Review: Soon Shine

Soon you’ll be over it.

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 09/11/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Gameplay is fun in short bursts; cheap asking price
Poison Mushroom for...
Lack of depth; better suited as a 3DS or iOS game

The rise of mobile gaming has had an interesting impact on the overall industry. Titles like Words With Friends and Doodlejump have revealed a desire for games that focus on short experiences designed to capture a player’s interest for a small period of time. Several of these titles have come to the Nintendo eShop, but unfortunately, these experiences tend to work better when you’re standing in line at a store than they do when you’re sitting at home on your couch. Such is the case with Soon Shine, the latest title from indie publisher Dahku. While the game can be fun, it’s not the deepest experience you’re going to find on the Nintendo eShop.

In Soon Shine, mischievous spirits are attracted to the powers of the sun and the moon. To protect them, players use the Wii U stylus and touch screen to tap and eliminate the spirits before they slam into their target, inflicting damage. Certain enemies can only be stopped during the day or night, and a swipe of the stylus will cause the time of day to switch. As the game progresses, the spirits become faster, and drastically increase in frequency. Players will have to quickly switch back and forth between night and day, and it can be easy to slip up and find a spirit or two feeding on you.

Soon Shine offers three different game modes: Endless mode (similar to games like Tetris), Purist mode (in which items can’t be brought in), and Time Attack mode, where the player will have to vanquish as many spirits as possible in three minutes. Purist mode is a neat idea; unfortunately, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Power-ups don’t actually appear in the game itself, they have to be purchased via accumulated points in the game’s Token Shop. In other words, Purist mode simply stops the player from using items that they have to buy anyway. The concept is a little redundant. Accumulated points can also be used to buy additional music and background skins.

While Soon Shine can be a fun diversion, it gets very old very quickly. It’s nice that the game has a couple of different options, but none of them feel any different from one another. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if Endless mode had more to offer, but without any levels or checkpoints, there just isn’t much incentive to come back to the game after a couple sessions. Soon Shine‘s background is nicely rendered and pleasant to look at, but not so much that I wouldn’t have liked to see something else at some point. With no change in the music or any enemy variety, it’s hard to really get excited about anything the title has to offer. Instead of making additional backgrounds and music tracks unlockable, Dahku could have changed the enemy frequency and made separate levels. A missed opportunity, for sure. Puzzle games like Tetris and Dr. Mario might be able to get away with a “less is more” approach, but Soon Shine‘s gameplay doesn’t have nearly the same amount of depth.

Video games tend to elicit emotion out of the players. Whether it’s excitement or even just frustration, we all play games in order to feel something. The biggest problem Soon Shine suffers from is that the game doesn’t really evoke any kind of emotional response. Dahku’s other eShop title Chubbins stirred up quite a bit of profanity during my time with it. I wasn’t overly fond of that title, but at least I felt something toward it. While not every game needs to be as memorable as Super Mario Bros., Soon Shine is unlikely to be the kind of game you’ll remember a month after downloading it. It’s a very forgettable experience. With all of the games available on the Nintendo eShop, it’s very hard to justify a purchase of Soon Shine, even if the game is very affordable at $1.99.

Soon Shine is a hard game to review. There isn’t a whole lot of depth to the title, but it is fun, in spurts. At an asking price of $1.99, it feels a bit difficult to ask for a much deeper experience, however. As it is, it’s a quick diversion that probably would have been more appealing as a portable title.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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