Shape-Cast is the Rubik's Cube of 2017 - innovative, challenging ... and frustrating.
Are you just about to die of boredom? Do you need a new challenge to spice up your life? Well, in that case, I have something special for you, that will keep you busy for hours… or years… depending on your cognitive skills.
Today, I will take a look at “Shape-Cast” by Alien Beetle, an indie development studio that has brought us Android games like Tap Factory or Penguin Punch. All these titles have one thing in common: originality and creativity.
Seriously, Shape-Cast comes along with a game idea, that I’ve never heard or played before. In this game, you have to adjust the X, Y and Z coordinates of a laser beam in order to destroy geometrical shapes, that are floating around in the vast universe. Sounds like an action-packed space shooter? Way off the mark! It’s more like a puzzle game with a strong focus on vernier adjustment and logical thinking. You won’t be shooting shapes like Rambo in space: you have to destroy them in accordance with a specific pattern using the reflection of the laser beams. So far, so complicated? Exactly.
It’s easy to say something good about Shape-Cast: It’s 2017, there are millions of apps out there and yet this app didn’t fail to surprise me with an innovative idea. Alien Beetle has proven to be capable of exciting curiosity – and since attention is the #1 currency these days, this is extremely valuable.
On the other hand, we have to talk about accessibility and difficulty. It took me about 5 minutes to find out what this game is about (by reading the Google Play description because there is no tutorial in the beginning and even the help page didn’t explain the object of play) and another 15 minutes to handle the unusual and painful controls, before I managed it to hit the second shape with the reflected beam of the first one. That makes 20 minutes of research and trial and error before I could celebrate my first little triumph. 20 minutes! With this threshold, most of the players will rage quit and uninstall the app, before they have even finished the first level.
My advice: This app needs an introduction, a tutorial and a very easy beginning with a smooth learning curve. The developer should always think of the dumbest assumable user – because sometimes they even write reviews. 😉
If you suffer from a lack of frustration tolerance, you might be better off doing some Yoga before you play this game. It’s difficult to control the shaky laser beam in order to hit a shape, it’s even more difficult to find the right angle to hit a second one with the reflected beam and it’s extremely difficult to eliminate all shapes with your limited amount of laser shots.
It’s like the famous Rubik’s Cube – even the slightest change will lead to a completely different setup and there will be only a limited amount of people who have the skills and the will to complete it. That’s the challenge – and that’s the charm. Try it out for yourself and download the game here.