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Video Game / Shady Part of Me

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Shady Part of Me is a game developed by Douze Dixièmes and published by Focus Home Interactive for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The story revolves around two young girls who try to become friends, despite their differences. One is an imaginative, lonely girl who is afraid of light.

The other is her shadow, cast on the wall.

The difference between the two makes up the crux of the Dual-World Gameplay. The girl walks in the three-dimensional world, capable of moving things around and otherwise manipulating various objects; however, her aversion to light restricts her mobility to shaded areas. Her shadow travels through a two-dimensional world, where the darkness poses such hazards as threatening thorns or risk of crushing; certain switches upon surfaces react to being in the dark, which the shadow can occupy or have the girl move something to cast onto it. However, in cases where a lever or some such casts a shadow on the wall, either the girl or her shadow can pull it - to the same effect. Letting a light be cast on the girl, having her shadow fall into thorns or be crushed, or having the surface on which the shadow is standing abruptly cast into darkness, will result in their demise, although the game makes use of a Time Rewind Mechanic in addition to checkpoints from which the player can restart entirely.

Intriguingly, the game is devoid of most pre-game interface elements; there is no title screen, there are no save files. Closing the game and reopening it resumes from the last checkpoint, and upon reaching the end, the credits roll with no automatic return to the menu.

Released in December 10, 2020.

Shady Part of Me provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: Origami birds fly about the levels, requiring additional effort to find them all. Collecting one will cause further text to appear on the environment
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Some levels have the girl in a boat, with the player controlling her shadow and trying to keep pace on the wall beside her, resulting in this effect for the shadow.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Being able to rewind rather than restart makes correcting one's mistakes much easier than they would be otherwise.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Some areas have an interesting variation on this for the girl; an illuminated hallway with the shadows of something moving across it regularly. The moving shadows are faster than the girl can walk, requiring her to duck into stationary shadows to avoid the light.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: Alternating control between the girl and her shadow means being very aware of how they both work.
  • Edge Gravity: Absent for the shadow, who plays like an ordinary platformer, but present for the girl, who will actively resist moving into lighted spaces. If the player tries to push her straight in, the screen will gradually brighten until she recoils as though burned. Unfortunately, this aversion is not fast enough for her to automatically stay inside moving shadows.
  • The Faceless: The girl's head is completely consumed by her hair. Her shadow, naturally, is quite featureless herself.
  • Game Over: Although it's not a true game over (only prompting the rewind), getting the girl trapped in light or having the shadow eliminated does show a pseudo-game-over screen in which the colors are all desaturated and the contrasts are turned up, to the point where the game seems to be in nothing but black and white.
  • Guide Dang It!: There are three levels of lighting in the game - bright enough that the girl won't walk into it, dark enough that the girl can walk in it but bright enough that the shadow can walk in it, and dark enough to be a solid wall for the shadow. The former two aren't always clear.
  • Grand Theft Me: In the last level of the game, the shadow acquires the ability to control puppets, allowing her to manipulate the three-dimensional world alongside the girl. At the end, she does the same to the girl herself, after she finds herself trapped in the light.
  • Gravity Screw: If the shadow walks on a curved platform, or stands on something as it rotates, gravity changes to remain at her feet. Moving between different surfaces can also have this effect; for example, when the light is cast in a corner, which axis the shadow stands on the floor will change depending on which wall she descends from.
  • Idle Animation: When controlling the girl or her shadow for an extended period, the other will sit down and wait until control returns to her.
  • Mind Screw: The entire game serves as one, and somehow manages to be heartwarming in the process.
  • Time Rewind Mechanic: Upon either of the girls being incapacitated, a prompt appears on the screen to instruct on the use of the rewind. That being said, depending on how convoluted your process was before you incapacitated yourself, you might be better off with restarting from the last checkpoint.
  • Unsound Effect: The girl's footsteps are a accompanied with flip, flop, flip, flop Written Sound Effects.