Last Stop – A Deep Secret Walking Sim

Annapurna Interactive has given us some of the best niche games in recent years.

Gone Home, Edith Finch, Open Roads, Flower, Donut County, and the big hit The Outer Wilds, are all games, that have broken through to the mainstream.

One that will probably get overlooked is Last Stop. A game that could be called a Walking Conversation Sim, but spins a story, that is beyond most other games.

Written and developed by Variable State, it probably has one of the most adult narratives available.

Without spoilers, the story has elements of films as diverse as Vice Versa, Under the Skin and The Evil: Dead Army of Darkness, with a hint of BBC procedural crime drama thrown in.

This is the magic sauce in the game. You think you are playing something childish or simple and secretly the story of the game is burrowing deep into your mind.

Mechanically, It is set in London, and you take on the chapters of three very different characters. They are all related somehow and convergence is inevitable, yet the way the game gets you there is not defined.

For a game with a unique graphical style, it manages to form a deeper emotional connection and empathy with the player than many that are more realistic.

Mini-games that break up the conversational choices which, at first, seem annoying and childish, soon take on more meaning as the story progresses.

It could be managing your stamina in a jog around the park, throwing bottles from a rooftop or searching for evidence.

What seems like a diversion at the time, or a necessary mechanic, to make this a game in the traditional sense, has a hidden meaning.

With a story-based game, it is hard to go into too much detail, but you should set aside six hours or so and play this in bitesize chunks, like your favourite streaming series.

For a game all about secrets, and keeping them from people, it’s ironic that it may be one of Annapurna’s best-kept secrets itself.

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