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Nintendo Switch  header logo

SHU Switch review – A clever and timeless adventure?

For: Switch
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If the SHU fits…

Product: Shu | Publisher: Coatsink | Format: Switch | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
If you've got a hankering for a good, old-fashioned platformer with a bit more 'oomph', SHU really does fit the bill.

It may not break down any walls or test the boundaries of the genre, but it does provide us with an excellent experience that's true to the game's style.

You know what you’re getting and that's okay. The bonus here is that Coatsink does it very well indeed, offering up something for old fans and new to enjoy.

It SHUldn't be so simple

Playing as the aforementioned SHU, your beaky character's goal is to flee from a monstrous storm all the while figuring out how to save the world.

Along the way you'll rescue characters that'll tag along with you until the end of each world.

These characters give you new abilities, like pounding through stacks of wood, or walking on water for a set amount of time, and each ability is necessary to successfully beat the level.

Since each world sheds the hitch-hiking characters in favour of new ones, you don't get confused about, or run out of, buttons. Because of the Switch's smaller interface on handheld, some of the buttons can be a little obscure to begin with, but it's no big deal once you've figured them out.

When you near the end of each world, there'll be a great crack of thunder and the level changes into a dreadful storm which you have to outrun. These bits are truly exhilarating as there's no room for error.

The gameplay itself is pretty simple. Without the bonus characters your primary skills involve jumping from platform to platform and avoiding falling into enemies or bodies of water. Sometimes simplicity is damning, especially in this age, but for SHU it works perfectly.

Bird brain

The contrast between the everyday world and the storm are is of my favourite things about the game. Everything is normally so pretty and bright and colourful that it's a joy to work through.

Once the storm rumbles in, however, the world washes in dark tones.

You have a total of five lives which replenish at each checkpoint, so you have to watch them carefully. Once you're at zero you have to start the level from scratch.

This sounds tricky, but the checkpoints are plentiful enough that it doesn't feel unfair, and far enough apart that it doesn't feel too easy.

Each death, especially when the storm hits, is a nuisance but not a game-changer. After a little while the levels become quite easy to navigate which is both good and bad in terms of challenge.

Given its shorter playtime (about three or four hours), rushing through it would be a waste. It would be nice if there were more worlds and more levels to work on, but for its price it's not bad.

SHU may not be the most advanced game out there, but it's fun, it's sure of itself, and it knows its audience.
SHU Switch review – A clever and timeless adventure?
Reviewer photo
Emily Sowden | 30 January 2018
SHU is a classic platformer that does the genre justice. It may not be super advanced, but it is good fun
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