Sometimes it's nice to play a game that doesn't ask too much of you. And if that's the mood you're in at the moment then you could do a lot worse than checking out Shine. It's sort of like Badland if it swapped the gloomy early era Tim Burton visuals for something a little more Disney-friendly Tim Burton.

It's a game all about light. You're controlling a little glowing blob. Push on the screen and it'll lift up a little and move forwards. Hitting the side of the levels doesn't kill you though, so we're not talking Flappy Bird levels of frustration here. Instead the focus is on keeping the light alive.

Floaty light


That's not to say that there aren't environmental hazards to get past. The world is going to slow you down, and you need to think your way around it. Rocks fall from the ceiling, spikes jut out to block your path. And they're designed to slow you down.

There are other blobs of light that you need to collect, and picking them up makes your golden ball glow more brightly. Take too long to get them though and your light starts to fade - if it fades too much then you die and you're dropped back to the last checkpoint.

To give you an idea of the thought that's gone into the game, those checkpoints are flowers that bloom as your light is cast over them. It's a nice touch, and there are little moments like that spread throughout the experience.

Shine - Journey of Light iOS review screenshot - Chasing another light

No, this isn't the sort of game that poses a massive challenge, but then that's not the point. As soon as you start playing it feels a bit like being enveloped by a nice warm hug. You want to keep playing because this is the kind of experience that makes you feel like the world isn't as horrid as you first thought.

It doesn't stay with you though. There's a soft flow when you're playing that's going to calm you down a little, but the edges of the world are going to creep back in the second you put it down. It's thoughtful, but in the end it's still a midcore game.

And that's an interesting balance that we've not seen before. For the most part it works really well, and when it doesn't you're never going to be furious or even particularly disappointed. When the lustres gone, you'll just move on and play something else.

Light up my life


Shine is the sort of game you're going to play on a rainy afternoon. Maybe even on a rainy bus ride home. And it's going to make those soggy moments a little brighter than they might have been.

This is the mobile videogame equivalent of a big Christmas advert. While it's happening it's going to make you feel feelings, but once it's over and done with it's going to slip out of your mind pretty quickly.