The Shape of Things (Switch) Review

Inspired by the Rubik’s Cube, The Shape of Things is a relaxing, casual puzzle game designed around a cozy environment. With no way to lose and no penalty for failure, this go-at-your-own-pace puzzler is all about rotating parts of a 3D object to make it whole.

From backpacks, to headphones, to a nest of bird eggs, players are tasked with putting non-violent, every day 3D models together. Each object is essentially cut into slices and the analog sticks are used to rotate, pan, and enlarge/shrink these individual pieces. In other words, you need to put slices of one cohesive 3D object together.  

The overall interface is quite cozy. Instead of simply selecting a puzzle from a static menu, the presentation takes place in a quiet office/bedroom setting. Using the analog stick as a mouse pointer, the player can click on things within the room to access gameplay elements. Want to start a puzzle? Click on the rotating capsule tower in the corner. Want to unlock more challenges? Tap on the gacha machine and spend some coins (which are earned by completing puzzles). The ceiling can even be selected to see your progress on completing a star constellation.  Then, the window in this office displays the changing seasons which just provides needless, but entirely welcomed, charm. It is colorful, simple, and most importantly, not intimidating.

When first starting a puzzle, it looks like a mangled blob. But once you start to rotate a few pieces, the object starts to become clear. The experience remains casual throughout because each piece can only be adjusted in one way. For example, one chunk might be rotatable, the other can be enlarged/shrink, while the final piece and move on one axis.  This keeps things simple. Otherwise, if you can move, rotate, pan, and enlarge all pieces at all times, it would be very difficult to solve. Limiting the movement of each piece might sound restricting but it actually works in the game’s favor, avoiding overly complex frustration. Most puzzles can be completed in a minute or two at so there is a nice sense of progression too.  However, my only complaint is that pieces need to often line up perfectly.  Being off by just 1% can mean the difference between completing a puzzle and fumbling to find that super precise sweet spot.

Aligning with the wholesome visual theme, the soundtrack is excellent. The slow paced, piano-based themes are entirely relaxing, and I want this music playing the background throughout the day in real life.

­­­­The Shape of Things is one of the most casual puzzle games recently released. While there is no multiplayer or way to lose, the uncomplicated, light-hearted gameplay provides a spa-like casual experience that is a great way to relax at the end of the day.

SCORE: 8/10

Don’t Forget About: Rubik’s World (Wii)

Better Than: Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation Odyssey (PS4)

Also Try: relaxing at a spa

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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