Shape of the World is an exploration game that weaves colors into breathtaking landscapes. The shifting pastel horizons create one of the best game worlds I’ve ever explored, capturing both the thrill of hiking and the colors of a solid psilocybin trip.
Shape of the World invites comparison to 2013’s exploration game Proteus, but while that game was ambiguous and encouraged wandering, Shape of the World has more drive. Shape of the World guides players with visible gates throughout the world. Passing through a gate will change the world’s color and summon new gates. This helps the game have an energy that propels the player forward, sometimes literally.
As the game world shifts, colors changing and new creatures awakening, previously explored areas take on a new light. Shape of the World feels alive, brimming with potential secrets and new changes. The player can partake in the creative process by throwing seeds around. When they land, they sprout into trees of various sizes and colors.
Shape of the World’s Steam description calls it “a 1-3 hour escape from work, anxiety and stress.” I’ve featured games with similar goals, like the music-based Void Wisp or moody racing game Photon Highway. Relaxation games are one of my favorite subsets of indie games, offering new spaces and sensory experiences that transport us away from the messiness of daily life. Levels melt into each other, creating one of the most comfortable game worlds I’ve experienced. Whenever you get angry, consider booting this up instead of throwing the controller.