Shape of the World
Top Critic Average
Shape of the World isn't a bad game, it just never quite hits its stride in the way a game like this needs to.
Shape of the World is a feast of color, sound, and design. It manages to be both serene and occasionally challenging, wondrous and abstract, and has surprising depth, considering that your only goals are to wander around and collect natural trinkets as you go. It's a perfect game for those who want to get lost in a minimalist wonderland of imagination.
What started out as a Kickstarter three years ago, Shape of the World is an impressive accomplishment.
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.
Shape of the World does not follow the rigid tenets of most games. What Shape of the World proposes is rather a relaxation of the senses thanks to a skillfully-crafted abstract and psychedelic art style which does a very good job at immersing the player into a different state of mind. Pity that it does not propose more of that, as Shape of the World feels too short and with too little interaction, for a game that gets its sensory component right.
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Shape of the World is the perfect game to pick up after a particularity stressful day at work, and promises to keep you engaged in its simple gameplay through a combination of gorgeous environments and immersive game physics. While it is a tad too short and lacks replayabilty, that first playthrough should be enough to take your mind off stressful everyday issues so you can drift around a colorful world where simply moving forward is the main objective.
Shape of the World is a very different offering on the Switch's eShop, and one that we are glad to have experienced despite its shortcomings. Describing it as a video game doesn't feel quite right; it's more of an interactive playground that lets you take a couple of hours out, switch off, and be treated to some thought-provoking aesthetics along the way. It's definitely not for everyone, and it's all over a little too quickly, but Shape of the World is a nicely put together piece of art that deserves the attention of those most intrigued.
Promising a world where you can get lost and yet find peace is a hard sell, though when everything falls into place, Shape of the World provides some noteworthy moments.
The art and music direction in Shape of the World is undeniably delightful but its gameplay lacks purpose, and the game suffers as a result.
Shape of the World brings some rather strong elements to the table, but it also leaves the feeling of unfulfilled potential. It truly is a relaxing title, with an outstanding soundtrack to boot. But the sluggish speed combined with the limited interactivity, and short length, means this is probably best grabbed on sale, and not at its $14.99 launch price.