Shadow Puppeteer tries to do interesting things, but ultimately comes off as unpolished, bland, repetitive, and mediocre. I really tried to enjoy it, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about it.
The puzzles are fun, it could benefit from some polish in terms of presentation, but you'll enjoy Shadow Puppeteer more with a second player by your side.
Shadow Puppeteer is an enjoyable game—if you can get past a few frustrations. The platforming is tedious at times, with you controlling both the boy and his shadow, though figuring out how to get through each area isn't all that difficult. Sadly, the game is somewhat short, only taking a few hours to get through. But if you're playing with someone, it can make for a fun afternoon.
Shadow Puppeteer is certainly a welcome addition to the Wii U eShop. The concept of the boy and his shadow is cleverly implemented, and there are some standout moments of level design combined with a strong sense of artistic style. There are some rough edges, however, in terms of some scratchy framerate and animation issues, a soundtrack that may be divisive at points and occasional slip-ups in design and implementation. The overall impression is a positive one, but occasionally the lights of this puppet show flicker, making the strings visible and taking away a little bit of the magic.
There are many great games on the Nintendo eShop, but unfortunately Shadow Puppeteer is not one of these games.
In single-player mode, Shadow Puppeteer is a much weaker game, technical issues and control problems become more evident and it's not challenging enough to justify a new go. Despite being based on several good ideas, Shadow Puppeteer performs way below its potential.
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I can only hope that Sarepta continues to work on Shadow Puppeteer post-launch. It's a tough sell right now, but given the time and resources it deserves, this could be a great game.
Shadow Puppeteer is a fun and simple co-op game. It's dragged down a tad by awkward controls and difficulty spikes. As a single-player game, it's significantly more flawed and should be avoided unless you've got a high tolerance for struggling with controls. For players with a friend who's ready to play co-op, the game can really shine and show off its stronger points. It's not a game for everyone, but for parents and kids, it's an enjoyable experience and well worth a shot.
Shadow Puppeteer is an admirable attempt at a fun, unique co-operative experience, but is ultimately let down by its lack of technical polish.
The game was clearly not optimized for the system and some additional polish could have gone a long way. Next to that, it is just a really short game that I can only recommend in co-op. If you do decide to take the plunge, you can't go wrong with the puzzles and story, but you will have to put up with a lot to truly enjoy yourself.