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Firewatch is a narrative-driven game played from a first-person perspective and set in 1989. The protagonist is Henry, a man in his forties, who takes on the solitary job of manning a firewatch lookout in the secluded wilderness of Two Forks Lookout Area in Wyoming. However, the game starts fourteen years earlier, in Boulder, Colorado, in 1975. The first minutes of the game are largely text-based and explain how Henry met his wife Julia and what led him to the job on his own many years later. The player can choose between different responses to help shape Henry's background.

The game takes place over the course of about 79 days, but only a small amount of days are an actual part of the game. The Two Forks Lookout is Henry's home and the place where most days start. Almost all conversations in the game are done using a portable radio with his supervisor Delilah who is also in a tower, Thorofare Lookout, a mountain over. When she talks to Henry, there are often multiple answers to choose from that shape their relationship. The player chooses to have Henry divulge much of his personal life and react affectionately towards her, or keeps it neutral. The choices often influence how she will react in the future. At the same time, not replying or using silence is almost always an option and also leads to a different effect. A small vertical bar shows the amount of time left before 'silence' is chosen as an option. In return, almost any object or event can be used as a basis to talk to Delilah through a radio icon, but it always up to the player to initiate such a conversation or to have Henry keep it to himself.

Almost right away the entire game world can be explored freely. Henry carries a map that shows his current position, along with the important paths and locations, and he also uses a compass. There are several cache boxes with items and smaller maps that can be used to update Henry's map. Many items, in the tower and outside, are interactive. Even though there is no inventory or puzzles to solve, except for locating certain people or items using the map, many things can be picked up and examined closely, or be thrown away. It is also possible to zoom, both using the map and in the game world. Henry can run, remove certain overgrowth to clear a path, move over obstacles, jump down, and use ropes to rappel. Even though there is free exploration, the game itself is entirely linear based on a series of tasks and sudden occurrences. Henry can nevertheless handle them or react to them in many different ways, shaping his character. Delilah generally steers Henry in the right direction, but there are also often audiovisual clues in the environment. Smaller interactive elements are most often not indicated and it is up to the player to discover them. Most of the gameplay is based on exploration and the conversations with Delilah.


Firewatch Windows Henry enters his truck and is headed for the tower.
Firewatch Windows How Henry met Julia in the introduction.
Firewatch Windows Use a map and a compass to navigate.
Firewatch Windows A bulletin board

Promo Images

Firewatch Screenshot
Firewatch Screenshot
Firewatch Screenshot
Firewatch Screenshot


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Critic Reviews

IGN Feb 08, 2016 9.3 out of 10 93 Feb 12, 2016 90 out of 100 90
PC Gamer Feb 07, 2016 85 out of 100 85 Feb 08, 2016 17 out of 20 85
GameStar (Germany) Feb 08, 2016 82 out of 100 82 Feb 11, 2016 8 out of 10 80
The Jimquisition Feb 12, 2016 8 out of 10 80
PC Games (Germany) Feb 08, 2016 76 out of 100 76
Random Access Mar 17, 2017 6.5 out of 10 65
Riot Pixels Feb 15, 2016 55 out of 100 55


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Early on Henry discovers a disposable camera he can use to take twenty pictures. After completing the game, the player's pictures are shown in the credits, but the game also generates a link, uploading the pictures to the website The player can have these developed as a set of 4" x 6" glossy prints with free, worldwide shipping almost anywhere for $ 15.


  • The Game Awards
    • 2016 – Best Narrative – Nominated
    • 2016 – Best Art Direction – Nominated
    • 2016 – Best Performance
    • 2016 – Best Independent Game – Nominated

Related Web Sites

Sciere (511451) added Firewatch (Windows) on Feb 12, 2016
Other platforms contributed by Sciere (511451)