Schein has already won a half dozen or more awards and rightly so. Playing heavily on a sense of lonely unease and precision platforming Schein challenges the player to unravel the mysteries at the heart of the swamp. Schein takes place in a swamp, where a weary father relentlessly searches for his missing son. As his resolve threatens to fade entirely he finds a strange light and approaches.
Right from the get go Schein makes great use of communicating visually with the player; Painted in browns and greys the swamp is a place of desolation, until the player finds the Irrlicht, A shining light that transforms the reality around it. From here on out its a steady spiral down the rabbit hole and into a hostile realm of vibrant and disturbing colour that reveals unseen worlds.
Principally Schein is a platformer requiring the skills most every gamer grew up on in games like Mario, and Sonic. Where Schein shines (forgive the pun) is its use of the player’s memory and imagination. Often the player is required to identify, predict, or remember where invisible platforms are while managing the dynamic interplay of the different coloured lights of the Irrlicht, and a number of lanterns spread through most levels.
Repetition, and Deja Vu visit the player at regular intervals, similar puzzles are used with a regular rhythm but each new iteration always presents the player with fresh challenges. A feeling of suspicion and unease grows as each puzzle is conquered, reenforced by the isolation present in the game. Minor detection bugs appear from time to time and the game suffers frame rate loss after extended play, but that doesn’t ruin the experience.
Schein provides an engaging puzzle experience and presses the player to closely examine their surroundings while presenting them with a beautiful and disturbing world.