ShadowPlay Review
ShadowPlay box art
System: Wii (WiiWare) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Deep Fried Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Deep Fried Entertainment 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jan. 11, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus attachment has proven to greatly increase control accuracy in games like Wii Sports Resort, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010, and a few others. What we hadn't seen yet is a WiiWare game that takes advantage of it. ShadowPlay is the first one. This is in fact very encouraging; it means the device is here to stay and hopefully improve the gaming experience with future releases.

ShadowPlay screenshot

ShadowPlay is a unique and ambitious downloadable game some of you might not have spotted yet. It'll remind you of those good old times you spent when you were a child projecting shadows on the walls, making them look like things. Who hasn't managed to project a barking dog on the wall with just a little bit of imagination? Of course, the game takes things even further, so don't be surprised when you're given a couple knives, a bowling pin, and a pen to try and make up a dragonfly!

By holding the Wii Remote in different ways, twisting it, and with the help of the B button, you'll be able to manipulate objects and place them in such ways they'll project the shadows you need. Of course, one object won't be enough for these increasingly difficult puzzle challenges; as you clear the levels, the game will provide you with more objects to help you with the task of filling out the figure on the canvas. The trick is to use their projected shadows in such a way that everything is correctly filled in. However, you'll also have to make sure the objects at hand are not interfering with the other objects placed over the canvas. This becomes especially tricky in later levels. Even if the casted shadows would be able to create the desired figure when combined, if an object is obstructing the space you need for another item, you won't be able to use them that way and will have to rethink the strategy.

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There's no time limit, but a timer will keep track of how long it takes you to solve the puzzle. When you complete the figure properly, the game will give you a sound signal and will also let you know if you'll obtain a bronze, silver, or gold medal (film reel) considering the way the objects are arranged and shadows are casted. Depending on how tough it was, you may want to tweak things and aim for the gold medal, or you can just call it good and take bronze or silver. At first I wouldn't take anything less than gold, but after a while the puzzles got very complicated and I was just happy to get a bronze.

ShadowPlay screenshot

I found that Wii MotionPlus controls weren't absolutely necessary for this game, and in fact you can use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination instead, but they were certainly appreciated when moving objects. With WiiMotion Plus attached, you can twist the wrist slowly and adjust and move the objects with a lot more precision. Other than that, the D-pad, A, and B buttons are the ones responsible for panning in and out, changing the camera angle, and bringing the objects closer or further in order to increase/decrease the size of the casted shadow - Wii MotionPlus doesn't make much of a difference in this regard. Overall, everything works well enough to make it an interesting experience. Of course, as is the case with most Wii games, there will be some moments of frustration as well; sometimes it feels as if they're asking for too much accuracy.

ShadowPlay screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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