Queasy Games’ indie platformer from last year has come to see new light on the Sony Playstation 4 as a launch title in North America. Previous owners of either the PS3 or PS Vita iterations of Sound Shapes are welcome to give it a play, as Sony’s cross buy program entitles you all three platforms for a single price. As someone that somehow missed out on the initial release of Sound Shapes, I’m approaching the title with fresh eyes.
At first glance, Sound Shapes looks to be a fairly simple platformer from an indie developer. Controls are limited to just a directional pad or analog stick for movement with one button dedicated to jump and another dedicated to rolling faster. Aside from that, the only other buttons you’d consider using on the PS4 controller are the share button to stream your game or show off a high score and the options button to pause the title.
After jumping into the game and starting a fairly simple tutorial, Sound Shapes guides you through the fundamentals of the game in a few brief stages. The overall premise for each level is to make it through to the turntable at the end of the stage with various checkpoints along the way to save your progression. Red objects, be it moving enemies or stationary pits of fire, are the only things that can kill you. However, don’t consider death to be much of a hindrance as checkpoints are scattered along every screen or two and your supply of extra lives is limitless.
Along the way through each stage are collectibles by way of notes. While these aren’t mandatory to pick up, missing out on even a single note affects the music playing in each stage. Much like the name of the game implies, Sound Shapes is all about the rhythm and beats as you play. Each note adds another layer to the background track, sometimes adding in an extra hi-hat or guitar riff. By themselves, the beats sound orphaned and distant, but gathering up as many as possible opens up a digital symphony.
The basic music selection in Sound Shapes, while diverse, is somewhat limited. There are five albums available to play, ranging from Jim Guthrie, of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP fame (with Superbrothers doing the stage graphics as well) to deadmau5 and even a selection of songs by Beck. Each of the five albums are split up into separate songs, each with three to five songs each. While each stage definitely has their own dynamic feel and mechanics to them, the overall song count tops out at barely twenty. That being said, some of the tracks definitely stood out, with Beck’s Cities being one of the more catchy stages.Sound Shapes (PS4) Review,