White Shadows is a Limbo-Inspired Indie That Many Missed

Sometimes, an indie can slip under the radar with the entire gaming community being oblivious to it. White Shadows is certainly one of those games. This title is a “cinematic puzzler” where players take control of a strange child named “Ravengirl” trekking through a nightmarish world of the future. Set in a twisted dystopian landscape, White Shadows is a 2D platformer where solving environmental puzzles and avoiding danger rule supreme. Ravengirl’s destiny awaits at the end of this journey and it’s up to the player to make it to the end to discover the final twist of this narrative. Akin to other indies like Limbo and Little Nightmares, White Shadows holds all the marks to become a cult classic. Despite the rudimentary gameplay mechanics, this game does have a surprising amount of depth and surprises to it. This title echoes many other games that focus on societal structures and that sometimes, everything may seem ideal on paper, but reality has other things in mind.

Games such as Bioshock are good representations of such themes. No doubt, that IP was a heavy inspiration for White Shadows, as well. This game was released last December by developer Monokel. Since then, this game has garnered a fair good amount of praise from critics and players alike. In many cases of art, “less is more.” This definitely holds true with this title and this angle works well with such a game as this. The art style is very particular, with a stark black and white contrast that gives this world an otherworldly and forbidden feel to it. There is a lot happening on screen, letting the levels buzz with life and teeming with danger. Thus, the story in White Shadows is told through a raw environmental narrative. The exposition will be screaming in the player’s face, enticing them to take things slow and steady.

Death All-Around

The level layout of White Shadows is essentially very vertical in design. The ultimate goal of Ravingirl is to climb up the accumulated towers of this city and reach the top to face the hidden elites who pull all the strings. This is a plot that is as old as time, but it rings true for a game of this caliber. This is a true underdog story. Ravengirl can run, jump and climb on various objects throughout her journey. Thus, the entire city is like a giant machine with moving parts clattering all around. In fact, is very similar to Dr. Robotniks stronghold in any Sonic The Hedgehog game. The levels are rife with rotating cogs, cargo trains, tilting platforms, and mechanical monstrosities rattling in all directions. There aren’t really enemies to speak of. At least, not in the traditional sense.

No, instead there are drones roaming the skies that are in constant search of roamers such as Ravengirl. They hover around the area, copiously scanning for lifeforms with their spotlight. If they spot Ravergirl, they can kill her in pretty much an instant. Luckily, the controls are flexible enough to have Ravengirl interact with the environment in a number of ways. In some cases, she can stealth her way out of situations by hiding in the shadows. Additionally, she can also hug behind crates and other items to prevent herself from being seen. In terms of control, the law of physics seems to be on point with White Shadows. Ravengirl comes with a sense of weight and everything around her reacts naturally whenever she interacts with them. Pushing boxes, climbing on ladders, and leaping over gaps feel natural and very solid. Ravengirl doesn’t have any supernatural powers to speak of. She is a very vulnerable character who will need to resort to outsmarting the opposition as opposed to straight-up combat.

Shadow Slinking

Gameplay-wise, White Shadows mixes things up a bit. There will be parts where Ravengirl will need to stay in the shadows to hide from wandering eyes. Other times, there will be high-octane action like riding on top of a speeding train while dodging obstacles. Thus, there will be puzzles that will require certain items to pass. Something like needing an umbrella before freefalling down into a pit. Generally, the way everything works in this game is centered on common sense. There aren’t really any collectibles to find in this game, mind you. This is a very linear affair that’s mainly about overcoming monumental odds. The game does come with mercy while offering a healthy amount of checkpoints. These will be needed because one slip-up can cause death to new players. Only with trial and error will players be able to know what to expect. Much in a traditional video game fashion.

Oddly enough, there is no music in White Shadows. This game is strictly anchored down by its sound effects. They are clear and aurally pleasing, however. The world sounds ominous and the feeling of dread oozes at every facet. With that said, White Shadows only takes a few hours to complete. Thus, there aren’t really any replayability factors offered in this game. Unless, someone is a completionist and like collecting platinum trophies, this game does come with one. It is not too difficult to obtain and any well-versed platform gamer can probably get it with two or three playthroughs. This is a very unique game with a deep, rich, and interesting world in which any indie platformer fan might get joy in exploring.

Behind The Curtain

No doubt that White Shadows is a timely video game that explores the notions of questioning what we see around us. If nothing else, players can go on a harrowing journey of being an underdog and ultimately become a hero. There are many reasons why gamers should check out this title. This game was released during the holiday season, which can bury many indies and lesser-known titles among the AAA titles that launch. Hence, White Shadows is a worthy addition to any indie fan out there that like taking chances and trying something new. White Shadows is now available for Xbox, PlayStation 5, PC, and Mac.

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