White Shadows by Thunderful Publishing, Mixtvision, and Monokel is a puzzle platformer set in a dystopian world, ready for you to explore. Check our White Shadows review!
White Shadows from Thunderful Publishing, Mixtvision, and Monokel is set in a dystopian world where its inhabitants are anthropomorphic animals. The White City is controlled by the wolves, with pigs being treated as slaves, and a grand scheme is in place to keep their control over everyone by making them believe they need their daily dose of white light. You play the role of the young Ravengirl, who sets out on a mission to try and leave this city so that she can lead a more normal life.
The game is played from a 2D perspective with simple controls. You move left or right using the left analog stick while pressing down will allow you to crouch. The X button is used for jumping, and the Square button is used for interactions with objects that you can push, pull, or activate levers. You’ll start the game coming out of what looks like a giant cuckoo clock, and you’ll quickly be on your way. Even though the game is separated into chapters, with frequent checkpoints in them, there is continuity between them, so you won’t find yourself in a completely different place as you move from chapter to chapter.
In terms of what to expect, the game is labeled as a cinematic puzzle platformer, and this is exactly what you’ll get. Most of your time will be spent running through the dystopian city, jumping on platforms, over gaps, and avoiding things like trains or deadly blades. Every now and then, you’ll encounter some puzzles that you have to solve to proceed further in the game. Most of them are relatively easy to complete, although there are certain places where I found the interactable elements to be difficult to find, making the puzzle-solving aspect a bit annoying.
The visuals are probably the best part this game has to offer. It features a solid black and white presentation with a lot of attention to detail, both in what you see on your path as well as everything that’s going on in the background. There are a lot of things that are alive around you, with billboards sending messages from the wolves, with a lot of propaganda to keep everyone under control, and trains and planes that will come through the screen, sometimes getting a bit too close for comfort.
The game reminded me of a mix between Unravel with Limbo, given its presentation, charming but dark setting – in more than one way – and how this is a 2D cinematic platformer, which makes for a nice and interesting mix. The few touches of light here and there really put the emphasis on how a little white light is supposed to be crucial for everyone.
I have mixed feelings about my time with the game. The platforming was fun, as were the puzzles, but it felt like it was playing it a bit too safe. Don’t get me wrong, the game is entertaining, but it doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, taking the safe path without trying anything risky. The story is also not that obvious to figure out with not-so-frequent cutscenes and pretty much no dialogue, but that can be considered a good or a bad thing depending on your expectations in terms of how the narrative is presented.
As for the trophies, this should be a game that’s relatively easy for you to get another Platinum trophy for your collection. Along with the story-related trophies that will pop as you progress through the game, there are trophies for completing specific objectives. Since all trophies are hidden, you can either go into this one blind or check out the trophy descriptions to get a heads-up on what needs to be done. There’s also chapter select, so there’s nothing that could be missable. The game isn’t that long, so if you pay attention to what you’re doing, you could have a new Platinum in a couple of evenings.
White Shadows is a beautiful game that’s a lot of fun, but I feel it could’ve been so much more if they would’ve just gone a little bit out of the proven path that other games in the genre have paved before it. White Shadows is out on PlayStation 5 with a $19.99 price.
This White Shadows review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Thunderful.