Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
Shadowmatic is an interesting concept.
Checking out the gameplay, the first thing that stands out is the seemingly abstract nature. This puzzler lends itself somewhat to the childhood (and for folks like me, adulthood) fascination with shadow art. If you've ever created a fluttering butterfly with your hand, this game will probably tickle your fancy.
But more than that, the game asks players to manipulate random objects bathed in light, such that the objects create newer, unrelated objects on the virtual wall. The source object can be moved and twisted along its axis, all with the goal of creating a coherent shadow on the wall via gestures and pinch zooming and expanding. The kicker is that the player isn't told what the shadow object is supposed to be. And oh yeah, the session is timed.
The developer does a good job of offering help, though. At the bottom of the screen there's a subtle accuracy meter consisting of five dots that light up as you gets closer to the solution. For example, three lights mean you're getting pretty warm, while none means you're floundering in futility. It's quite useful as it easily tells the player which direction to go in real time. There are also hints that can be purchased with in-game currency - and in-app purchases exist to purchase more hints as well.
After a set amount of time, an arrow of sorts appears to help orient the piece correctly. Getting the correct silhouette is rewarded with the meter at five-star brightness and completion of the level, and points are awarded based on the amount of time used. As you progress through the levels you'll start to see more complexity, like multiple pieces and the use of "real-ish" objects.
If anything, this game is easy on the eyes. The concept screams for nice graphics, and Shadowmatic boldly delivers. The shadows and animations look authentic, and the responsiveness of the controls is simply excellent.
All in all, Shadowmatic is a fun diversion. It's simple and tough at the same time, and can be enjoyed across generations.