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TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Shadowmatic’

TouchArcade Rating:

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Shadowmatic

This week we saw the somewhat out-of-nowhere release of Shadowmatic ($1.99), a game that we’ve been waiting for for a pretty long time. We first caught wind of a trailer for the game back in December of 2013, and the last time we heard any news about its development was May of last year. So it was surprising to see Shadowmatic pop up in the new games this week, as we really had no idea what was up with it, but I’m sure glad it’s finally here. Shadowmatic is a beautiful, relaxing little experience that feels incredibly unique. At the same time, you can draw comparisons to some of iOS’s other novel experiences like Zen Bound, Find the Line and Blueprint 3D.

The premise behind Shadowmatic is that an abstract object is held up in mid-air with a bright light source shining right on it. The light casts a shadow of the object on a wall, and your job is to manipulate the abstract object causing its shadow to change, until eventually that shadow creates the silouette of a known object. Confused? That’s OK, it’s a strange concept to try and describe. Watch the launch trailer to get an idea of what Shadowmatic is all about.

One thing that’s evident in the trailer and even more pronounced in person is just how gorgeous Shadowmatic is. The lighting and shadows are just beautiful, and the objects themselves have this sort of hyperrealistic look to them. Even if there weren’t any puzzle aspects to the game, Shadowmatic would still be fun simply as a digital toy. There’s something strangely satisfying and personal about twirling the little objects around using the touchscreen, and it’s one of the big reasons I loved the Zen Bound games so much over the years. Shadowmatic has a very similar relaxing vibe, and you can kind of just zone out playing with the objects and appreciating the visuals.

So it’s almost like an added bonus that there’s a “game" part to Shadowmatic. Finding the appropriate silhouette for each level is definitely fun, though not particularly challenging. At least not yet. Perhaps later in the game the difficulty will ramp up, but honestly, I wouldn’t care if it didn’t. I’m just enjoying the experience as it comes, so if Shadowmatic looks interesting to you, I’d definitely recommend checking it out. It’s fun, it’s unique, and it’s the perfect type of game to show off to people who typically don’t play video games, as it’s almost like an interactive piece of art.

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