I’m always looking for a standout game. Shiny‘s adorable character and challenging nature drew me to it. The variety in levels and aesthetic of the game were captivating. However, there were a few flaws such as a lack of story implemented into the gameplay and frustrating glitches that led me to believe that Shiny had not reached its full potential.
The cute yellow eyes of the game’s robot protagonist is what originally drew me to Shiny. Disappointingly, the cuteness ends at the robot characters. There’s more explosions and repeatedly falling to your death than anything else. The robots were so cute and I would’ve loved to have had a closer connection with them.
Shiny begins with an opening cinematic. In this, it is revealed that mankind has abandoned an exploding planet, leaving behind their robot friends, who have no way to escape. Unfortunately, this is pretty much all the story we get. The plot is poorly implemented into the game itself. It’s all just platforming from here on. There are no cut scenes or references to the plot outside of the loading screens. Between each level, all that is shown is the progress towards having enough energy and manpower, or rather robot-power, to launch an escape ship.
The game plays like a very traditional platformer with just a few unique twists, the first of which is that Kramer 227, the robot protagonist, has a consistently draining battery. Once the battery dies, you die. Refill batteries can be picked up as the level progresses. The game also provides you with several special abilities that are necessary for beating particular levels. However, using these abilities causes Kramer 227’s battery to drain at accelerated speeds. Keeping an eye on the battery levels and knowing when to use abilities is crucial for success in Shiny. Kramer 227 has a sort of ultimate ability. To activate it, two robot friends must first be picked up. Other robots, beside the main protagonist, can be found and revived throughout the levels. Reviving one robot gives you one special battery. It takes two special batteries to use the ultimate. I was a tad disappointed in how little the ultimate does. It restores your battery life in full, makes you glow blue, and allows abilities to be used without draining battery. The ultimate is extremely short lived and when you die, that’s it. There’s no more ultimate power until the next level or until you die enough times to reset the level you’re on. It wasn’t super helpful or a necessary addition to the game.
The jump range in this game is surprisingly long, which caused me to overshoot my jumps until I got used to it. Once familiar with the jump range, I ran into some more mechanical issues. There was a lack of consistency in one or two of the levels. At times touching an obstacle would be an instant kill, but other times this wasn’t the case for the very same obstacle. When this happened, it made getting through that part of the level particularly frustrating. By no means was this deal-breaking for me. It didn’t happen frequently enough to ruin my experience, and I enjoyed the variety between levels immensely. Each level offered a new color scheme and new, unique obstacles to overcome.
The color scheme and style of the robots reminded me of Portal. The two game’s soundtracks also share a similar sound. Just as I loved the soundtrack to Portal, I enjoyed Shiny’s soundtrack immensely. The music matched each level perfectly and truly brought me into the little robot’s adventure.
Shiny is a solid play, but not a spectacular one. It could use a bit of polishing up on its controls and obstacle consistency, but this has little effect on the fun factor of the game. For the Steam price of $9.99, it is definitely worth the play! However, it is currently $17.95 on PS4. For those looking for a new platformer on PC, Shiny may very well be your go-to game.
Kianna played Shiny on PS4 using a code provided by the developer.