I went into this year's Steam Game Festival looking for some of the familiar games that were featured in our weekly Screenshot Saturday round-ups, and I was so excited to see In My Shadow in the list. The game was featured in Screenshot Saturday - September 12th, and a beautiful demo of it was released on Steam. While short, the demo was a wonderful experience, and I'm even more excited to get my hands on the full game!
In My Shadow, developed by Playbae and published by Alcon Interactive Group is a puzzle platformer game, where we get to arrange and rotate objects in the center of the room, so we can use the shadows cast on the wall as terrain to help Bella pass the obstacles, collect memory snippets, and return to her puppy and relive her memories. The game looks beautiful, the stories are relatable and emotional, and the gameplay is innovative and challenging. In My Shadow looks great, and it can only get better from here.
In My Shadow tells the story of a young woman named Bella, who is struggling with some family issues. She deals with her problems, by remembering memories of her childhood. These memories are discovered as the shadow of her younger self, maybe a projection of her inner child, goes through the obstacles to reach her puppy. A source of pure joy and love, that will help her remember and face her emotions. We only saw a brief part of the story in the demo, but I can only imagine that the final version of the game is gonna tell a rich, relatable and therapeutic story.
In My Shadow has an adorable cartoonish art. Both in gameplay, and in the memories that we see after each level, the art looks in theme with the story of childhood memories and emotions. Alternating between the animations of the magical world of shadows, and the photo album-like still images that Bella relive her memories through, create a unique way of storytelling in the game.
The story and art style are exciting, but it's time to talk about the most innovating aspect of In My Shadow; It's gameplay. The challenge is getting past the obstacles and collect the objectives that appear as shadows on the wall. We need to move the objects and furniture in the center of the room, to cast shadows that will help us get through to the other side. After we are done setting up the objects in the room, we go back to the shadow, control the shadow of the young Bella, and help her get to her puppy Fisker.
The realistic physics of the shadows create unique logical puzzles each level. Since the movement of objects are continuous and we can create a wide range of sizes and shapes of shadows with each piece of furniture, there is never a single correct answer for a puzzle. There might be a more optimal way to complete a level, but you might complete the puzzle by different compositions and a even little bit of luck. This feature means that although the puzzles are still challenging, there's a lower chance of being stuck on a level for too long. There is no one correct answer, so we might as well try different answers to find one that works.
Movement is also a deciding factor in solving some of the levels. Sometimes you need careful movement and jumps to get past some of the deadly obstacles, and sometimes you can't figure out the best positioning for the shadows, and you hope with delicate movements you can get through the level.
In My Shadow has raised expectations to be a beautiful, innovative and challenging puzzle game with teasers and screenshots during development, and the demo showed that those expectation are definitely met. We can't wait to play the full version of the game later this year!