Shapes of Gray is not the game I was expecting. It's better.
When I read that it was made by a college student, I thought “Oh, okay, I'll give it a shot”. What I didn't expect was losing track of 2 hours of my life immersed in the game.
Don't get me wrong, it is a very simplistic game. There is no story here that I can surmise. Unless you want to create a story of a poor oppressed blob of grayness fighting other blobs of grayness and bosses in a never ending cycle to save a princess from ano—Oh sorry, wrong series.
Gameplay is very simple, you move around using WASD, and attack with a mouse click. The complexity comes with the things that are moving towards you/at you and the boss battles. In classic arcade fashion, you get three lives. Once those lives are up, you start all over again. No saves, no cheats. Just pure simple arcade fun.
Its the kind of title that reminds me of my childhood. The kind of title that reminds me that good games can still be made based off a simple premise. During my conversation with the developer, he shared these thoughts with me about the game:
“I made the game using Game Maker: Studio in my spare time over the course of a few months. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to make a rather simple arcade game, partly because, as an amateur game designer, I needed to start small, and partly because arcade games are awesome. I'd been playing a lot of Super Crate Box and Super Hexagon at the time; those games were pretty big inspirations.
Since I have very little drawing ability, I opted to go for a very simple-looking game with a unique style instead of trying to force myself to draw the next Muramasa. After that, the pieces kind of all came together in my head and I got a clear idea of what I wanted the game to be themed around. Not to mention, after coming up with that title pun, I knew I had to commit to it!”
You can purchase Shapes of Gray here for $2 USD.
Its worth every penny. Seriously impressed.