But I can hear, in his caws, his entire soul grumbling
White Shadows draws its fascination in all of its elements from its extravagant style, thrilling production, and depressing atmosphere as well as from its Orwellian theme: You are a teenage raven girl that starts off the game, escapes chance from her life as a cog on the production line and is now exploring the world by herself, gaining how to see the ugly side behind the façade of propaganda and the supposedly natural hierarchies.
The way of life is determined by the cruel rule of wolves, who profit from the lack of light to sustain their dominance. At the beginning of the game, you see the pigs line in a long line similar to the factory workers of a like scene from Metropolis to get their everyday shower of light. It promises them only one piece of joy. However, it only makes them a part of the system that is ruling them. In the future, you could refer to it as a “boss combat” in a more general sense. You have to avoid dangerous traps in a circus for the crowd’s entertainment. A handsome, mechanical bears a smack on your ears while mocking you with a lively music number that goes with the game.
In what could be the best part of the entire game, you’re on a farm that is a battery, and you are there to observe the production of the feathered creatures around you and witness how their eggs are separated on the vast factory floor with mechanical robotic arms, all set to the beat from the Danube Waltz like a complex choreography for dance, after the various phases of adolescence can result in the deportation of labor camps or the gruesome destruction of chicks.
If music is played as a part of a song, it’s not the original compositions, but instead, evergreens that are cliches, popular in classical music, such as The Danube Waltz, but also Also Zarathustra and the Ride of the Valkyries or the duet of (oho it’s metaphorical) birdsong catcher Papageno as well as Papagena in The Magic Flute, mostly in slightly muffled versions which sound as if they are played from an old gramophone. With their range of joy to triumphant splendor, they reflect on the dark events in almost a mocking way.
It’s a bit disappointing.
I’d love to keep this thrilling style and offer you my unqualified recommendation for White Shadows. However, this puzzle-platformer doesn’t even begin to meet its innovative gameplay style. Though trying to be varied, the chapters veer off on a tangent and undecidedly between the interchangeable gameplay mechanics.
The simple puzzles have been more sophisticated and innovative in a myriad of games from indie studios of the same magnitude. It’s up to you to place statues on the rotating platform in rows. You can also push a crate to position to move to the next level up. Shady Part of White Shadows or me gives the impression that it was created with a clear concept in mind as well as literary inspiration in the back of your mind, in which case it was added due to necessity, to ensure that there was some and that the game would not be considered a walking simulator right from the beginning. It’s not a good fit for its game’s gameplay concept, and I’m secretly hoping that it could have been better off had it been one.
Perhaps, however, it could have drawn some other critiques, but it gave players the chance to fully immerse themselves in the euphoria of its aesthetic pleasure instead of being constantly ripped out of it by poorly-constructed game mechanics. Since, after a short duration of 3 hours, I was not disappointed when it was ended, but I must admit, despite the excitement over its sexual features: I didn’t enjoy myself playing it.