Shape of the World from Hollow Tree Games is an exploration game through a colorful procedurally generated world. Learn more about it in our Shape of the World review!
Hollow Tree Games took Shape of the World to Kickstarter, exceeding its $75,000 CAD goal by an extra $4,000 CAD way back in 2015. It’s been a long time since the project was funded, and the game has finally found its way to the PlayStation 4. Is the game worth the wait? Let’s find out!
Relaxing exploration games, nowadays known as walking simulators, are sometimes a bit tough to review since I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. I’ll start by saying this colorful release is very relaxing and soothing and all you need to worry about is to explore each area to solve some simple puzzles as you change the environment around you in this roughly 80-100 minute long game.
You begin your adventure with white snow that covers the entire screen, but all of this changes within a minute or so of walking, and that’s when the colors and the landscapes start to quick in. The landscape is procedurally generated, so each time you visit an area things will be slightly different, giving you a new setting to explore with a new look to absorb.
As for the gameplay, along with walking around you can cut down trees or replant them, interact with pillars to create a stairway, interact with animals or with things in the environment such as rocks, and all of this can end up altering the way the environment looks, and it sometimes opens a new path that leads you to something new. As the colors begin to shift and the environment changes to something completely new, there will also be new creatures that show up. You will find triangles that lead the way, and every time you go through one the game will save, so they will also act as checkpoints.
The game world itself is almost dreamlike, as if you were immersed in a world that could only exist in your mind, with its vibrant colors and the way each area is presented to you, and you absorb it all thanks to the game’s first-person perspective which allows you to be right in the middle of this charming and almost hypnotic world that is just begging for you to explore it.
After a bit, you will come across monuments, which act as your fast travel system. You only need to have one in sight to be able to jump from monument to monument, which you should do if you want to unlock all trophies in the game since there’s one for flying over a total distance. There are also 28 seeds for you to collect, and there are some trophies tied to collecting X amount of seeds during your experience with the game. There are also trophies for planting trees, as well as for walking over great distances, and for completing the game once, as well as several times after that in different ways.
Shape of The World is exactly what I was expecting: a fun and relaxing exploration game with a soothing soundtrack and a charming art style presented with a nice pallet of colors that invite you to stay in this adventure from start to finish. After waiting for the game for a while, I can certainly say that the wait has been worth it.
This Shape of the World review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Hollow Tree Games.