How fitting to bring you all our Rise & Shine review at the beginning of GameSpace’s life. It’s a fitting games-lampooning title to highlight on a site dedicated to all sorts of videogames. Rise & Shine is the first PC/console offering from the talented four-man team known as Super Mega Team. They’ve previously made a couple of quirky mobile titles, but their lineage is a strong one having worked on titles such as Plants VS Zombies and Worms. Rise & Shine is poised to be their breakout title, one that will put them on the beloved Indie Stars map – but does it succeed? The answer is yes – mostly.
O.M.Goodness, that’s a lot of puns.
Rise & Shine is the story of a boy (Rise) and a gun (Shine) which he’s given by a dying hero. The hero, named Blinkin (Link from Zelda), implores Rise to see the King of the world of Gamearth before it falls into utter disarray and destruction at the hands of invaders who look a lot like characters from Gears of War.
“Rise & Shine is full of referential humor and imagery, though most of it seems to be Zelda, Mario, and Gears of War.”
Rise & Shine is full of referential humor and imagery, though most of it seems to be Zelda, Mario, and Gears of War. There’s probably a statement in here about how the classic games are being assaulted by the violent and grim ones, but really the story in Rise & Shine is not the game’s strong suit. Since the game’s only a few hours long, even with lots of dying and retrying, it’s just not as developed as it could have been. Super Mega Team is onto something with the world of Gamearth, but they could have gone much further with both the references and a deeper narrative built around them.
Luckily, the gameplay tends to make up for the short length and spotty story. Rise & Shine mixes cover-based shooting with side-scrolling puzzles and platforming in a way that’s reminiscent of titles such as Oddworld. If that sounds like high praise, it’s because it’s meant to be. There are some truly challenging puzzles in R&S. Sometimes because you’re evading death when you’re trying to solve them, and sometimes because the answer’s just not readily apparent.
Prepare to Respawn
Speaking of evading death – Rise & Shine uses a cover mechanic like so many modern shooters, and it works surprisingly well in a side-scrolling environment. The big detractor is that in a 3D space, you have more room to evade enemies, and Rise & Shine is content to throw a ton of enemies at you at once. Ergo, you’re often left with destroyed cover and find yourself resorting to frantic dodging and running just to try and survive. Rise & Shine is a challenging game, which is good because it’s really only a few hours long.
“Rise & Shine won’t likely single-handedly propel Super Mega Team to Indie Stardom.”
Rise & Shine won’t likely single-handedly propel Super Mega Team to Indie Stardom. But it will certainly put them on the radar for gamers who like something different. Much like Supergiant’s Bastion, it’s the beginning of a bold new voice in games. It’s not perfect, but Rise & Shine’s a fun and frenetic little game that seems wholly worth the $15 bucks it costs on Steam and XBL. Recommended for those who like unique and challenging action games, and don’t mind the lack of longevity.