Developer: Super Mega Team
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Rise & Shine is an action platforming adventure that combines elements of a bullet hell game, puzzle platforming and arcade shooting.
You play as a young boy named Rise, and are given a gun named Shine. You are thrust into a dangerous adventure, and the fate of the world lies in your hands. With Shine as a powerful ally, you’ll have increased armour, and the ability to respawn infinitely as you set out to stop the space grunts, and their destruction.
The platformer style of arcade shooting often requires you to make use of cover to avoid incoming attacks. Whether you are taking cover or not, you cannot shoot your gun without aiming first. Cover is destructible, but you can shoot down enemy projectiles to keep it from being destroyed. You’ll need to poke out, aim, and shoot your enemies whenever you can.
I found the arcade shooting parts of the gameplay to be superior to both the bullet hell and puzzle platforming gameplay. The bullet hell gameplay lacks fluidity, and the puzzle gameplay was much too easy.
You can eat a couple hits to the face from some enemies, and your health will regen after not taking damage for a little bit. Even though your health regens, be prepared to die a lot. I didn’t find the dying too frustrating, since the checkpoints are fairly frequent. Although, I believe that many of my deaths were due to the game’s mechanics, and not necessarily through fault of my own.
- switching quickly between the 2 different ammo types while in combat to maximize damage is neat, and popping out from cover to kill all the enemies before the cover is destroyed is the most enjoyable part of the game
- the game looks great with cute character animation, and fantastic hand drawn environments that are unique throughout the game
- the story is told through images and text dialog that make a lot of references to other games, and real world things, and it was rather amusing at times
- the game doesn’t take itself seriously, and while the story is okay, some parts don’t make a whole lot of sense (the game even acknowledges that fact)
- music and sound effects are decent (although I was more focused on the combat, so I wasn’t entirely attentive to the audio)
- keybindings are customizable, and there is full controller support
- the puzzles are much too easy, and they aren’t anywhere nearly as satisfying as what you would find in more traditional puzzle platformers (it may have been fine being easy if you were more pressed for time)
- the bullet hell gameplay lacks fluidity, and the movement feels clunky compared to most bullet hell games; you can’t jump and dash, or jump and shoot at the same time
- (nitpick) the dash ability doesn’t seem to give you any invulnerability frames, so you can’t use it to dash through anything either – an increased dash cooldown, but have it actually give you a few iframes would have helped
- (nitpick) the 2 different weapon mods added a bit to the puzzles, but aren’t practical to use in the middle of combat since you have to stay out of cover too long to aim them properly
The game took me about 3.5 hours, and there’s not really any replay value unless you want achievements.
I respect Rise & Shine’s attempt at trying something new with a “think and gun” style. I’m sure some people will like the interesting mix of puzzles, arcade shooting, and bullet hell action. Unfortunately, it fell a bit short for me. for me, Rise & Shine is a game that attempts many things, but never excels at any of them. It’s a Jack of all trades and master of none. The puzzles are too easy to satisfy my puzzle-platforming expectations, and the combat just doesn’t feel fluid like I would expect from a bullet hell game. The game does look great, and the shooting is fun, but overall the gameplay leaves more to be desired, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Review copy was provided by the developer.