SCHiM is a delightful 3D platformer developed by Ewoud van der Werf and Nils Slijkerman. A story of light and shadow, simple but with brilliant ideas.

SCHiM is a relaxing 3D platformer where we guide a small creature in an original and unique adventure. The exclusive preview that we were able to try tells us about the prologue, and then immerses us in the actual gameplay.

First of all, however, let’s try to understand what schims are. Small creatures that represent the soul of both a living being and an inanimate object. Everyone has one and woe betide them if they were to separate.

SCHiM - Release Date Trailer

Let’s Find Our Human

As soon as our adventure begins we become familiar with the fundamental mechanics of SCHiM

After this introduction we find ourselves in a long preamble in which we must guide both the human himself and the creature. After some initial confusion we understand that the developers wanted two things. Let us become familiar with the mechanics without suffering consequences and tell us a story. We follow our human from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood. Each period is characterized by joys and sorrows, all characterized with different colors. In his adulthood he will suffer some bad blows from fate, until he loses his shadow. 

After this rather cryptic and silent incipit, the real adventure begins.

Simple But Original Mechanics

The fundamental mechanics of SCHiM are simple yet intelligent. Jumping from one shadow to another to make your way towards our goal. The little creature can’t stay out of the shadows for too long, but don’t worry, if we fail we’ll start over from a checkpoint. There are no finite lives or attempts, you start again from the checkpoint without further penalties. 

As relaxing as it is, SCHiM leads the player to carefully observe the surrounding environment. This, thanks to the different selectable camera angles, leads the player to create alternative paths and solutions. 

We move in lively scenarios and in a mostly urban context. So we not only have to jump on fixed shadows, but also on moving shadows. This, in addition to planning the route, also leads to good hand-eye timing. The jump mechanics help the player in this because they are quite generous and do not require extreme precision. The creature can also interact with objects in which it is immersed. Some outcomes are nice interactions, others are necessary to move forward on the goal. 

Deviating from the path is not only necessary, sometimes there are collectibles that are worth finding just for the sake of it.

How is SCHiM Technically Made?

In SCHiM the technical aspect of graphic creation is certainly more complex than it may seem. The synthetic line, made of a silhouette with a nice outline and few colors, gives us an absolutely effective and captivating graphic style, and, despite being so apparently simple, very realistic.

The very fact that certain details are omitted – such as the facial features of the characters present – is to create a realistic vision of a point of view from a distance and, above all, of the scene as a whole.

We are talking about an isometric platformer, created in 3D, in which each object has its own shadow, which is created thanks to two main lighting options: the directional light, which represents the sun, and the point light, which emanates from a specific location. Changing the angle of directional lights or moving point lights changes the position and appearance of shadows, creating dynamic visual effects.

An in-depth and effective study of lights is accompanied by an equally interesting and dynamic use of the color palette. Even the color of a scene, which changes during the various passages – every time you pass a certain tree – contributes to giving atmosphere and meaning.

What appears most evident, however, is the realism of SCHiM. The contrasts of light and shadow and this realistic staging are typical of Dutch animation, to which Ewoud van der Werf wants to pay particular homage.

When will SCHiM Be Released?

If you’re looking for something relaxing and at the same time beautiful to play and look at, at least try the demo on Steam.

SCHiM will be available from July 18th on PS4/5, XBOX ONE / SERIES X|S, Steam and Nintendo Switch.

Wait for our review!

I'm a musician (pianist), a nerd and a longtime manga lover. My gamer life started with a copy of Pitfall (1982) for Atari 2600, and so I grew up hand to hand with this medium until now. Later I started to look for what's behind the final product, its design and what happens behind the scenes of the video game world.
I'm an Italian artist who came late to the gaming world but fell in love with it right away. I'm not the best gamer, and I choose titles that appeal to my personal preferences, but I can appreciate the graphics content and artistic solutions above all, even as I learn about all the fascinating game development features.