If someone you knew went missing, how would that make you feel? Would you be scared? Would you have a lot of questions? Or maybe you would try to find the answers for yourself. But what if the way to find the answers was just a ride away and all you had to do was step inside? It can be a very scary situation for something like that to occur and hopefully one that we will never have to face personally. So does developer Coatsink bring the story-driven puzzling genre to some fun and exciting ways to play? Let’s find out with Shadow Point for PlayStation VR.
Shadow Point is a story-driven VR puzzle game set between a mountaintop observatory and an ever-changing fantasy world. Playing as one Alex Burkett, you are guided by a journal of Edgar Mansfield where you will play with your own reflections, walk on walls, and even manipulate gravity trying to find the answers. So before you head to the observatory, there are a few things that you will want to be aware of. First, I am not going to show the later chapters as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. Second, make sure your Move controllers are fully charged as you don’t want to not be able to solve a puzzle because you cannot hold them because you forgot to charge them. And finally, just have some fun with your time as there is no need to rush. With that said, let’s continue…
When you first start Shadow Point, you are inside the observatory with this grayscale backdrop that almost sets a tone for itself. But it’s here at this point where you are welcomed to the settings where you can select from things such as the audio, recalibrate, as well as selecting from playing from standing or seating, and gets you right into the tutorial of how to move around and interact with the objects. But once the game starts and you hear the music and you pick up the journal, you are then welcomed with a familiar voice that will narrate you throughout your adventure of one Sir Patrick Stewart. It’s at this point where we learn where Lorna McCabe vanished back in 1996. As you look around and see the missing pictures on the wall, you activate the cable car that will take you to the Shadow Point Observatory where once inside, you will notice that this is not a normal observatory that looks at the stars, but one that works as a portal of sorts and this is where you are on your adventure to try to find out what happened to her.
But it’s the puzzles that will sometimes have you thinking outside the box. Early, puzzles such as holding a square or a circle to match the shape are what you need to have the puzzles solved (as well as some optional ones to solve). But as you progress, the puzzles start to get more challenging as you will start to need to find different objects and hold each of them in your hands to get them to match up to even using objects to change the perception to get them solved. It’s all about holding the objects in the right way so that the light hits everything just right. But each of the different chapters has its own set of puzzles that need to be completed (that does have this satisfaction about them when you complete them) before you can move on and this is where you get to hear more from Sir. Patrick Stewart as you are hearing the words of the journal be said that makes you want to head into each chapter to find out what is going on.
And as each of the chapters starts to progress the story, so well the explanation of what has happened to Lorna from early on, things start to get into perspective with each puzzle-solving after the next as well viewing the struggles that are being faced.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Originally being that this game was released on the Quest platform back in 2019, everything was clear. From the cable car ride to even chapter titled The Garden to even the bird Finlay, everything is simple and very pleasant on the eyes making the art style look really good on PlayStation VR. The sound and the music, along with the narration power of Sir. Patrick Stewart is very well done as well. I would suggest when you first start, that when you go into settings and adjust the levels as when I first started, the gameplay audio was a little louder than the narration, but it was easily adjusted. But there is something about the soundtrack that is relaxing and soothing that even after playing, I found myself just listening to it that I could easily recommend it for anyone’s gaming playlist.
There are a few things that I hope to see added in for an update. Right now, the only movement option is teleportation. The Quest/2 platform version does have full locomotion. Does teleportation work on PlayStation VR? Yes, but it’s always nice to have options. And then I would love to see an option for the younger players out there that could have the ability to have assistance with the puzzles. The puzzles are not too difficult, but there are some challenging ones like when you have gravity come into play. So having something for the younger players who might get frustrated when it comes to puzzle-solving is a way to help them stay engaged because really, Shadow Point has a great story to tell.
Shadow Point allows us to enter into a place where anything could be possible. It shows that everything has a place and time. Sometimes in life, we question why things are the way that they are and question when those things don’t always seem as they appear. But sometimes all we need to do is look at our own reflection to find the answers to the questions that we seek as long as we make the time to do so.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, there were a few optional puzzles that I want to go back and solve.