feel fast; music, mechanics and visual combine to give you that experience of pure speed. The game is easy, but fortunately ramps up the challenge later in -- and the variety. I could get more specific, but muh spoilers.
There are a lot of collectibles to collect, but fortunately hardly any are required to progress. In fact, when faced with a door that requires collectibles to advance the campaign, you can find more than you need within the direct vicinity. To put this into perspective, an optional door may require 26, 30, 40, etc. collectibles to access, but a required door may only need 3 or 8, and the game kinda hands you those collectibles right before the door, too. This is good to point out because going over each level with a fine toothed comb really kills what speed you build up; on other side, some of these collectibles are very hidden and you can feel proud for having found what you did.
The game's difficult is akin to a Zelda: things might seem tight early on, but you'll soon find a glut of heart containers, red potions, fairies and grandma's soup, making it rather difficult to actually be at risk of dying. Valley is much the same way with its own mechanics. There is still challenge to be had, just not much punishment.
To anyone who likes going fast and/or exploring thoroughly, I recommend Valley to you. Is gud gam.

Review from Steam

Small game, great story, very cheap, lovely creatures, awesome upgrades to suit, 10/10 runs, jaw-dropping parkour and some good puzzle worth the achievements.
One word to describe the game world - "BEAUTIFUL".

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