Shiny – Xbox One Review
Brazilian developer Garage 227 have brought their first title to Xbox One in the form of Shiny, a cute platformer without any violence involved. Something of a rarity with games in this day and age, as most games tend to have some form of violence entailed within. But does Shiny keep you calm?
In Shiny, you play the role of a robot called Kramer 227, left stranded on the planet Aurora. Trying to leave the destructive planet, Kramer picks up his fellow mechanical friends on the way. As the game starts, a short tutorial ensues, guiding you through the basic mechanics of the game. There isn’t a lot to it, so it’s easy to just pick up and play this title. A button is for jump and X is to interact.
There are around twenty levels to complete, each becoming increasingly difficult, but to hardcore gamers, this should be a walk in the park. Throughout each level consists of numerous batteries to collect and several of your companions to find. The more you progress, the more hidden away these become.
As well as being a platformer, there are plenty of puzzles, and a unique way of delivering those puzzles. For example, there are checkpoints scattered throughout the map. Hold X to restore it and it will give you a number. This number indicates how many retries you have left to complete the next section before arriving at the next checkpoint (which then, in turn gives you the next retry allocation). Now, there may be a section following the checkpoint that gives you two paths to follow. Should you choose to take the top path, follow it for a little while and drop down to collect some batteries, you might notice that if you had taken the other path, there were also batteries to collect. The problem? You can’t retrace your steps as you can only jump so far/ high. The key here is working out which direction to go first, then retrace your steps and continue on the alternate path. This is a cleverly designed puzzle segment that you might not even realise is a puzzle.
Having said that, the jumping controls don’t seem right. You might approach a section where you need to jump multiple times onto several platforms, whilst avoiding debris from above, but the issue lies within the actual control of Kramer whilst jumping. He either moves too far and fast for you to land safely, or he doesn’t move far enough when making small jumps. I found myself getting frustrated with this aspect more often than not, causing me to start the level over due to reaching my maximum retry limit – all for the sake of a simple jumping section that otherwise, a toddler would have been able to do with his eyes closed.
Overall, Shiny is a cutesy little platformer flawed by the key mechanics of a platformer: jumping. Other than that, there’s plenty to collect and return to for the hunters. Levels aren’t overwhelmingly difficult and the game can be completed in a few hours, providing you’ve grasped the jumping.
Shiny is available to download from the Xbox Store, priced at £7.99.
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