Shamania is a simple puzzle game that places you at a campfire in some enchanted woods. You bring the world to life by using your gaze and head tilts to form different objects out of a mess of pixels. There are 3 difficulty levels for each of the four puzzles present in the current version. With each increase in difficulty the object you must put back together into a recognizable shape gets larger and closer to you.
I would describe the difficulty levels in the following way:
Easy – The object is very small and takes a few seconds to piece together
Easy 2.0 – The object is medium size but just as easy to put together and shouldn’t take you longer than 20 seconds.
Super Difficult – Object is now extremely close to you and prepare to put at least 10 minutes of your time towards piecing it together.
I rather enjoyed the super difficult mode on each of the 4 puzzles. They easily extended this Jam entry into almost a 1 hour experience. The graphics are very well done and as you will not be moving throughout the experience, Shamania is very friendly towards players of all types. I would love to see a more gradual increase in the difficulty. The first stage is way too easy, and the medium difficulty level is as well. Also there is nothing that indicates what you should do after you complete the final puzzle. A “Thanks For Playing” would be nice as I spent far too long trying to figure out if there had been something I had missed.
Upon completing some of the puzzles I noticed changes in the environment. On others I didn’t notice anything change. I believe that completing the one that looks like a bunny forms a fire. The moon one was the most obvious as a giant moon showed up behind it. The mushroom one scattered mushrooms throughout the forest. For the puzzle that looked like a shield, either I missed something or it didn’t have any effect on the forest.
The most impressive thing about this title is developer David Ng only just started learning the coding languages C+ and Unity days after the Jam started. If this is what he is capable of at the start then color me impressed! Shamania is definitely improving and we can’t wait until more puzzles are added.