Review: SCHiM (Exclusive Press Demo)

Estimated read time 4 min read

Developer – Ewoud van der Werf, Nils Slijkerman

Publisher – Extra Nice, PLAYISM

Platforms –  PC (Reviewed)*The final Game will be released on Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X , Playstation 4/5 and Nintendo Switch*

Review Code provided by Developers

Note:

The Following Review is of an Exclusive Press Demo sent to Press Only and includes levels not included in the Public Steam Demo.

Note the game may change before release, and this review is strictly of the Exclusive Press Demo.

SCHiM is an interesting take on a 3D platformer and centers around the unique mechanic of jumping from shadow to shadow. Set in a vibrant and lively environment, the game offers a relaxing yet intriguing experience , by integrating elements of light, shadow, and animation into the core gameplay.

Before we jump into how the game plays, we first need to understand what a schim is. A schim represents the soul and spirit of an object, entity, or living being. Every element in the world possesses a schim. Ideally, a schim should remain connected to its corresponding entity. However, in the game, your schim, which is linked to a human being, becomes separated from them early in the story. This separation sets the stage for the journey and challenges that follow.

While players play as a schim ,Players will find themselves navigating through a dynamic world where shadows are not just part of the scenery, but essential pathways that guide their journey back to there human who they belong to and has lost there shadow. The innovative use of light and shadows, transforms each level into a puzzle, encouraging exploration and strategic thinking as players move through beautifully animated landscapes.

Each level in SCHiM features its own vibrant, living scenery, complete with small stories waiting to be uncovered. These environments are inspired by real Dutch and European cities as well as picturesque rural locations. As you explore, you’ll encounter numerous hidden items. Discovering these items not only adds to the game but also allows you to assist other schims in reuniting with their respective entities.

The game emphasizes the need for keen observation and quick reflexes. Players must be swift in noticing opportunities and agile in hopping between shadows, ensuring they don’t miss the perfect moment to advance. However, it’s not just about speed; players must also make strategic decisions, choosing the right shadow to jump to in order to progress effectively. This balance of quick thinking and careful planning adds a layer of depth to the gameplay, challenging players to be both fast and wise in their actions.

As I played through this Exclusive Press Demo, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the classic game Frogger. The way the schim hops between shadows evokes a similar sense of precision and timing. Much like in Frogger, where you sometimes need to hop back to avoid getting hit by a car, in SCHiM, you often have to retrace your steps to correct a poorly chosen jump. The timing of some hops in SCHiM also brought to mind the logs near the end of a Frogger level, where you must perfectly time your jumps to advance.

The Exclusive Press Demo also featured two unique levels not included in the public Steam Next Fest demo. These levels are set during nighttime, compelling players to rely more heavily on the light cast by various objects to create shadows. Unlike the daytime levels, where abundant sunlight produces numerous shadows, the nighttime environment presents a distinct challenge. The scarcity of light sources requires players to be even more strategic and observant in navigating the shadow paths, adding a layer of complexity to the gameplay.

SCHiM offers a uniquely captivating twist on the traditional 3D platformer genre, blending innovative shadow-jumping mechanics with beautifully crafted environments. Having had a taste of its intriguing gameplay in the demo, I am eagerly anticipating the full release to further explore its richly detailed world and uncover all the hidden stories and challenges it has to offer.

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