Shine [rating: 4/5]
In a market overloaded with imitators and flavors of the day, original games are always welcome. Even though there are only so many ways to interface with a game, the concept of the game needs to be original and fresh. Shine from Blueshift Software is a sidescrolling game with an original concept. It blends a proven genre in the sidescroller with addictive gameplay.
In Shine you must guide your light through an everchanging cavern. Impeding your progress are crystals scattered at random durations and heights. Run into the crystals and it’s game over. Run into the top or bottom of the cavern and it’s game over. Inside of those confines you must navigate the cavern and light crystals.
Shine provides an easily navigated interface. I easily played the game with one hand on numerous occasions. Since this is a sidescrolling game, the only motion input required is to move your light up and down. That’s covered by touching the indicated area on the bottom of the screen. I know that doesn’t sound very compelling or difficult but believe me it is. I spent hours coming back to this game again and again trying to get further and further down the cavern. The beautiful background art and variety and randomness of the hurdles and changes in the environment add to the replay potential of the game greatly. A top five local high score list will remind you how far you got and challenge you to do better.
One of the really innovative things I liked about this game was the accomplishment system. There are five accomplishments to unlock during the course of the game. These accomplishments are based on interactions you have with the game. I don’t want to spoil any of the fun of discovery for the game. Suffice it to say the five types are Thread the Needle, Glowing the Distance, Perfect Disaster, The Old Over / Under, and Steady Spelunker. While long term success in any sidescroller can be accomplished by just keeping an even keel and avoiding the obstacles in your way, these accomplishments challenge you to do a little bit more than just fly in a straight line.
Shine also fulfills one of my key requirements; broad appeal. This game is fun and playable for all ages. I would have no hesitation playing this game for hours and then passing it to a child to keep them busy as well. A game with such a cross-generational appeal is great for a family sharing an iPhone or iPod Touch for entertainment.
Overall, I found Shine to be an enjoyable and challenging game. The only improvement I could see would be the implementation of some type of leveling system. Perhaps a way to increase the scrolling speed or frequency of obstacles at the beginning of the game. Implementing set difficulty levels or spinners to customize settings would only enhance an already replayable game.
This game is a great value for the whole family. Let Shine brighten your iPhone gaming experience.
- Dynamic environment.
- Beautiful graphics.
- Innovative accomplishment system.
The Not So Good
- Lack of initial leveling system.
Reviewed By: Erin Peterson
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