App Review: ShapeShape by inXile Entertainment
ShapeShape is an entertaining game with cute graphics. When you launch the game, you are introduced to ShapeShape. Using only thought bubbles and facial expressions, you are informed that ShapeShape has lost his family. To get his family back, you must guide him through the obstacles and safely to the exit in each level. This task can be quite tricky and requires some skill.
To make ShapeShape move, place your finger on the screen near him. The presence of your finger creates a force, represented by concentric circles, that pushes ShapeShape around. You can get him to roll along the ground or fly through the air. The first few levels are pretty easy and can help you get the hang of the controls. However, the difficulty quickly increases. Many of the levels have spikes on the floor, walls, or ceiling. These will pop ShapeShape and cause you to lose one of your five lives. There are also other barriers that you have to maneuver around. At the end of each level you are awarded points and achievements depending on how well you completed the level. Some of the achievements include collecting all the stars in the level, completing the level in less than par time, or flying without hitting any walls. If you lose these achievements while you are playing, you will see ShapeShape drop shapes representing the achievement lost. Many of these achievements are hard to get. At first, ShapeShape can be very difficult to control. I found myself bumping into everything. I felt like I was trying to control a balloon bouncing around. After some practice, it did get easier.
There are three different levels of difficulty. However, you cannot jump around from one level to the next. You must play the levels in order and pass the easier ones to unlock the harder ones. Once you unlock the medium or hard levels, you can go back and replay levels using the replay feature in the menu. The good news is that you don’t have to start over at level one every time you lose all five lives. You can choose to continue and start from where you left off. The app will also remember where you left off when you exit the game.
While ShapeShape is a lot of fun to play, I became a little worried about the replay value of the game. After all, it did not take me long to complete the first 20 levels. Then, I started exploring the editor. The best feature of this app is the ability to make your own custom levels. You can go into the editor from the main menu and create new and unique levels of your own. Your tools include circles, squares, spike strips, gravity fields, and more. You an adjust their size, shape, and orientation on the screen. You can also add animations. You can make shapes rotate on an axis or move from one spot to another. You can even adjust the speed of the animations. The one complaint I have with this section of the app is that there are no instructions on what tools you have or how to use them. I had to play around with things and figure them out on my own. That having been said, it didn’t take long before I had a handle on things. When you are finished, you can save your level. To play your level, you must first create a level set. You can add a number of levels that you have created to your level set. When you play your level set it appears just the way the levels in the game do. It is a lot of fun to see something you created on the screen as a polished product.
ShapeShape is an amusing game with endless possibilities. The graphics are cute, the gameplay is smooth, and the replay value is excellent.
Developer’s Website: http://www.inxile-entertainment.com/