Shadow Bug is an action platformer with a difference. You can't jump. Well, you can, but you can only do it when you're slicing into an enemy.
You traverse gloomy levels by hacking monsters to death, darting quickly between them to climb or bypass obstacles you'd just be walking into otherwise.
There are boss fights, and plenty of clever mechanics scattered throughout. And it all works brilliantly on mobile. In fact, it wouldn't work quite as well on any other format.It's about testing your reactions then?
Yeah, there's a twitchy element here, but it's also about working out how to get through the bite-sized levels. They're not exactly puzzles, but you do need to stop and think from time to time.
But those moments are offset against the frantic tapping once you've worked out what to do.
When the game is flowing, your fingers are dancing over the screen as you're slaughtering grotesque shadow beasts to make your way through their domain.
There are three stars (ninja stars) to collect on each level. One for completing it, one for getting to the end below a set time, and one for collecting enough of the glowing orbs that litter the levels.
Sometimes you'll get all three the first time round, other times you'll need to head back into the level if you want to make sure you've completed eveything.
Hitting the time limit is particularly challenging, especially the deeper you get into proceedings, but practice makes perfect. And there is an urge to try and beat that clock, simply because moving through the levels is so much fun.I'm liking the sound of this so far
That's good, because that's what my words were trying to do. Shadow Bug creates a rich world and then gives you a brilliant tool to explore it with.
Sure, it's linear, and sure it might get a little samey trying to chase the same challenges, but this is still a great mobile game that's not afraid to accept and work within the limitations of its platform.
There's a brashness to the game that makes it intoxicating, and the vaguely psychotic rhythm of the platforming and violence mix makes for an enjoyable, unique experience.