I’m always excited to see games that feature robots in a starring role. Roboprotagonists, perhaps? Shiny delivers not only on my niche interest, but also on a fun, refreshingly non-violent 2D platforming adventure that can be enjoyed by a wide age-range of players.
In Shiny, you play as an adorable robot named Kramer 227 who is on a mission to save all of his robot friends who have been abandoned by the human race. To do so, Kramer 227 must navigate his way through dangerous mechanical locales in search of the energy needed to revive his friends. He does this by using a wide variety of powerups (including a jet pack, forcefield, and more) to tackle different types of obstacles and challenges. Additionally, Kramer 227 must manage his own energy in order to not only move about the world, but also to bring his friends to life.
Conserving energy may be the toughest gameplay aspect to manage for anyone coming to Shiny from a traditional platforming background. Most platformers let you jump and run around infinitely with no cost. Adjusting to moving and acting efficiently instead of running around helter skelter might take more focus than some players are used to, but given the themes of Shiny it seems appropriate.
Despite its somewhat desolate and seemingly grim setting, Shiny puts forth a very positive light. There is no violence of any kind in it, and the core themes of friendship and helping others stand out in their sincerity. To see a game about saving the world (or saving anything) where no one has to be killed is rare. Anyone looking for a cute, non-violent game to play alongside their kids should certainly take a gander at Shiny. It also seems like an excellent opportunity to teach young humans that robots are people, too, so that in the future when the robots civil rights movement is in full swing they will all be on the side of equality.
Though it’s no Super Meat Boy in terms of difficulty, the challenges presented should be enough to keep most adult players entertained. Some of the platforming may turn out to be difficult for really young munchkins. But with an adult or other experienced platformer standing by they should be able to enjoy the robotic adventures of Kramer 227. Older kids should have no problem making their way through the game, with or without an adult backseat gaming the whole way.
Shiny will be out in two or three months for Xbox One and PC, with plans to release on PS4, Mac, and Linux soon afterwards.