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Shu Review: A Modern Platforming Masterpiece

I’d consider myself a gamer of the ‘Nintendo Generation’, a gamer of the 90’s that has fond memories of side scrolling platformers that not only challenge but inspire. Many new ‘indie’ games releasing in the past few years have looked to evoke that kind of response and actively promote it. Shu, however is understated, beautifully crafted and lovingly created by ‘Coatsink’ and ‘Secret Lunch’. I first played Shu pre launch at EGX 2016 and since then I had been itching to play it again. The first thing that really stands out is the art style, it is breathtaking. There have been many times I have died in the game simply because I have been soaking up the beautiful art of the world around me.

The gameplay is great too, you play as Shu whose village has been destroyed by a storm. You have to collect and save the villagers as your progress, however it’s not as black and white as just collecting them along the way and continuing with more of the same. Each villager has their own unique skill set (high jump, wall ride, glide etc), that expands the game and makes for some brilliant, challenging and varied platforming. As you acquire new villagers and new skills this becomes reflected in the level design, the levels adapt with a focus on your most currently collected villagers skills. In no time you will find yourself, gliding and doing combo moves to speedily get across the 15 beautiful levels. When I first started to play the game I was bobbing along nicely taking in the view then all of a sudden ‘RUN’ appeared on the screen and the storm that destroyed the village comes after you, it makes for an intense speed run and requires pin point precision to get though the chase. This is such a good game mechanic; you learn the skills for that level then you have to put them to the test. I would be lying if I said my heart wasn’t racing during the chase sections, it makes the game unique and thrilling. 

Shu is a breath of fresh air, a great platformer that utilises old school game mechanics and adds a modern and unique twist. I would recommend anyone that has a PS4 to go grab it, kids will love it and vintage gamers will warm to its old school charm. I can’t really shout loudly enough about Shu, there any many indie games to choose from on the PS store but only one game like Shu.

Shu is available now on Steam and PS4 for £9.49 (with a Vita version coming soon)

Rating: 9/10

Jake Buchanan | @HDD_Heart

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