The 2D platformer has had a Renaissance of sorts over the past couple of years. From LittleBigPlanet to Rayman Origins to Super Meat Boy, it's hard to not be excited, especially growing up with the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo. What's unique is how each of these games differentiates (or doesn't differentiate) from the original platform champions. In Sound Shapes case, it differentiates in a unique way: the sound.
In each level of Sound Shapes the world is made up of colorful and creative props and characters. Each object or creature that is dynamic adds a sound to the background. There are also small collectibles within each level that the player is able to gather to add more sounds to the level (though they don't do much else). So, as the player progresses his/her blob across the level, the music slowly builds up and eventually winds down at the end. On paper, it sounds like such a small mechanic, but it adds so much to the game.
|One out of the Many Crazy Levels|
All of this lends itself beautifully to the well designed levels. Including the tutorial, there are five levels with different stages within each level. Each of these levels have different graphics and music from different artists, including Beck and Deadmau5. The variety is amazing, with each stage using the graphics and music with smart level design to make the player feel like it's almost an entirely different game.
|All of That Red!!!|
There's also the Level Editor mode to craft your own levels with a simple interface, which works amazingly well. Once you feel you've mastered level creation there is Beat School, which challenges the players sense of sound. Given a small tune and the number of notes, place the notes in the right spot on the screen. This is another great distraction that adds a different type of game play that is also completely optional if the player hates it or is just too lazy.
|Oh Death Mode, you Cruel Bitch.|
9 out of 10
Here's a Few Links:
IGN Review: http://www.ign.com/games/sound-shapes-135580/vita-110145
Official Game Website: http://www.soundshapesgame.com/home/public.html
How Sound Shapes Shines: http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/08/23/how-sound-shapes-shines