Blue Isle Studios’ indie action-adventure game Valley begins with the player slowly hoofing it through a verdant wilderness. Just as it begins to feel like another walking simulator, they find the L.E.A.F. exoskeleton, and movement becomes a joy.

This piece was first published on August 25, 2016. We’re bumping it today for the game’s release on the Nintendo Switch.

The makers of Slender: The Arrival play with a different sort of thrill to outstanding effect in Valley, available this week on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Going from not even being able to jump to running like a cheetah and leaping like a gazelle makes for one of 2016's most exhilarating gaming moments.

Here’s a clip of a little walking, a little instruction, a whole lot of running and jumping and just a teeny bit of playing God.

Valley is the story of an archaeologist obsessed with uncovering the Lifeseed, an ancient artifact of great and terrible power. He or she canoes their way to a remote part of the Canadian Rockies, where they find an amazing military suit with the power over life and death. Along with the enhanced physical capabilities, the player can grant or suck energy to and from living things. You’ll see some of that in the video as well.


At that point I would have just made off with the suit, but the player character is closer to the Lifeseed than ever before, and decides to stick with the search. I guess that’s fine, as long as it leads to more sprinting, leaping and vistas like this:


Valley is now available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC for $19.99.