Shape of the World is a first person exploration game developed by Hollow Tree Games and published by Plug In Digital. The game is now available on Steam and thus, I am lucky enough to lay my hands and eyes on this title, and share my first impressions with you.
Before anything else, this is a confession of how I still judge games after seeing some screenshots. Because of that, I am glad that Shape of the World exists and proves me wrong with its every second. Still, the scenes stay rock solid in my head and gives me the satisfaction of witnessing them one by one.
I can easily say that Shape of the World is an experience rather than being a game. An experience which is designed to drag you to its marvelous world and keep you there for a long long time. If you think that you can control everything in this game, it will prove you wrong from the very beginning. Shape of the World controls you and your every cell.
The game is set in “psychedelically colorful ecosystem” which reacts to your presence and this is one of the most impressive things I’ve experienced while playing a game. The fauna and flora of this world reacts to your every move and thus, becomes ever-changing. I am not sure that I can reflect the feeling without fault since it is something only to witness and embrace, but imagine that every tree, every leaf, rock, creature knows you are there and moves with you. They grow and they vanish, they move and disappear with your every step.
Even the land moves with you and the environment does not stay still for even one second. In the beginning, I really did not understand what is happening and I kept asking myself “What am I doing here?”. I thought that I was saving this world since I could throw seeds around, I thought that I was saving this environment for its lively and weird creatures to live, I thought that I had to get somewhere and face something. But after a while, I forgot everything. I was just walking and admiring the environment, I was just enjoying it. I was embracing it and nothing else mattered.
Then I realized that this is what the main purpose of the game is. To forget everything and get lost in it. Now I don’t even remember the colors, I just remember a total freeness and relief. I kept going and going like nothing else matters in this world. I looked back a thousand times to see how the world changes behind me. And after a while, I stopped to ask myself that if I am high.
What does it take to create such a thing? Did developers sell their souls to devil? Well, hope not but they clearly achieved their goal of to give us “1-3 hour escape from work, anxiety and stress.”
These little triangles you see in the screenshots serve a purpose. Something magical, I must say. They are there for you to reach and with your touch, the environment will turn into something else. And this change will be shocking most of the times.
If you’ve read the novel A Voyage to Arcturus and had a hard time imagining the purple sand and the red grass, Shape of the World may help you there. The vibrant world of the game is always in a harmony with its colors, and the colors are always in a harmony with your inner changes.
Shape of the World features a graphically compelling procedurally generated environment and a successful one, surprisingly. We may think that we’ve had enough of procedurally generated things and the game may look less attractive when you take a look at the screenshots, but I must warn you. The game shows itself when it moves and everything moves charmingly. You change, shape and shift the world of this game.
Soundtracks are also shift along with the visuals and creates a perfect magic mushroom effect. I think it is safe to say that Shape of the World is a psychedelic drug in the form of a game. I can’t help but think that Shape of the World is a perfect fit for VR for the ones who want to delve deeper into its environment.
I’ve encountered with no glitches, bugs or whatsoever during my gameplay. My only regret is that the game is highly short. But overall, I enjoyed Shape of the World at full and even compelled by it. I feel like I am under some dark magic with brightest colors and I am sure that I will not be able to shake the feeling for some time.
If you are up to a relaxing and psychedelic journey with no real intention but with a ever-changing world and great relief, Shape of the World is now available on Steam with 15% discount.
Shape of the World was reviewed using a Steam key provided by the publisher.
- Dashing artwork & environmental design
- Brilliant soundtracks
- A great escape from everything
- An ever-changing world
- Short gameplay
- Some may find the lack of story disturbing