Indie games, we need to give them a shot. Indie game developers can hold the keys to the next big thing. I’m a gamer that will give anything a go, and I truly believe that indie games can compete for a slot in any game collection. There are plenty of gems out there that will shine bright, even against triple A titles, or would at least complement them in your collection. But is SHINY one of them?
I for one believe that indie games work best when they adopt a pick up and play style, which is easy for the player to sink their teeth into the action so to speak. SHINY does this well, no frills, a short intro into the story behind the game, then straight into good old platforming fun.
SHINY is brought to you by the talented Brazilian developers Garage 277 Studios and is a 2D side scrolling platform game that prides itself on its non-violence.
The back-story behind the game is that you play a Robot called Kramer 227 who is stranded on the doomed planet Aurora. Having been left abandoned by mankind to fend for themselves, it is up to you to play the role of saviour to Kramer’s fellow robot friends. You must guide Kramer the robot and find a way to restore energy whilst rescuing his robot buddies before the planet crashes into the sun.
Your Journey starts with you having just learned what rests on your tin shoulders. You are quickly treated to a short level of non-violent platforming, where you get to grips with the basics of this side scrolling adventure. The first thing you learn is that your energy depletes as you travel through the level, any additional action results in a greater increase of energy loss. So in order for you to get to the end of each level – and rescue your friends along the way – you have to harvest energy from the energy canisters dotted around the levels. Collecting these canisters are vital to overcome the cmany hallenging obstacles in each level.
Throughout each of the levels there are three clear objectives, complete the level, collect as many energy canisters as you can (there is a limited number for each level) and save your fellow robots by giving them a burst of energy, thus bringing them back to life.
There are also generators to restore, these double up as checkpoints, with a number on the restored generator indicating how many tries you have left to complete that particular section. Failing to complete the sector within the allotted generator tries results in starting the level from the beginning, which believe me, can become very frustrating.
If you’re like me and there’s an achievement hunter in you, then you will want to collect all the energy canisters and Robots throughout each level. The game’s achievements are based on collecting all the canisters and robots within each level. Yes, there are achievements for just completing a level, but the challenge in the game is going off route to collect that extra cannister or robot you need to achieve 100 percent in any given level.
Should you decide that you want to bomb through the platforming adventure and come back to the collecting at a later stage, you can do so via a level select located in the extras section in the game main menu.
There are 20 extensive levels of platforming, where you will use jetpacks, energy spheres, and temperature regulators as the action heats up. The obstacles come in the shape of classic platforming jumps, rotating blades, falling rocks, fire and electric currents, just to name a few. If you love classic platform games then you will enjoy this modern effort.
SHINY has a nice simple but effective modern day look and the music track complements the levels nicely. The level designs are generally well thought out, rewarding exploration and the checkpoint system is a nice touch.
As with all platform games you must get the mechanics right, most certainly the jump mechanic. SHINY jump mechanic feels a little too clunky, maybe that’s because you play as a robot and may very well be intended to feel like that. But for me it’s not precise enough, it just doesn’t feel as fluid as it should be and can certainly lead to a lot of frustration and level restarts.