Oscura: SS features fairly standard platforming action with a subdued art style.
Oscura: Second Shadow
Platform(s): iPad, iPhone
Release Date: June 26, 2014
Developer: Chocolate Liberation Front
Publisher: Surprise Attack Games
Oscura: Second Shadow is a follow up to the original Oscura released a few years back for mobile. The game takes place in a realm called The Driftlands and it’s fallen onto dark times. As Oscura, the light keeper, you must brave the darkness and reignite the Lighthouse. And that’s about it for any story. You’ll get some brief exposition when you boot up but little else over the course of the 20 levels. However, the thin plot is mostly to serve as some form of motivation for platforming action.
Graphically, Oscura: SS takes more than a few pointers from Limbo. The minimalist palette heavy on black with single tone backgrounds make your character pop. Of course, this hides potential dangers as well as trap and enemies are the same shade as the foreground. Usually this results in a number of cheap deaths. However, to help out in some of the more troubling spots, you have an ability to slow down time. I really only had to use this a few times as most times patience, memorization, and quick reflexes got me out of any jam.
Levels are pretty short – roughly 1 to 3 minutes to complete. But there are a few collectibles hidden away. You’re also scored upon completion based on time, deaths, and things found. So if you’re the kind that has to best everything, you’ll have a couple of reasons to replay.
Overall, the gameplay works fine and the controls are fairly responsive. As with most platformers, the levels challenge you with tricky obstacles and tough jumps. Additionally, your character has no offensive capabilities, so you need to be light on your feet. I only played the iPad version but I’m sure the Mac and iPhone varieties operate nearly identical.
Pretty standard stuff here, folks. Really, the substance of Oscura: SS is trying to best your score and 4 star all the levels. The design might appeal to some, but I can’t say I was enthralled for the hour or so game time. At just shy of 4 bucks, you probably have an idea of the scope of the game. I typically call these titles, Toilet Games, because maybe I’d like to occupy my mind while doing my business. I don’t mean any disrespect – it’s just Oscura is best played in bits and pieces when you have a moment or two to kill.
Not exactly a rousing recommendation, I know, but if you’re looking for a simple platformer title, Oscura Second Shadow certainly is a game you can play.