Overall Score 69%
I don't think I've ever had as much difficulty in writing a review than I have for this game. I've reviewed good games, mediocre games and bad ones - but seldom have I encountered a game with so little to it. Shapy is a puzzle game consisting of a screen full of symbols - coloured red, green, yellow and blue - and an example of the target picture in the corner. Rotate 3x3 blocks of symbols by clicking on the middle symbol with either the left or right mouse button.
There are two ways to play Shapy. Either way, your aim is to match the target picture - in either the set number of moves (puzzle mode), or as quickly as possible (speed mode). The left mouse button rotates a block ninety degrees anti-clockwise, and the right mouse button rotates a block ninety degrees clockwise.
Shapy is a very simple game to describe. Even the extra features in Shapy are minimal - a puzzle designer, so you can construct your own challenges for your friends, and multiple profiles so you don't interfere with your mates' progress.
Graphics are good for what little they have to cover. Everything is big, clear and colourful. Animation is smooth and all the symbols seem to "jump" out at you when you complete a puzzle! Sound is less than it could be - sound effects are understandably limited but I have been driven to the mute button by the single, endlessly repeating backing track.
The game is very simple to play - I've already covered the entire control method - but Shapy suffers a little when it comes to user-friendliness. For instance, when I first played Puzzle mode, I was given a choice of Easy, Medium or Hard. I chose Medium, and was told I must complete all the Easy levels first. Then why give me a choice? Why not "grey out" the unavailable levels?
The level editor also causes some confusion. The basic options are all there - fill the entire screen with one symbol, click on a symbol to cycle it through all four, and switch to Rotation mode to set up your puzzle. All very well until I tried to save a puzzle: I got a message on entering the editor asking if I wanted to start a new batch, load an existing one or return to the main menu. I got the same menu on leaving the editor, which makes little sense!
While there are ninety puzzles to be getting on with, Shapy does have one limiting factor here - you have to defeat all the Easy puzzles before tackling the Medium ones, and all the Medium ones before trying the Hard puzzles. This means if you get stuck, you can't progress. On the other hand, Shapy does contain a feature that puzzle games are often crying out for - an Undo button (and a Redo button too).
Shapy is not a bad game - just very basic for the price tag, with a few kinks.
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