VG Tribune

Shape of the World Review

June 5, 2018 / 10:04 PM

By: Jesse Waldack

Thanks to Nintendo Dads Podcast Patron Chad Benoist for writing the following review for Shape of the World

Title: Shape of the World
Developer: Seaven Studio / Hollow Tree Games
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 6/6/2018
Reviewed by: Chad Benoist

One of the most intriguing things about newer games for the Nintendo Switch is the exploration of huge and open worlds. I have lost count of how many hours I have spent in the latest Mario and Zelda installments avoiding enemies in the name of finding places I have yet to see. In Shape of the World, you are allowed to explore a beautiful world unhindered and that is the point.

In Hollow Tree Games’ new release, lead game developer Stu Maxwell took the experiences he had as a child exploring and created a world that no matter how much you travel through nothing remains the same. It creates a surreal world with music and colors that will give you a relaxing and Zen-Like experience. Maxwell, who previously was a senior VFX artist on Gears of War 4, created a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 and has since partnered with other game developers to create Hollow Tree Games and bring the game fully to life.

Your journey through a world that changes around you as you explore. Steeped in natural ecosystems, you pass through forest, valleys, and by waterfalls that change in front of your eyes. Trees, plants, animals, colors, and music all respond to your actions creating a unique and relaxing experience. An area that you passed through will look completely different than it did just minutes before. There are no enemies to fight, time clocks to race against, or an impending doom to avoid. This leaves you to explore as much or as little as you want. You transition from one world to another by looking for and passing through triangle shaped gates or following mysterious bridges that pop up that instantly transfers you to another environment. Controls are simplified to walking, jumping, planting trees, and interacting with different objects or animals within the worlds. You can also revisit previous environments you have explored without having to start the entire game over.

The game itself stands out for what it is and is not. There is little guidance as to what you should do within the game, but remember that is the entire point. You are meant to go off and explore with no set destination. If you are looking to take a break from the more traditional games in the eShop or a game to relax and veg out to this may be your ticket. However remember that Shape of the World is not or a hack-and-slash, shooter, or all around adrenaline filled game, and because of that, this may be a game that will not appeal to you.

From a parents perspective, my children enjoyed it. While they did not play it as long as I did, they found the colorful fantasy worlds and alien-like animals fun. The oldest enjoyed the game the most as she is the art-driven one of my children. There is also no adult content or dark storylines to hide or explain.

Overall the game the game is one you should try if loved exploring in past games and do not always have to have an enemy to fight. It will create worlds you can literally get lost in for hours and the price is on point for the type of game that it is. Shape of the World is available to explore in the Nintendo eShop starting June 6th for $14.99 US, $18.99 CA, or £13.49.


About the author /

Having played Intellivision and Atari games since he was six, Jesse has not only grown up with video games, but has seen just about everything. A husband and father of three teenagers, he still tries to squeeze in a game or three when he is able.

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