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Shiny – PAX East 2016 Hands-On Preview

Shiny, the first title from Brazilian based Garage 227 Studios, is an adorable cross between WALL-E and Oddworld. Set on a world facing eminent annihilation as it hurls towards the sun, this 2D action platformer tells the story of the junk robots that were created to build the humans’ escape craft only to then be abandoned on the planet surface by their dep arting human creators. Despite the bleak situation, Shiny is a hopeful game focused on helping others. It features no killing or combat of any kind. It’s a game about compassion, sacrifice, and humanity, without humans.

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According to Co-Founder Daniel Monastero, Shiny‘s similarities to the Oddworld series is no coincidence. “We even called up the man himself, Lorne Lanning, over Skype! He gave us lots of pointers and advice.” said Daniel. Instead of an Oddworld’s Mudokons, in Shiny, you play as Kramer, a junk robot that awakens moments after the ungrateful humans hightail it off the planet. Instead of wallowing in mechanical self-pity, you explore the non-linear levels, gathering batteries and helping disabled robots in order to help build yet another ship to leave the planet. Helping others is completely optional, but selfishness will inevitably bite you in your shiny metal ass when you get to the end of the game and aren’t able to finish your ship. Luckily, you’ll be able to go back to replay levels.

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Your life meter doubles as your energy meter and performing any action depletes it, with bigger actions, such as activating robots, taking damage, or using power ups depleting it much faster. Generators found around the maps act as checkpoints, both for respawning, and an energy source to refill recharge yourself. Each generator has a certain number of available charges, which are used up when activating the generator, respawning, or just siphoning off some juice to recharge your batteries.

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The platforming controls are very straightforward and “old-school,” with no fancy ledge-grabbing or climbing. Some of the power-ups, like the jet-pack do allow for a further range of motion and exploration, but are not usable until they are acquired well into the game, past the first two levels I managed to play.

Shiny is pretty much finished as far as development goes and now just needs to be polished, balanced and beta tested. Greenlit on Steam in 2014, the game will launch on PC shortly after E3, with an Xbox version soon after.

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