If you like your platformers dark, immersive and with a large amount of social commentary, then look no further than White Shadows! Developed by debutant studio Monokel, this will be the jam of anyone who enjoyed Limbo, Little Nightmares and Inside, as well as dystopian nightmares from people like George Orwell or Aldous Huxley.
The most striking element of this little game, developed by no more than seven people, is how beautiful it looks. It may only have two colours in its palette, but it uses them well. You skulk in the shadows, as your enemies hunt you down with bright searchlights, trains and helicopters.
You play White Shadows as Ravengirl, a young bird who has lived out most of her short life in an abandoned cuckoo clock. It’s time to stray out and see the world, but it’s soon clear that this isn’t a place that’s made for birds. Large billboards make it clear that wolves live on the top tier of society, pigs just below, and birds are rock bottom. Something happened in the past of this world to put you there, and you’re going to find out.
This plays out as a narrative-driven platformer. But while it might look like a huge 3D world to explore, this is very much in the vein of Little Nightmares and the like, where you’re locked to a 2D plane. And like Little Nightmares, it uses those limitations to tell a fantastic story. You’re going to be delving into themes of racism and structural inequality, as well as some gruesome stuff that’ll churn your innards.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point and we couldn’t be more happy that people are finally going to be able to get to play the game we’ve been working so hard on,” said Daniel Wagner, creative director and co-founder at Monokel. “We can’t wait to see what people make of White Shadows and how they connect with the impactful experience we are trying to deliver.”
We had a chance to talk to the creative director of Monokel, so check out what he had to say about making a debut game. Also check out our review, as we called White Shadows “a journey through an astonishingly constructed and lit world, pitch black in tone but with moments that shine through”.
White Shadows is out now on Xbox Series X|S and starts at £16.99 from the Xbox Store. It’s also out on Playstation 5 and PC.