Relax and take your time to stop and smell the roses in Shape of the World, a new first person exploration indie title on the Nintendo Switch. The rich and colorful world grows and changes around you as you move through it. Shape of the World was a Kickstarter project created by Hollow Tree Games because they wanted to show that the first person genre could be utilized for more than the same old run-and-gun shooters.
Trees, plants, rocks and other things with vibrant colors sprouted up along my path as I moved throughout the game. There are even odd little animals that might come check you out, or jump into the air to avoid you, as well as giant flying ones in the skies. There really isn’t a narrative in the game, but you can explore everything around you and things could still be different when you come back to them.
Interacting with certain things may open up a boardwalk path to another area or allow you to launch yourself up to a ledge you couldn’t get to otherwise. There are archways to go through to progress further through levels as well as change the coloration of the entire landscape. There is no time limit to make you stay on task, so you can endlessly explore an area as you wish to find all of the collectibles.
Art and Sound
I’d almost consider Shape of the World to be more of an interactive art piece than a video game. With visuals that coincided more with a James Turrell piece than any other first person video game, it’s a relaxing delight to wander through the serene world. Speaking of serenity, the music sounds like it came straight out of a yoga studio. Finding new paths and objects will even add additional layers of synth and sounds. At one point, after playing in handheld mode in bed with my headphones on, my wife told me I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
Overall, I think that just about anyone could enjoy Shape of the World. Whether you need to spend some time away from the adrenaline-fueled games you are used to or are just intrigued by the experience of this living zen garden, it’s a perfect fit for your Nintendo Switch. The game released on PC and consoles June 5th at $14.99.