The gestures that count
£2.29 Developer Triada Studio, triadastudio.com
Works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Version 1.0.1 Age 4+
If you have ever sat mangling your fingers into strange and mysterious forms so their shadow on the wall vaguely resembles a rabbit, you’re probably going to like Shadowmatic.
Rather than your fingers, here you get floating abstract shapes. These can be spun and rotated by one- and two-finger gestures, with the aim being that their shadows might start to resemble something vaguely recognisable.
However, bar the initial tutorial levels, Shadowmatic isn’t terribly forthcoming about what each shadow should be. Level sets have a theme, but beyond that you’re on your own. When you’re manipulating only one shape, everything’s easy enough, but when you’ve got two or three to contend with, what was a noodly, relaxing game can become testing – even trying.
Unfortunately, it sheds elegance. There’s ungainly button-prodding to switch between the different shapes, and the need to hold the button to rearrange shapes in relation to each other. In theory, a light meter shows how close to the solution you are. But it proves largely unhelpful, and the game often demands too much precision, wanting you to nudge one part of a seemingly complete silhouette just a few pixels along to get to the solution.
In mitigation, there is a hints system, but that’s currency based, and it’s easy to burn through earnings from completing levels. Naturally, you can top up via IAP.
And yet, despite all the quibbles we’ve stated, we just kept coming back. The atmospheric audio and visuals enthral, and the concept seems ideal for larger iOS devices. So we advise to just be a bit patient, and if you do get stuck, find an online guide to discover what you’re aiming for – the journey’s still just as much fun. Craig Grannell
Beautiful but flawed. Our recommendation comes with the caveat that this is very much a game for the more patient.
Oh, the fun you can have with the ability to levitate objects and a torch.