Shape of the World Image
Metascore
72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A first-person exploration game that grows around you. Without your presence, will the forest still come alive?

Trailer

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Shape Of The World - Teaser Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Jun 23, 2018
    85
    Quotation forthcoming.
  2. Jul 3, 2018
    80
    No matter where you walk, in rain forests or snowy mountain tops: Shape of the World looks gorgeous. When it comes to quality and ambition it is nothing like Dear Esther, but on its own Shape of the World is a lovely game.
  3. Jul 17, 2018
    80
    You won't find yourself challenged, but at best you'll find yourself enthralled and enjoying the world as it brings itself out to you. But a game doesn't have to be a challenge. It doesn't have to have a time limit, a game over, an antagonist of any kind. It can just be a sensory experience you allow yourself to get wrapped up in. And Shape of the World is exactly that. Let yourself get swallowed by it and you'll find yourself having a great time.
  4. Jun 5, 2018
    70
    What started out as a Kickstarter three years ago, Shape of the World is an impressive accomplishment. The end result provides a beautiful but brief escape into an obscure world, filled with colourful abstract variations and creatures to observe at your own pace. It makes for a great escapist title in between games, though we're ultimately left feeling a little confused by its mixed messaging and lack of story. It hints at something greater here, but doesn’t feel confident to make a bolder or more meaningful statement. Maybe that’s what Hollow Tree Games had intended, but we can’t shake the feeling of style over substance here.
  5. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Jul 31, 2018
    70
    Playing more as a meditative experience that doesn't outstay its welcome, this is an ascent you will make more than once. [Issue#152, p.86]
  6. 70
    A wonderfully relaxing way to spend a few hours but falls down a little in terms of game mechanics. Could well be called an interactive art installation.
  7. Jun 10, 2018
    55
    It is certainly a pretty game. The minimalist polygon planes are very evocative, the sound design is lovely, and the abundant bloom lighting creates a mood. There’s sort of a goal (get to the next triangle) and when you achieve it, the art style shifts. But I didn’t really find it relaxing, I found it boring. And I never got over feeling perplexed.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 5, 2018
    7
    Much like the recent trend of battle royal games, the walking simulator is a newer genre that is here to stay. Whether you love them or hateMuch like the recent trend of battle royal games, the walking simulator is a newer genre that is here to stay. Whether you love them or hate them, these games offer a unique way of telling a story, but rarely have much gameplay value in the traditional sense. The new title Shape of the World takes on the more difficult task of asking the audience to play with no real story to be told. So what is the point of the game? Well, I’m not really sure and I’ve managed to complete it, although it seems to be for relaxation.

    I feel like the game alludes to you being God in some way or another, turning a blank canvas into a living breathing world. You will collect seeds, which you can in turn throw to make fully fledged trees appear in the blink of an eye. With the right trigger you can also destroy, or interact in some cases, with the same foliage. Interacting with large stones causes strange stairwells to appear, often leading to another area or the current objective which is a triangle that will appear as you get closer, often being visible through other in game assets.

    The controls are extremely accessible due to the basic nature of the game. While you can jump using a face button, it is rarely needed. The bulk of your time will simply be using the sticks to move and look around, with the triggers working to create or destroy/use as I mentioned previously. The controls work well, but movement speed is often sluggish which makes you feel as if you’re in waist deep mud.

    There are no true enemies to encounter, nor is death a thing in the game. You will occasionally encounter a living being, which all start out small as if they are larger versions of a single cell organism, and eventually become large whales swimming through the sky. That said, the game plays out much like what I would assume would be your best (or worst) acid trip. You can interact with most of the creatures, but few will actually do much of anything other than occasionally push you off of a ledge or allow you to use them as a trampoline of sorts to jump higher into the air. I’m not sure if this was how it was intended, but shooting seeds at them to create trees would often stop them from pushing me away from my goal.

    Similar to the typical walking sim which relies on the story to drive the player forward, this uses a combination of calming ambient music with its stylized, yet detailed visual style. The game uses a unique visual trick that I haven’t seen used much in any medium since my freshman year of art school. I will spare you the technical term, but when you use multiple colors of the same intensity with different hues, it causes the brain to see the illusion of depth within a 2D space. While this makes for some stunning visuals, it does leave some like me with a grueling headache. This lingered with me for hours after completing the game.

    Despite the fact that it felt like someone was taking a power drill to my head, I managed to complete the game in less than two hours. While there are collectibles, as well as additional areas tucked away to be found that encourages players to revisit the world, this will likely not be enough for most gamers.

    I consider myself to be an individual with higher than average intelligence and am still puzzled by the ending. I’m not sure if there is a deep seeded story that I am not getting, or you are simply on a journey taking in the sights and sounds working your way from point A to point B over and over again. Either way, I would recommend picking up the title once the price drops a little, as the $14.99 price point feels a bit high due to the lack of content offered.
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