Shu is a colorful 2D platformer full of lighthearted adventuring as your travel across environments stemming from a dark event. Developed and published by Coatsink, you take on the role of Shu, a young member of a bird-like tribe who reside near the sea. When an evil force, in the appearance of a storm, came in and wiped out his village, everything and everyone felt lost. Traverse through 15 different levels across 5 diverse lands, rescue lost members with special powers, and look for a way to destroy the storm.
There're a few things that make Shu more gifted in his abilities to traverse the world. And by a few I mean ten; you'll find ten different recruitable village members along with your journey who will provide new special moves and abilities. You'll come across them in their own respected times in the story and can even have more than one following you at a time. It adds a special dimension to the gameplay and can be recognized as one of its greatest qualities. Occasionally a platform game will be overcrowded with gameplay concepts, ultimately causing confusion, or it is too simple and too repetitive. This game offers a very unique (and subtle) way to create diversity and depth while still keeping everything simple and understandable.
Sound and Graphics
You won't find voice acting in the gameplay, nor in the cutscenes. Everything is told through slightly moving pictures but overall it tells the story extremely well. I never felt cheated by not hearing each character talk, and found that I was more than able to build the connection towards them anyways. Each of the characters does have a unique sound they bring to the table, and when traveling across all the levels, it's a greatly appreciated detail that makes it all feel less repetitive. The soundtrack is a major plus for title as well; it provides a soft background compliment to the visuals but gets intense when being chased by the storm, making for a wide range of presentations.
The graphics are sharp and colorful hand-drawn styled depictions of a unique world worth exploring. The character models are completely original, and the environments you'll traverse are no different. The world moves as it should in order to project a space full of life; as you interact with things, or even simply run past them, they shift and shake as you would like them to. The performance is top notch with very little, if any, issues. Holding a consistent frame rate should be expected from a simple title, but still noteworthy that the company truly tested the game well before releasing.
Complexity in the controls doesn't always mean for more enjoyment in the gameplay, and Shu proves that in every way imaginable. It's elegantly simple, yet never comes across as bland or boring. It's diverse enough to change things up consistently, yet never oversteps it's own artistic boundaries, trying to be something it's not. And most importantly it's incredibly smooth performing and logical in it's approach to platforming. There's a lot to love about this small title if the genre suites you as a gamer, and is something worth considering even if it is not. A smooth, artistic, and easy going adventure that spans 15 levels in 5 different environments; the game offers replay value in terms of both enjoyment and competitiveness with its leaderboards.
|+ Beautiful art style and living environments||– At times extremely easy|
|+ Leaderboard scores for added replay||– Semi short playthrough|
|+ Constant variety in gameplay|
|+ Incredibly smooth controls|