The independent video game industry has the unique ability to tell stories that might otherwise go unheard. If Found… and Not Tonight 2 are only two examples of how a computer game’s blank canvas may lead to amazing experiences. A different example is Red Stage Entertainment’s Skábma – Snowfall, which tells a story about the Sámi ethnic group.
Ailu, a young Sámi lady striving to stop a plague from spreading over the countryside, tells her story in Skábma – Snowfall. Four spirit familiars help support Ailu’s mission of restoring harmony to the natural world, as opposed to just her. Native inhabitants of the Sámi region are shown prominently in this video game.
Cultural focus of Skábma – Snowfall
Cultural focus of Skábma – Snowfall is incredible, allowing the game’s themes and storyline to revolve around this portrayal without succumbing to the trap of information dump. In this game, rather than sitting the player down and explaining everything, it makes the setting feel like a true, active region. As a result, the player’s path through the game is related to Ailu’s quest to learn the Noaidi, or Sámi healers.
Even as gameplay evolves, Skábma – Snowfall maintains its integrity. It’s easy to play Ailu at first, but using a Noaidi drum unlocks additional abilities as the game develops thanks to the release of spirit familiars. Creating rock platforms and manipulating wind vortexes are two examples that are reminiscent to Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ gameplay elements.
Skábma – Snowfall is a mood-maker to the core. Although they are few in number, the ensemble performs what is necessary to keep the tale moving forward. They are well-rounded in their portrayals of Sámi society as well as the perspectives of outsiders. Even while the tale doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking in contrast to other nature-themed adventure games, it’s still a lot of fun to play through.
There is more time for exploration of the game’s environment, which is where most of the game’s gameplay elements are placed. To go about in Skábma: Snowfall, the player must use the powers learnt from their spirit friends to traverse its numerous areas. The game avoids the path-following method of the Fable games, which is a good change, but it does go a touch too far in the opposite direction, resulting to some head-scratching moments for the player.
The great potential of Skábma – Snowfall can only be partially realised due to the constraints imposed by technology. Caves, which already provide challenges due to their narrow platforming, make the situation even more difficult for the camera because of its heightened sensitivity. Some of the design choices may make it difficult to understand what is going on, such as when the player’s health is low and the clarity of the visuals diminishes based on the surroundings rather than the more typical dynamic lighting. This may make it difficult to understand what is going on.
There is a problem with Skábma – Snowfall since it isn’t always fun to play Because of the sluggish loading times and frame rate drops, some portions of the game may be frustrating to go through. There are some challenging moments, but this does not diminish the game’s overall quality.
It is a daring and dynamic game that has a gorgeous ambience and enticing, yet at times simple gameplay. It’s limited by technical limitations, but those who don’t mind them will have a good time.