Rise and Shine’s Beautiful, but Cumbersome World

Rise and Shine is a 2D action game with an amazing art style. The developer: Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team put in a ton of work to make the game looks as awesome as possible. Unfortunately, the game’s art style can’t hide a cumbersome control scheme.

Rise and Shine


The story of the game takes place on the planet Gamearth: A world full of classic video game characters changed just enough to avoid copyright infringement. When the planet is invaded by NexGen, it’s up to the boy Rise and the magic gun Shine to save the world and their people.

If you haven’t guessed by the plot, the game definitely borrows from video game tropes all across the board. The game’s twist is that it uses a lot of references from happier games to counterbalance the dark story-line. Shine provides you infinite lives, as death comes quickly.

The developers describe the game as a “think and gun” game. Rise can’t take a lot of damage and you’ll have to use cover and different gun abilities and bullet types to survive. Your different options factor into the puzzle solving and dealing with different enemy types.

Rise and Shine

Be ready to see a lot of video game references

The game looks amazing, and has some of the most detailed and stunning 2D background art I’ve seen yet from the genre.

There are many overt and easter eggs references related to video game history for you to find.

Rise and Shine may look good, but I wish there was more work done with the controls and gameplay.

Rise and Fall:

Rise and Shine’s main problem stems from whatever control scheme you use. Regardless of using a keyboard and mouse or a gamepad, the game is cumbersome to play. While the gamepad felt more comfortable for movement, you don’t get a crosshair to aim properly.  The keyboard and mouse allow for easier aim, but made it harder to move around and do your actions.

One of the favorite sections of the game was requiring you to shoot or perform an action while enemies are firing on you. The problem is that you have to manage your character position, what bullet type you’re using and the element type while being fired on.

Due to your low health, you can only take one to two hits from most attacks, with instant death attacks from some enemies. On the bright side, the game checkpoints after every major fight and you won’t lose too much progress.

Due to the combination of shooting, movement and control, the puzzle sections sometimes became annoying to deal with. One of your first upgrades is the ability to control a bullet in mid flight for precision aiming. Having to navigate the bullet at the same time enemies are attacking you and without the ability to see the trajectory can be difficult.

Rise and Shine

Combat can get a little hard to manage between bullet and ammo type and the enemies

There were cases where it felt like there was a split second delay in performing an action; usually after jumping or shooting. These slight delays can lead to trouble when you have enemies attacking in multiple directions.

Speaking of directions, there is a dead zone directly above Rise that he cannot shoot at; allowing enemies to approach or fire without being able to attack. Along with your different gun options is just another factor you have to keep in mind while playing.

Short and Sweet:

While Rise and Shine is not long, you can tell that there was a lot of care given to the game. The puzzle design helps to add another element to the game beyond just running and gunning. If you don’t mind playing a game of “Spot the Game Reference,” Rise and Shine is a competent shooter.

For more on the game, you can watch my video spotlight: