Without focusing exclusively on the niche, Coatsink Software already has a few memorable VR titles under its belt. One of our earliest VR experiences was a demo for the excellent Esper, and in more recent years they developed Jurassic World: Aftermath as well. Their well-received narrative-driven puzzler Shadow Point came out for the Rift and Quest a while ago, but has now been launched on PSVR as well.
Having originally launched back in 2019, we had already given up hope about this one arriving on PlayStation VR, but in a period of relative drought (as we wait for more info on PSVR2) it’s a pleasant surprise. Set in a fantasy environment, Shadow Point features puzzles that use light and shadow as the core mechanics. As with many earlier VR games, it uses a simple core mechanic, and then build on it over the course of (in this case) seven areas/chapters filled with over 80 puzzles.
And just like Esper, which gave you puzzles that used physics and motion controls to work in a VR space, the experience is made all the more memorable thanks to some excellent narration. In this case, a story told by none other than Patrick Stewart. You can tell that Shadow Point was developed after Esper, as even though the story progression is fairly linear the environments are richer and laid out in 360 degrees here. That adds traversal into the mix, but you can also see that interactivity with elements of the environment is limited.
Where the game excels is in its use of light and shadow and how these are cast by spatially manipulating the elements of a scene in order to replicate what’s being asked. It’s a simple enough premise, but one that works very well inside a VR environment – and we can imagine it works especially well tether-free on the Quest. On PSVR, the simple mechanics of grabbing and moving objects translates well to what the Move controllers can do, so despite the lack of being able to freely move around it’s a port that fits well on the system.
More complex puzzles (near the end) can be a little more taxing on the PSVR’s tracking performance because there will be multiple things happening in multiple corners of your view, but not to a degree where it caused frustration for us. In fact, for a VR game we were surprised to find out how lengthy Shadow Point is – with a campaign of 6 to 8 hours it’s certainly longer than most games in its genre.
This, along with the excellent gameplay design and narrative presentation, makes Shadow Point a steal on PlayStation VR. If you don’t skip any of the (harder) puzzles then replay value is very limited, but you get a lovely journey at an affordable price point here – one that we can only recommend.