Jusant revealed itself among a year-long monsoon of AAA games as the latest installment in a coveted niche of the industry that prides itself on providing a compelling, immersive, and emotional story, all by using elements of the world around the player to tell it rather than with actual dialogue.
Rightfully described as a beautiful, “meditative journey”, Jusant calmly takes us upward to the summit of a colorful and fascinatingly tall stone tower that is rich with lore, curious-looking nautical life, and hidden secrets that all help paint an endearing picture of when humanity once lived within its walls and beyond. If you enjoyed it and want to experience that type of journey again, here is our list of the top 10 games to try if you like Jusant.
- Developer(s): Protopop
- Released in 2020 – Available on Steam, iOS, and Android.
Wilderless is an absolutely charming and beautiful open-world exploration game that fully embraces the “meditative journey” element that Jusant provides. Completely free from quests, enemy threats, or basically anything intended to push you toward an objective, this game is all about exploring a mythical and seemingly untouched landscape at your own pace, whether it be on foot, by boat, or even as a variety of animals.
This astoundingly simple yet environmentally rich game represents a quintessential and liberating “one with nature” experience many of us would love to have, with no worries of hitting a proverbial wall at any point as there is over 100,000 km of breathtaking views to traverse. While it was released during the peak of the pandemic when many of us couldn’t venture out, the experience is still as poignant today as it was then.
Climber: Sky is the Limit
- Developer(s): A2 Softworks, Art Games Studio
- Released in 2021 – Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.
If the climbing aspect of Jusant is what you thrive on, then you can definitely relive it via Climber: Sky is the Limit. While providing a more realistic experience, this mountain-climbing simulator game completely immerses you in the self-fulfilling endeavor of scaling the world’s most challenging summits.
Strategy is key as you must find the perfect balance of weight, the best equipment, and plan the best routes to overcome all of the environmental hazards that Mother Nature has to wield. Testing one’s limits and making it to the literal top of the world, where humanity seldom dares to go, is the true reward.
- Developer(s): Studio Inkyfox, Jonas Manke
- Released in 2021 – Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam
Omno brings a vibrantly rich, unique, and colorful open-world exploration experience that fits very well in line with the vibe of Jusant. You embark on a relatively short but sweet adventure through various environments full of mythical creatures, from lush forests to deserts and luminescent tundras, solving simple but satisfying puzzles along the way that help you progress.
While there is no spoken dialogue, still there is plenty of zen-like sensory immersion along with a wonderfully calming soundtrack that makes the entire experience memorable at every moment.
- Developer(s): Friend & Foe Games
- Released in 2019 – Available on PS4 and Steam
Vane puts players in the wings of a free-flying crow that sets off on an exploration adventure across the skies over a vast desert, full of dilapidated architecture and remnants of a bygone civilization that has long since vanished.
The further in you go, there are puzzles that you need to solve to progress further into the story, and a mysterious golden dust allows you to transform at will into a young child, and back again as needed. Different areas of exploration require you to be one or the other, pushing you to think creatively while learning more about the rich history of life that once inhabited the world around you.
- Developer(s): Giant Squid
- Released in 2020 – Available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam
The Pathless, which comes from the same creator as Abzu and Journey, features a scenic and immersive world of smooth yet vibrant aesthetics that help tell the story as much as the actions of your playable character, just as in Jusant. The character in question, a master archer, traverses the mythical island world with their ever-faithful eagle companion, uncovering secrets regarding a dark curse that has overtaken the land.
Alongside its open-world exploration, archery is the focal point of interaction with the world around you, and in this case it’s all about well-timed shots rather than pinpoint accuracy, hitting targets as you move quickly and fluidly across the land.
As you explore, you’ll notice that there is no map to guide you on a precise path. Rather, you and your feathered friend must work together to find vantage points to get a better understanding of your surroundings. As you face dark spirits that have emerged as a result of the curse, if you happen to fail in overcoming one, there is no ‘game over’ to stress about to impede your progress. You can simply continue onward and try as often as needed, limiting the amount of pressure the game puts on you, even in the face of a mysterious threat.
- Developer(s): Maddy Makes Games, Extremely OK Games Ltd.
- Released in 2018 – Available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, MacOS, Linux, and Steam
Celeste is a colorful, side-scrolling 2D platformer that, in similarity to Jusant, features a young protagonist named Madeline who must scale an entire mountain in a quest of self-fulfillment. The higher up the mountain she reaches, the more challenging the path to the summit becomes as she gets stricken with self-doubt, and ultimately is forced to confront her alter-ego.
Each level of the climb becomes more difficult, and features an incredibly vibrant assortment of obstacles and environments that Madeline must navigate safely. As she reaches the summit, instead of running from her alter-ego, she instead learns to embrace it as part of her, and finds her confidence as a successful mountain climber.
Sword of the Sea
- Developer(s): Giant Squid
- Released Date: TBD – Will be available on PS5 and Steam
Another installment from developer Giant Squid makes our list, and while it hasn’t officially released yet, Sword of the Sea already looks set up to be a marvel of game design. Players will take control of a mysterious character simply called The Wraith, who is resurrected into a desolate world called the Necropolis. The Wraith is given the monumental task of restoring life back to the world, and thus must embark on an epic exploration of the remnants of civilization.
Glide across vast, rolling waves of sand atop a unique weapon/transport called a Hoversword, and explore underground cities, tombs, and petrified battlefields. Uncover ancient secrets of the past in order to rebirth the sea from beneath the sands.
- Developer(s): Kyle Banks
- Release Date: TBD – Will be available on Steam and MacOS
Farewell North puts you on four paws as an adventurous border collie traveling with its owner across a desolate Scottish island archipelago. Coming to terms with a tremendous loss in their lives, the pair finds themselves surrounded by a strangely colorless landscape. Not only that, both the dog and the owner are devoid of color and expression as well, at least in the beginning, denoting a metaphorical journey ahead for both of them.
That journey sees them on a self-fulfilling mission to restore color to the world around them, uncovering hidden paths to new areas while also freeing entrapped wildlife and evading otherworldly monsters.
As the player learns more about the lives of the collie and its owner, they’ll find themselves pivoting between two worlds: one of color and one of black-and-white. Ultimately coming to terms with their losses helps life return to the world around them as a whole, or at least the world that they see.
While the game isn’t available just yet, there is a demo available to check out.
- Developer(s): Atawhai Interactive
- Release Date: TBD – Will be available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and Steam
Toroa will take players on one of the most surreal and interactive flight journeys through the skies as a Northern Royal Albatross, who embarks on an epic flight to reunite with their family across the Pacific Ocean. The game incorporates incredibly immersive and unique flight gameplay interwoven with a plethora of Māori lore, from the inclusion of te reo Māori language, to renowned Māori gods of the wind and sea who assist Toroa in their journey. Players can also interact with and befriend all sorts of nautical wildlife along the way, from humpback whales to dolphins, and can even use sea kelp to trade for food.
This game is set to be a beautifully memorable one that fully embraces Māori culture, and “family, interconnectedness, past, present, and future”. If you want to get a hands-on look at what to expect, there is currently a demo available on Steam.
Spirit of the North
- Developer(s): Infuse Studio
- Released in 2019 – Available on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Steam, and Amazon Luna.
The last entry on our list, Spirit of the North, is a beloved indie title that puts players in control of a fox who avoids death after a long fall by receiving the mysterious, mythical powers of a similar-looking fox spirit. The adventure begins in the dark and icy crevices of a glacier field in Iceland as the spirit, who turns out to be the guardian of the Northern Lights, leads the fox not just to safety, but on a journey to discover what became of humanity after a great travesty befell them.
Embrace mythological Nordic lore and increasingly strong spiritual abilities as you explore various environments, from icy tundras to rolling green hills and mountainsides, to help protect the sanctity of nature from a mysterious corruption.
That concludes the list to our top 10 games to try if you like Jusant. Let us know which of these you’re wanting to play or have already played, and whether you think they remind you of Jusant in some way.
Be sure to check out our official review of Jusant as well.
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