A great Storm destroys Shu’s village, kills the village elder, and scatters Shu’s people. It’s up to him to find the survivors, escape the storm, and find a way to live happily ever after.
Shu was released last year for the PS4/Vita using Cross-Buy and Steam.
Shu is a 2.5D platformer where you run, jump, and glide your way through each level. Along the way, there are items to collect in the form of butterflies, babbies (baby chicks), and mural pieces. Butterflies are plentiful, though collecting them all for each level is still a challenge. Babbies and mural pieces are more hidden, and actively need to be searched for.
In the game’s 5 lands (each containing 3 levels), Shu will find two of his friends that were scattered by the Storm. Each of these friends will give Shu additional abilities to help him traverse the levels in that world. One friend makes flower platforms bloom. Other lets Shu skim across the water for a short time. Even another allows Shu to smash through certain terrain. At the end of every land, the two friends found are whisked away to whatever safety awaits them, leaving Shu alone again.
The last, and most terrifying, aspect of the game is the Storm. At the end of each land, the Storm will catch up to Shu, grinning its terrifying grin while quickly making its way towards the Shu’s little party. These parts of gameplay are frantically placed, where one wrong move or slip up will find Shu gobbled up by the Storm and having to restart at the last checkpoint. You’re only safe once you reach a Sanctuary and finish the level.
As an added bonus to the game, a free DLC titled Caverns of the Nightjars was released this year that contains 6 more levels. The PS4/Vita also received an exclusive trophy area called The Refuge.
Shu is filled with amazingly colorful, hand-drawn artwork combined with a catchy soundtrack. Being 2.5D there’s some 3D rendered stuff in there too, but it’d blends wonderfully with the 2D artwork.
Shu is an absolute joy to play. It has a very old-school platformer feel with a very modern coat of paint. Each level’s design feels natural, is challenging, and contains enough secrets to have you replaying each level trying to find every last collectible.
There are hours of excellent play in here, with even more added with the game’s free DLC. You can even compete in time trials with global leaderboards, extending replayability even further.
With simple controls, beautiful visuals, and buttery-smooth gameplay, Shu is a no-brainer at $11.99.
As long as you don’t get too freaked out by that damn, smiling storm.
A North American PS4 key for Shu was provided free for review by Coatsink.