Step into the mind of Christina as she tries to seek out the answers as to why someone left her.
Sharf is a short, somewhat interactive, story that follows young Christina. Coming in at only 10 minutes long, you’ll walk through a “quiet” forest as you read her thoughts. What awaits you at the end is not something you may expect, but it is something that will likely touch you.
As a story, Sharf achieves what it sets out to do. Unfortunately, some of the grammar is a bit lacking. There’s missing punctuation, a lot of ellipses, and some odd wording that make the message hard to understand. Even when you make it to the end, the grammar suffers some. It has missing words and almost no punctuation.
The graphics are nice, simplistic, and pixelized and work wonderfully for the message that is being shared. The animations are also quite simplistic, and unfortunately they are a bit short on their loop. Trees will be seen with the same leaves constantly looping, never actually making it to the bottom before their animation resets. Christina’s legs seem to have an odd knee placement, based on the way her legs bend while running.
One of my major gripes with Sharf is the fact there’s no way to put it into windowed mode. In fact, the game lacks any options at all. The good news is the sound doesn’t try and completely destroy your ears, however there’s one thing in particular that may get on your nerves a fair bit.
The Steam description states that the game is supposed to take place in a quiet forest. If you’ll note, a few paragraphs back I stated that this takes place in a “quiet” forest, and this was for good reason – this forest is anything but quiet. You can hear insects in the distance, as well as the sound of a squeaky swing constantly moving. The looping small, chime-y, melody that plays is fine, but if there’s anything that irritates me a ton it’s things that constantly squeak. The noise is fairly harsh on your ears, and thankfully, as I said, the sound doesn’t try and destroy your ears by being too loud.
My other gripe with the game is the pricing structure. While the game is only $1, it is still only 10 minutes long. If there were no plans to make this game free, it would have been absolutely wonderful to see the money instead go to something that will help rape victims (the subject matter of the game). I’m someone who is all for games being appropriately costed for their length, however there has been a case (that I’ve played) before in which a game was extremely short but did cost some money – 9.03m. All money received for that game went towards aiding the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Since Sharf is approximately the same length, it would have been fantastic to see that all proceeds from the sales (if there were no plans to make it free) would be going to benefit the victims of rape.
Sharf definitely has the makings of being a fantastic, short, title, however a few things are holding it back. The lack of a windowed mode (and especially the lack of any options at all) in games is a major let down to me. I also would like to have seen the proceeds for the game go to the aid of rape victims, since the game’s plotline ultimately came down to that. With that said, if you’re looking for a short story, as long as you can ignore the grammatical errors, Sharf should be right up your alley.
Sharf Review Score
If I can be proven wrong and it be shown that all proceeds from the game are going to the aid of rape victims, then that would be absolutely fantastic. As it is, even for $1, the game doesn’t feel worth the price.