Shiny is an indie game released by Brazilian developer Garage 227 on the 31st of august 2016 and was published by 1C Company. The game follows a robot called Kramer 227 on the abandoned Planet Aurora. After jamming his hand into an open panel, he gains the ability to revive his robot friends who have run out of energy, basically becoming the messiah of all robots. The aim of Shiny is to collect all the power capsule and revive all his robot friends, on each level, so they themselves can escape the planet.
Straight from the opening cinematic of the game there are very apparent flaws in the graphics. The world looks extremely bland and Kramer himself seems to just glide across the floor as if he is on roller-skates instead of walking. The game starts with a 5 min cinematic, in which the game tries to set up a narrative, except due to the underdeveloped graphics and lack of expression it is not very clear what Kramer is doing or why he is doing it. The game its self is a side scroll platformer which incorporates different powers you pick up throughout.
There are 20 separate levels in Shiny and each level is meant to represent a different part of the planet, such as the foundry, which has a large lava wall which looks really great! Yet while there seems to be a lot of detail and attention put into the backgrounds the same level of design has not been put into the actual platform aspect. All the levels are incredibly similar. As in every platformer there are different platforms to jump off, with the occasional hidden path which has a robot you need to revive. These can be difficult to navigate due to the clubby controls, often resulting in you missing a platform which should have been easy to reach or somehow glitching up to platforms you should not have been albe to reach.
For a game that depends on platforming to keep the player entertained it doesn’t offer a large variety of challenges. You find yourself jumping of endless falling platforms and dodging predictable falling rocks. Occasionally there is a new mechanic introduced, such as steam shooting out of the walls. This just works in the same way as the falling rocks though so while it may seem new, really it’s the same old challenge with a new skin.
Shiny also offers a powerup system where Kramer picks up a piece of equipment which is specific to certain situations such as a power shield for substantial amounts of falling rock or a cool down jacket for walking through fire. Although these power ups try hard to make the game more interesting they are not utilised nearly enough. They are introduced once every 5-6 levels and only help on the level they are introduced, rendering them almost useless which is incredibly disappointing, as it has the potential to add something really great to the game.
There are a few redeeming qualities to Shiny such as the soundtrack, composed by Ryan Ike, which manages to offer some atmosphere, but the game even has a way of impeding this with the music just cutting out at random points for no apparent reason. The game also comes with a large variety of achievements to be earned and relatively easy to them all if you are a bit of a perfectionist although you should be warned that some of the achievements such as “messiah” sometimes do not register and you must do them again.
Shiny is a very, very disappointing game. It offers little satisfaction and desperately tries to get you to replay it by challenging you to collect all the power cells and revive all the robots, which would be ok if the game played well, and if other games hadn’t already done it better, such as collecting all the Teensies and Lums in Rayman Legends. If you are looking for a game with a strong story and fun and compelling gameplay then this really is not the game for you and you can buy games that do all the mechanics better for a comparable price.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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