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8 Apr 2021

REVIEW: In My Shadow - PC (Steam)

Review By Jon Donnis
In My Shadow is a unique game, you play as a girl (Bella) who is trying to find answers to questions she has about her past, and to find these answers, you collect memories by way of solving single level platform-based puzzles.

There are 4 different rooms that you will play in, and about 50 levels in total. A level consists of the use of shadows. The shadow of a little girl, trying to collect memories that are represented as collectable shadows. You switch between two parts of the puzzle, the first of controlling the little girl, trying to get from point A to point B, while collecting hard to reach memories, and the second switch is to a more external view of the room whereby you can control the furniture which in turn creates shadows on the wall. Move a chair closer to the wall to make the shadow smaller, or move it away to make it bigger, then when you switch back to the girl she can then jump on the chair's shadow to reach her goals.

It a rather unique idea for a game, and one I was excited about when I first read about the game.

As your complete each level, a story plays out through cut scenes, as you learn more about the young girl, and get the answers she seeks.

The puzzles themselves can be tricky, there can be more than one solution to the puzzle, and the trial-and-error method here really is your friend.

The Good
This is a really unique game, a great idea, and along with the melodic music, when you are in a level, everything looks and sounds great.

The Bad
There are some graphical inconsistences between the main scenes, the cut scenes and the game itself, which seems strange to me.

The biggest problem to the game however is the controls. I hate them, simple as that, now I have spoken to the game maker, and he released an update which did improve some of the lag between pressing a button and then the character moving. But there is still a problem there. Now the more you play the game, the less you will notice it, as you will subconsciously adjust how you play to make up for it, but even then you will find yourself in a position whereby you will have all the shadows in the perfect positions, you know exactly what you need to do, and how to do it, but instead of then being able to do it, it may take you numerous attempts, whether that being because you walk off a surface because you didn't jump in time, or you landed one pixel too far and hit a trap. All in all, instead of you feeling that you need to beat the challenge, you feel frustrated because it is like the game is letting you down, as opposed to your own abilities.

When a game relies on pinpoint accuracy when it comes to jumps etc, any little issue is amplified massively, and this is where this game does have a problem, and even after improving the delay times, I still find it an issue. There simply is no margin of error. You need to be perfect. And when the controls are off by a nanosecond, that perfection becomes frustratingly hard to achieve.

You can skip levels however, which I found myself doing, not because I didn't know how to finish the level, but because after failing 20 times in a row at a simple jump, I just lost patience.

Overall
I like this game, I like the idea, the concept, everything about it is original, but the controls just let it down, it is not fun to play. Can this be fixed? I don't know, I am not a game maker. I would like to think that a redesign of the character and the mechanics of movement could make this a great game. But as it is, it is just not quite there.

Maybe it is just me and I am too fussy.

If there is a demo available, try the demo, if you don't see the problems I mention, then buy the game, but you really need to play it first.

I score the game 6/10.
If the game receives some updates in the future, I may revisit this review. In the meantime please check out my game play video below, hopefully this will better explain the game than words ever could!

Review by Jon Donnis
Out on Steam Today!

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