What makes the sky so dark at night? In the hauntingly beautiful Shine: Journey of Light, the culprits are Nightmites, small underground creatures that blast inky dye into space. The lights of the stars, meanwhile, are created by small glowing orbs called Moonies. (Don’t tell your high school science teacher.)
At the start of Shine, the stars have suddenly gone dark. It’s up to you, as one of the last remaining Moonies, to find your old friends and bring light back to the world.
Getting to the bottom of the mystery entails navigating a series of tunnels while trying to keep your light from extinguishing. Thankfully, a smattering of your fellow Moonies can be found along the way to keep you—and the dark, scary tunnels—illuminated.
The floaty, calming controls match the soothing, ambient score. Simply tap and hold the screen to glide up and forward; release to float back down. You’ll need to tap carefully to navigate around dangerous obstacles, like falling boulders and giant, swinging saw blades.
Abandoned mining carts, busted elevators, and subterranean pools of water set a sombre tone, though true to the game’s name, Shine’s lighting effects are stunning. As your character grows brighter or dimmer, so does the tunnel you’re navigating. Gliding through darkening areas, your flickering light wavering, is eerie and unsettling.
But evocative storytelling and easy-to-master controls make Shine suitable for gamers of all ages. The stars are waiting.