Shines Over: The Damned – Review
Follow Genre: Horror, Walking Simulator
Developer: Firenut Games
Publisher: Firenut Games
Platform: PS5
Tested on: PS5

Shines Over: The Damned – Review

Site Score
Good: Nothing really
Bad: Gameplay, Controls, No story, Absolute mess
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

On our website, we do try to spread our attention equally when it comes to covering mainstream and indie games. And for the most part, many indie games deserve all the love they can get, as there are truly some hidden gems out there. Sometimes a few titles slip through the cracks while others immediately show up on our radars, promising something very intriguing. This was the case for Shines Over: The Damned, which looked like an interesting horror experience, but it ended up being one of the worst games we have played in recent years.


Even though we expected Shines Over: The Damned to have an intriguing story, there is actually no story present in the game at all. We do see a few weird vision-like images here and there, but there is nothing that explains what they are about. We assume that your character has perished and that he is on his final voyage to the afterlife, but that is simply our interpretation. The game would have already been a lot more appealing if there was an overarching narrative.


Graphically, the game does have a few interesting environments that show that this title could have been so much more than it currently is. Shines Over: The Damned offers only a handful of different environments with many rough edges. Water doesn’t look as if it’s incorporated naturally, the textures are quite basic, the character models look dated, and many of the assets all seem to have the same lick of paint to create a very boring-looking experience.


The sound design wasn’t extremely bad, it was just bland and not memorable. The sound effects are okay, but with so little content in the game, there is also not that much to base ourselves on. The few lines of text in the game aren’t voice-acted either.


Shines Over: The Damned is described as a mysterious and terrifying walking simulator and this couldn’t truly be further from the truth. This title is a poor tech demo at best, and that’s us still being generous. You’ll be playing as an unnamed character that seemingly is going through purgatory or something of the sort. You’ll play through very short areas where you have to solve simplistic puzzles or go through short platforming and button-mashing sequences. It will cost you roughly 20 to 30 minutes to beat the game, and half of it is spent dying in the last level for no apparent reason.

To elaborate further on the gameplay, you’ll move around the areas to then walk against or jump onto different objects. You cannot truly interact with items, and thus you are restricted to just basically touching them. This will allow you to open doors or cross gaps. The controls are horrendous, and it’s clear that no real work went into making a likable gameplay experience. You sometimes get jumped by odd-looking entities, to simply mash buttons to drive them away. There will also be a few pitfalls and traps that kill you. The game has no instructions or clear objectives, and even the few English lines of text look as if they went through Google Translate. There is absolutely no joy playing through this title, especially at its very ridiculous 15 EUR price tag. We did notice one or two occasions where the developer seemingly tried to incorporate DualSense support, but this seems to be the only effort that was put into creating a creepy atmosphere.


Shines Over: The Damned could best be described as a poorly ported alpha of a bigger project, but the developer decided to call it a day. There is hardly any gameplay present in the game, and what is actually there is so poorly implemented that it’s even hard to press on towards the end of this half-hour-spanning title. In all honesty, this might be one of the worst games we have played in a long time, and with its eyewatering price tag for such a short experience, we expected much more.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Shines Over: The Damned - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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