It’d be really easy to roll your eyes at the sight of another indie platformer. Sound Shapes puts a spin on the platforming experience by using music as a key component of the game. Yes, this game was originally released December 2012, but with the launch of the PS4 this game has been given a new life; it was re-released as a launch title for the new “Indie” section of the PS4 Store.
Sound Shapes begins with a tutorial teaching you how sound is integrated into the gameplay experience; once you’ve made it past the tutorial for Campaign mode you are then put into a very unique tutorial for Editor mode. In this mode you learn that not only can you play Sound Shapes like a traditional platformer but you can also create your own levels, which is admittedly rather addictive. The more levels you complete in Campaign mode, the more items you unlock to use at your disposal for your own levels.
Sound Shapes comes with five full albums with each album containing four levels. Once you’ve beaten those levels you then have the option to get more albums from the community for free. There is also a music shop that allows you to buy specific sound packs for 99 cents and this allows you to expand your toolkits in the Editor.
In Campaign mode, you play as a little ball that can stick to things, roll fast, jump and occasionally get into a vehicle. The concept for the platformer is pretty simple, anything that is red will kill you and that’s it. Once you beat a level you obtain all of the unique items to play within the Editor. The levels are progressive and for the most part pretty simple because I think they want you to receive all of the tools you’ll need to create your own levels to challenge others to play.
The Editor is very simple and forgiving; the brief tutorial provided is enough to get you started creating your levels. As you play the various Campaign levels you begin to see how levels are put together and you can then start tailoring your levels to your own preferences. Each of the initial five albums comes with a very distinct look which allows you to have more of a variety when it comes to playing around in the Editor.
The ability to play other people’s creations adds a remarkable value to the game because you can keep playing new levels as long as they’re being created. I like that Sound Shapes makes you think and allows you to make mistakes with no interference. Creating playable levels comes with a certain amount of trial and error especially as you increase the complexity of your designs. The Editor by itself makes this game great and appropriate for all ages.
Sound Shapes is exclusively available on PlayStation Network. It can be played on the PS Vita, PS3 and PS4.
This review was based on a digital copy of Sound Shapes for the PlayStation 4 provided by the publisher.