Game

Slow down time to overcome obstacles in this classic-style 2D platformer

Second Shadow follows up on the well-received first outing of our hero, Oscura. Oscura lives in a place called the Driftlands. But it’s having a pretty bad time. You see, the Driftlands used to be lit by the Aurora Lightstone, but it was stolen by an evil creature. This creature dropped it and it broke into pieces, the clumsy oaf, and now fragments of the Lightstone are scattered all over the place. Your quest is to find these, or the Driftlands will remain in eternal darkness.

Oscura must retrieve the Aurora Lightstone

Oscura must retrieve the Aurora Lightstone

Second Shadow is a great looking little game with dark and menacing backdrops that provide a sinister retro gaming experience that would make Sonic the Hedgehog curl up into a ball and cry. Aesthetically the game is familiar to the award-winning Limbo, with big silhouetted objects and an imposing landscape although this is more of a straight platformer than it’s counterpart.

Your quest for the Aurora Lightstone is hindered by a number of obstacles: spiky things, moving spiky things, and jabbing spiky things – you get the idea. These moving obstacles can be overcome with good timing but there is little else to flex your brain cells apart from a few objects that can be pushed to enable you to reach higher platforms.

Use your ability to slow time sparingly

Use your ability to slow time sparingly

The enemies that you encounter are the strongest elements of the game and make the levels a much more menacing affair. They work well with the game design as they hide in the shadows keeping you on your toes at all times.

When it comes to gameplay, the controls could be more forgiving, with tiny margin for error. You often have to concentrate so much on the timing as you leap from platforms that it is easy to completely miss the correct button and end up falling unceremoniously to your doom. There isn’t really much in your arsenal apart from a well timed double jump, although considering the problems with the controls maybe this isn’t a bad thing.

This is gonna hurt

This is gonna hurt

Your ability to slow down time depends on how many small fragments of Lightstone you can collect through each level which fill up a meter in the top right of the screen. You might use a few seconds worth just to overcome a tricky enemy in a confined space and then find you haven’t enough left to dash across a crumbling bridge so you have to pick and choose carefully. The level of problem solving never really advances past this though and you can normally spot the solution to a puzzle as soon as you encounter it which is a shame.

Your score for each level is calculated on how fast it was completed how many cogs and fragments of Lightstone you collect and how many times you died which offers some replay value to the game.

Slow time to safely cross crumbling walkways

Slow time to safely cross crumbling walkways

Overall, Oscura Second Shadow is a very enjoyable game, sticking to a tried and tested formula of simple puzzles and collection goals. Considering this is the second outing for little Oscura it would have been nice to see some more creative puzzles. This isn’t a must have, but is definitely worth a play if you fancy some classic platformer gameplay.

Price: $2.99 / £1.99
Size: 51.9 MB
Version: 1.0
Developer: Surprise Attack Games

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Oscura Second Shadow Review: Great Classic Platforming
By no means a must-buy, but a thoroughly enjoyable second outing for Oscura using a tried and tested formula.
For
  • Great visuals
  • Classic platform action
Against
  • Nothing really new to report
  • Slight control issue
4.2Overall Score