Ever since the early days of Myst and Riven I’ve been a huge fan of puzzle games. On a flat screen, a good puzzle title can hold its own, depending on the quality of the writing, its storyline and, of course the puzzles themselves. But it’s in VR – where you’re immersed in the game rather than playing it from a distance – then a puzzle adventure really comes to life. UK – based Coatsink Software (those of They Suspect Nothing and Augmented Empire fame) knows this more than any other development company. Boasting a triple A voice over from Patrick Stewart (Star Trek’s Captain Picard) Shadow Point is a captivating puzzle adventure set in a fantasy world. You are tasked with solving the mystery of missing schoolgirl, Lorna McCabe who vanished from Shadow Point some 12 years ago while on a school trip. To make matters worse even the detective hired to find her went missing. His journals suggest Lorna is still alive and may be trapped in another dimension.
To solve the riddle of Lorna’s whereabouts you board a cable car and head to the disused mountaintop observatory called Shadow Point.
Once there you travel through seven main areas / dimensions and pit your wits against over mind-bending 80 puzzles. There are noticeably no weapons, enemies, upgrades or power ups in Shadow Point. This game is all about moving from room to room solving puzzles. As you might have guessed from the title, all of the puzzles in Shadow Point are light and shadow based and usually involve manipulating objects in order to create or recreate an image based on – yes, you guessed it – light or shadows. The game is guided by Patrick Stewart’s voiceover as he reads detective Edgar Mansfield’s journal .
Graphically, Shadow Point features well rendered VR locations filled with a variety of fascinating objects. Unfortunately Coatsink have minimised the amount of interaction to just objects that you can use to solve puzzles. This is a shame because this makes exploration and discovery almost redundant as you realise you’ll only be able to make progress if you stick to the storyline. To counter this, Coatsink have added a tougher moon challenge in each of the locations. Beat these and you’re rewarded with new areas at the main observatory.
Shadow Point looks gorgeous on the Quest and you could easily lose a good few hours just wondering around admiring the artwork. The developers have spent a lot of time recreating an abandoned mountaintop observatory and their attention to the finest details really shines through.
As we mentioned before the puzzles on offer revolve on the manipulation of light and shadows. The learning curve is not very steep and most puzzles can be solved within a few minutes of head scratching. You’ll be able to complete this game in 8 to ten hours. And, for the completionists out there, once you’ve beaten the game there’s always the temptation to replay it once more and attempt those trickier challenges. The fact that you can play Shadow Point either sitting or standing is a huge bonus. Coatsink have also included various means of movement ranging from teleportation to smooth locomotion which will be welcome news to newbies still getting their VR legs.
Whether you’re a Myst and Riven fan or just prefer a casual but challenging experience, Shadow Point, is an intriguing and rewarding puzzler. The game is a treat for both experienced VR puzzle fans and those new to the genre. Highly recommended.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.