Shape of the World is a short, relaxing journey through a colorful world. The game has a surreal, yet striking aesthetic and some good music to match, but suffers from its short length and lack of replayability.
Great aesthetic. The game’s most prominent feature is easily its aesthetic – it just looks really good. It looks even better in motion, with white whales flying about, trees growing around the player, and strange creatures scuttling around. All of this was done in the most vivid fashion. It was honestly quite surreal, but definitely not in a bad way. It is the type of experience that is hard to put into words, but makes complete sense when in the moment.
Excellent music. To go along with the great aesthetic, the game has some excellent music to match. While both do work in tandem to create this sort of meditative experience, the music is definitely the more relaxing of the two. I could see myself listening to the soundtrack outside of the game, while trying to relax and get some work done. I imagine it would be pretty effective.
Very short. I managed to clear the game in just forty minutes. For a walking simulator, many may consider forty minutes to not be that short, but it is worth noting for those that expect more. Perhaps I just played the game too quickly, as I managed to get the game’s “speedrun” achievement without even trying to do so. Even if I were to spend my time and explore the environment and such, I simply cannot see a playthrough lasting more than maybe an hour and a half.
No replayability. Shape of the World does encourage replayability (even having a couple achievements dedicated to completing the game more than once), but I cannot see myself playing through it again. It is the type of experience that is just not the same the second time around. Sure, the player could explore more and go through different gates, but it is just more of the same. Given that the game barely lasted forty minutes, this could be a deal-breaker for many.
Shape of the World is a pretty nice meditative experience. The aesthetic is really cool and the music is excellent, but the game is rather short. Those looking for a longer experience will be very disappointed. Even so, the journey was quite relaxing and the game earns my recommendation as a result.
You can buy Shape of the World on Steam here.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.