I'm not exactly sure, but White Shadows seems to be set in the huge Brightglow Battery & Energy Drink plant…? You play as humanised bird-like creature, Ravengirl, who is labelled as a "Plague Bird". Your species appear to be the very bottom of the pecking order (see what I did there?) and are being used and abused in the battery and/or energy drink manufacturing process–answers on a postcard please. I had no clue what was supposed to be going on other than there being a lot of depressed pigs working in the plant and raven chicks constantly meeting unfortunate ends—sometimes because of your actions.
You make your way through this nightmarish black & white sprawl by clambering across platforms, timing jumps, riding, ducking and avoiding the many trains and assorted monstrous machinery that shuttle cargo around the factory.
The look and design put me in mind of classics of this sub-genre Limbo and Inside, but also had a distinctly Oddworld feel to it too–I wouldn't have been at all surprised to stumble across Abe on my travels.
White Shadows displays amazing use of light and umm… shadows—black ones. Anyone who played Limbo or Inside will be familiar with hiding in shadows or blending in to avoid capture, and similar game mechanics are SO well used here. White Shadows is a pleasure to play, with a few clever puzzles, secrets and demanding platform sections involved to keep you on your toes for the couple of hours it's likely to take you to finish it.
There's brilliant use of classical music too, Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, Rimsky Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee and The Blue Danube by Strauss to name but three. I think I heard haunting renditions of Alouette and Ode of Joy and Tchaikovski's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy at some point too…
Anyhoo, White Shadows may be a smart-arse political or social statement, or allegorical, or a clever avian spin on George Orwell's Animal Farm, or simply the result of substance abuse or eating cheese before bedtime–who knows? One thing is for sure, the developer's next game will be eagerly awaited. Let's just hope that Monokel's (that's the talented Daniel, Finley, Holger, Juniper, Marie, Moritz, Neysha and Timo) next project is a bit more cheerful and slightly less dark and weird.