Soon Shine Review (Wii U)
Let’s preface this review by indicating that Soon Shine is essentially a mobile app. Knowing this going into this review (and for those of you interested in purchasing, into the game) will set a clear bar for expectations. Whether this game meets, exceeds, or falls below these expectations is what follows.
Soon Shine is brought to us on the Wii U by Dahku Creations. At a mere cost of just $1.99, it’s hard not to give this app-style game a try.
The controls are entirely touch-screen based, meaning you’ll be staring at the Gamepad 100% of the time. As such, I highly suggest you play this game using the stylus, as the required precision, visibility around the stylus, and swiping are all aids to racking up a high score. The thing is, that’s exactly what this game is about. You control what looks to be a mask that possesses the power of light and dark. By swiping the screen, you control what side faces you, and thus what power you possess to destroy (read: tap) the spirits that fly straight at you with zealous, destructive intent. Following a Yin and Yang approach, spirits are divided into the two categories as well. You can only destroy spirits moving towards you: the spirits that aren’t moving which you can’t destroy require your “other” side. The constantly mixed approach of spirits that force you to switch sides make up the entirety of the core gameplay. You tap spirits to destroy them, and swipe to change sides. Do this ad nauseam until you eventually get eliminated, and of course, have the bragging rights of a score. Each time you play, you earn tokens to purchase items for use during gameplay much in the vein of power-ups and health restoration. However, I found these items to be extraneous, and never even used any of them, by shear virtue of simplicity in gameplay.
Soon Shine comes in at such an inarguably cheap $1.99 that it’s really hard to come at it expecting a ton of content. Having said that, various backdrops and music to be purchased using in-game tokens does actually expand the $1.99 offering into fulfilling its price tag. If you want to get $1.99 worth of content, it’s here. While the gameplay itself doesn’t change just because you have a cool-looking new background or some new jammin’ tunes, it does offer pretty good value to an otherwise simple mobile app.
As repeated several times now, it’s cheap cost and mobile app approach lower the bar of expectations quite a bit. Yet Soon Shine actually delivers decently solid visuals and audio. The quality of the backgrounds and animations are all smooth and solidly colorful. While the overall visual variety is lacking, the game is by no means ugly. Additionally, while not really a “plus”, you will always be looking at the Gamepad, and its smaller screen makes the low poly count and texture detail non-existent, but not in a detrimental way. The game was designed for the small screen, and presents itself like a clean-looking mobile app in just about every way. The sound effects and music are also simple, yet crisp. The presentation, then, stands as solid, rather than cheap and “minimalist”.
It’s hard to argue with what you get for $1.99. While it’s overall simplicity is entirely based around its mobile app approach, it can appeal to kids looking for a short-term entertainment fix. It contains absolutely nothing a self-proclaimed “gamer” is looking for in terms of just about any category, but instead serves itself up as a solid “break” game. If you want to take a quick break, this is the game to amuse you for 5 minutes. If you have kids and they need a quick little app to keep them busy and you don’t want to break the bank on Mario Kart 8 because you have to decide between meals and videogames, Dahku has provided with Soon Shine. The issue is that it, by nature, is the type of game that you don’t settle down at home for. It’s designed to be played on-the-go, and in short bursts. It feels rather out of place as a home console indie game, and is further hampered in its in-house usability given the short range of the Gamepad.
I give Soon Shine… a 7/10.