Shadow Puppeteer is an adventure/puzzle platformer with fantastic graphics and great mechanics. While the game does have a couple of issues, I was able to overlook its shortcomings as the game was truly fantastic fun. As I was playing, a similar sort of game popped into my head – Contrast by Compulsion Games. Regarding gameplay, I found Contrast to be much easier, despite that game having some problems of its own on launch.
The game is about exploring the relationship between light and dark, So you have the boy who is the main protagonist and his shadow, you have to work together to overcome obstacles and help each other collect light and dark spheres and pass the level. The game has quite a dark setting with black and dark purple hues, but the color palette does blend together quite well.
Shadow Puppeteer has no voice acting, so the cutscenes are silent – but you don’t need voice acting to know what is happening as it is clearly plain to see! Someone is stealing shadows, and it is up to the boy and his shadow to rescue all the shadows beings taken away.
The game is played both in 2D and 3D. The boy can move around each level in the 3D space without a problem, but the boy’s shadow can only move in the 2D plane, which makes for some interesting gameplay mechanics during your quest.
With the Wii U Gamepad or Pro Controller, you control each character with each separate analogue stick and shoulder buttons, which can take a bit of getting used to. In early levels, you start with simple things like moving blocks and standing on stuff as you flip some switches to let your shadow pass through and your shadow, or having the shadow clear the way for the boy. Those early levels are pretty good at helping you get used to how each character controls, but it can get a bit cumbersome sometimes. I’ve found myself accidentally pressing the wrong buttons at first, but I eventually got the hang of it.
In later levels, you can manipulate light to create platforms, use tools like ropes, bombs and scissors the boy finds or give them to his shadow to overcome obstacles. The way the relationship works between light and shadow is pretty fascinating, and you have to work together if you want to collect the spheres. The Purple Spheres collectibles that only the shadow can collect, and Light Spheres can only be collected by the boy.
Overall, Shadow Puppeteer will take roughly three to fours hours to complete. A good game to play if you have time to play this for a day or two, and if you have kids, then it is a perfect game to spend quality time with your son or daughter as you play in co-op. The game has multiple saves, so if you want a save for your solo run, and another save for your co-op play, then that is very much doable.
Despite some issues, Shadow Puppeteer was a joy to play – much easier to play if you have a co-op buddy! The puzzles are very well thought out and some of the collectibles are cleverly well hidden, so it is worth checking absolutely everything you come across to 100% the game.
|Fun game with a dark theme.|
Interesting light manipulation mechanics.
Co-op is available.
|Have to get used to controls in single player mode|
This review is based on a EU Wii U copy of Shadow Puppeteer provided by Snow Cannon Games.
Written by: Tracey
- Contributing Editor