I can remember back in the day when I had seen this game came out that was received amazingly. I was called Flower over on Playstation. All they talked about was how it was so relaxing and visually stunning. I never really got it. I played it and still didn’t understand it. However now I’ve grown as a gamer and as a person. Seeing how that everything has to need an objective; because sometimes you just need to live in that moment you’re in. That’s where I found myself with a key we were recently given by Hollow Tree Games. It was for their game Shape of the World. As I said before I had never understood these types of games before. So coming into this one I was reluctant at first. Then the more I looked at the previews and read the description they sent along. It stated how it was “A serene first-person explorer unfolding in a world that grows around you. Journey through a psychedelic and colorful ecosystem of flourishing flora, rambling waterfalls, burgeoning mountains, glowing monoliths and graceful creatures. A 1-3 hour escape from work, anxiety and stress..”. As I’ve currently been under a lot of stress within my life; both professionally and personally; then seeing this psychedelic styled world is being marketed as a place for you to relax in and a stress free zone where with beautiful music and enigmatic creatures you can just take a deep breath in. I thought this is just what I need right now and it would be a nice test for it.
So I got home from work full of a nice day of stress from deadlines and personal issues and plopped down in my chair and slapped on the old headphones then launched up the game. Immediately you get a feel for the style of the world. The music comes on and starts to help draw you in to this forest that is starting to unfold around you. It soon takes on a world of it’s own as visually the world starts off very dull and washed out. The music is tame and serene. As you explore and get deeper into the world; it starts to develop around you with not just foliage but random creatures as well. You begin to lose yourself within it; without even knowing it. As someone who constantly has their brain working overtime; it was amazing to experience this. As I delved deeper and deeper into the world the music only helps to pull you in. I just beings to become more and more intense and the world starts to take on a whole new shape. There is slight interactivity as well which adds to the experience. You find you’re inner kid come out as you wanna just touch everything just to see if it does anything. You find elements as well that once interacted with bring out new pathways for you to continue on in your journey through the forest. Within no time I was focused on picking up the collectible seeds to make the world grow. Taking there mechanic of speed boosting you as you click on a tree to move faster through locations. I would find myself tossing seeds to grow more trees to help me move around. It was a nice touch to the games movement.
All in all the game did what it set out to do. It took my mind off of the stressors from day to day life and just get lost with in a world that exists for nothing more then exploring and losing one’s self in with enveloping music and stunning visuals. The colors and audio within the game are amazingly matched to this style. I’d come into the next area to see the palette expanding into more and more bold and dynamic colors. Sorta playing with my mind to visually stimulate it and before I knew it I was not thinking of anything but how this world looks amazing. I can see how this game isn’t for everyone. As there are people that are like I once was; needing an objective and end game. This game isn’t that and it wasn’t made for that. However just like me, one day people into those games will one day maybe need a game to just let them unwind. That’s when you’ll be happy the developers over at Hollow Tree Games made a game like this. Our generation grew up on games and gaming. Why not use what we know to do as also a method of relaxation from our day to day. So if you’re looking for something to just not think and just be within the moment in; then look into this game.