Sound Shapes

Since getting a PS Vita and Playstation+, I figured I may as well make the most of the free games Sony give you every month, to make the most of their generosity and to see if any of the games could ever give me the level of enjoyment Rocket League has so far. One of the free PS Vita games this month is a quirky little rhythm platformer called Sound Shapes. Developed by Queasy Games, it was actually released over three years ago, and received relatively positive reviews, so I was pretty excited to get started on it.

Like being in a high-class bar…

I started out thinking I was going to have a hard time of it – if you’ve seen my Lets Plays of BiT Evolution, you’ll soon find out that I’m dreadful at platforming games – but, thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Sound Shapes isn’t necessarily an easy game, but it definitely didn’t have the difficulty of other platforming games, and that, to me, is fantastic. I didn’t have to put up with billions of attempts on the same course just to be endlessly frustrated, nor did I suffer the humiliation of not being able to complete the game. The developers found a good balance in difficulty and made it appealing for everyone. It’s an easy game to pick up and play, without too much direction or tutorials needed, so instead of having dozens of abilities that all require various inputs, this game has only a handful that are all very easy to get to grips with and enjoy.

Level select

Some of the level names are just cute.

The main selling point of the game is the rhythmic game play. Every time you touch a floating orb, you’ll hear another note being played in the background soundtrack, and when you’ve collected all the orbs on a certain screen, it is well worth sticking around for at least one cycle so you can hear the brilliant music that is present in the game, on each screen, in every level. Just by completing the game you’ll have heard so many amazing songs, which makes the game so addictive, because you want to keep on playing and hearing the next excellent song that the developers have in store for you.

Another part of the game that helps it stand out from its competitors, is the level creator. It’s true that many platformers will have a level creator to give you additional levels and share levels with people all over the world, but Sound Shapes is just so much better. You’re able to create some really fantastic songs and share them with everyone, as well as having amazing scenery throughout every level you make. It gives you the tools to create some real masterpieces, and sets the bar for other developers.

…Only to get thrown out by the bouncer before you’re drunk.

What’s perhaps not so good in the game is the longevity of it. Now I only have the base game, and I’m aware there is a few various DLCs you can buy for it, but it only has four levels. That wouldn’t be so bad if they were very long levels, but they weren’t. I think I managed to complete the entire of the base game in under an hour and a half, and although I could have gone to buy the DLC, I didn’t feel like it was really worth it, especially if I was only going to get a very limited return on my investment.

Level design ++

The levels in the game are phenomenally well designed

The Final Word

Generally, Sound Shapes is decent. There are some top quality community levels out there to top up the disappointingly limited levels that you’ll get from the base game. You’ll be exposed to a bunch of fantastic songs, great levels and quirky enemies no matter whose level you’re playing, and it’s all really enjoyable. The fact remains though, that if this wasn’t available for free, I wouldn’t have bought it. It’s great as a free game, it whets your appetite for more and contains some great building blocks, but as a paid game? I wouldn’t give it a second glance.

 

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