I had high hopes for Shred It!
I first thought it might be a Sim style experience where you find yourself in charge of shredding machine factory. One in which you have to deal with selling said shredding machine in a highly competitive market. Sadly my dreams have been crushed and this game isn’t anything near my brilliant concept. Instead it’s a snowboarding Temple Run type cross over. But instead of snowboarding on snow you’re sliding through a paper world. Got it?
It’s an easy game to pick up and very familiar. You plough down a paper hillside, with paper trees and clouds. Rocks, logs, animals, and broken bridges appear in front of you as you move down. Here you can either choose to snowboard left or right or duck and jump over the objects. If you hit these hazards you lose the one life you have to start with, and after that you have to spend paperclips to continue or it’s game over. You collect paper leaves (well, I think that’s what they are) as you progress and the leaves add up to your high score. There are special tricks to perform, like jumps, owl scaring and acorn stealing that all adds to the suspense. As you get better, the hazards get trickier and the game gets faster until it’s all a blur of colour and your eyes start to bleed. Each run through the level is slightly different so you can’t just learn the pattern, so you have to keep alert each time you play.
There are three modes available to play. There’s the ‘Endless Mode’, which is exactly as it says on the tin. Here you increase your high score, collect prizes and paperclips etc…The second mode is ‘Checkpoint Challenge’ – where you have a time limit to each checkpoint and you collect rewards or do special moves that give you those extra valuable seconds. The third mode is something called ‘Chill Mode’, which is exactly like endless mode but without the apparent pressure of collecting leaves, rewards and losing lives. This mode is pointless mode to me, but for some people it might be a way of getting to sleep or taking in some therapy or something.
The gameplay contained within Shred It! is good and addictive – as these games tend to be – but occasionally the duck or jump doesn’t work in time to when you press it, something which can be very frustrating. The difficultly spike really ramps up after about five minutes and it requires a real test of dexterity and cool nerves to get you through. When I had my first go, I was thinking to myself this is easy, I’ve mastered this in no time. But of course I didn’t and the addictive quality of a game like this pulled me back in. For some reason I had to keep trying just to increase my score a little bit more.
Paperclips are the key currency in Shred It! and the more you collect, the more goodies you can unlock for your snowboarder. You can get new boards and new outfits. If you like that sort of thing, shopping I mean, then this is for you. You can get collectible stickers on your run in the form of presents , and these stickers go on a kind of bingo board. Get a row of stickers and you unlock a board, get a full house and you…I gave up before that, so I will never know what surprises were in store for me.
The look of the game is really neat. The paper world it creates is beautiful and as you skid down the mountainside the journey they create is very easy on the eye. It’s simple and not a graphical leap from a PS2 game but it works well all the same. Sound wise all the special effects and sound touches are good and add to the experience of jumping and ducking. The effects are deliberately cartoonish to complement the overall level design. The actual soundtrack is really very good with a mixture of ambient trance tracks that make you feel very relaxed and chilled even though you’re hurtling towards a rock at hundred miles per hour.
Overall and Shred It! isn’t a bad game, in fact it’s an addictive solid title that is one of the best in its genre. The layout and hook of the world is neat and makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s an ideal game for kids of a young age to play and play and play again, with it being harmless and fun.
The main problem I have is whether this justifies its price tag of £7.99. There are loads of arcade games that deliver plenty more bang for their buck for this price. The game itself is free as a mobile phone download, with in shop purchases and with this being a port of that version, not enough has been added for my tastes.
If Shred It! were under a fiver, I would happily add another star to this review and highly recommend it for all the family. However, until then, I will have to wait patiently for my office management shredding game that I know is on the horizon.