Indie platformer Shiny, by Brazilian developer Garage 227, has come to consoles after an initial Steam release. We played it on Xbox One.
We actually first saw Shiny in action in the summer or 2016, when it was being shown to press during Gamescom. It was released on Steam not too long after that, but it took us a year to get hands on with the game and test the now-released Xbox One version. Greeted with mixed reviews on PC, we were wondering if the Xbox One version was going to be any different.
Unfortunately, in many senses it’s not – although the bugs that were reported on for the PC version don’t really show up in the console version. That’s good news and a definite improvement, but it doesn’t elevate the game to the likes of Rayman or Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty – two excellent 2D platformers.
Instead, Shiny evokes memories of Twin Robots, a game we recently reviewed for the Playstation Vita. Although not focused on cooperative play, Shiny also features a charming little robot (called Kramer 227) and a dynamic that features effective use of the battery power available to you. You also have to save your fellow robots, just like you have to in Twin Robots. But while Twin Robots is a puzzle platformer, Shiny is much more of an old school platforming experience.
This is true in the literal sense as well, since it evoked memories of some of the clunkier 2D platformers from the 16 bit era with its awkward jumping mechanics and relatively uninspired level design. The battery element is a cool modern element though, as it forces you to think about what you’ll do next so that you don’t drain your battery before getting to the next checkpoint (which is also a place where you recharge your battery).
Another more modern twist can be seen in levels where you’re urged on and have to rush to the exit – something done almost to perfection in the recent Rayman platformers. Shiny doesn’t come close to that level of greatness though, as its clunky controls stand in the way of the kind of rush that these levels should deliver.
On the bright side, Kramer is a likeable main character and the music for the game is very pleasant to listen to as well. It’s just too bad that Kramer and his soundtrack aren’t part of a better game. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again in a more polished videogame though!