A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids will learn about video game design and music in this quirky little indie platformer. Players can see how songs come together while playing through the story mode, watching and hearing layers of sounds combining to create rich and interesting tunes. Then they can take what they've learned and design their own levels and music using a simple but surprisingly robust editing module. Sound Shapes doesn’t provide any formal training, but it offers a good opportunity to learn more about both music and game making.
This game promotes creativity, music appreciation, and non-violent problem-solving.
Positive Role Models
There are no real characters in this game, but players may find role models in the game's community, where they will find talented level designers with skills worth aspiring to.
Ease of Play
This game employs a simple but unusual mechanic where players control whether their blob sticks to or falls away from surfaces. It takes a while to get used to and could cause a bit of frustration, even among older players. However, the difficulty never ramps up to the nigh-impossible levels seen in many other indie platformers.
Violence & Scariness
One level has missiles flying through the air and some highly stylized cartoonish explosions. Should the player's blob run into a red object -- a wall, spikes, one of the game's odd looking enemy creatures -- it will disappear before being reset at the nearest checkpoint.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Names of a few musical artists, including Beck, appear prominently in the game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sound Shapes is a downloadable platformer and music creation game available for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. It includes a simple but powerful level creator that encourages players to tap into their creative side and design their own levels, which double as musical tracks. Players can then share their creations with the game's community. It has a small amount of violence in the form of spiked traps and glowing red enemies that can cause the player's blob to disappear, as well as a level that depicts some very cartoonish missiles and explosions in the background. Parents should also note that while this game never grows too difficult, it does employ an unusual system of movement that may prove a little frustrating for some kids, at least until they get a feel for it.
Is It Any Good?
Where many modern platformers pride themselves on their unforgiving difficulty, Sound Shapes offers an experience focused on fun, creativity, and music. Make no mistake; some levels demand a deft hand at the controller, and it takes a while to become comfortable with the game's unusual stick-to-certain-surfaces mechanic, which can prove a little aggravating at first. However, frequent checkpoints allow players to keep progressing at a steady pace. This allows kids to fully enjoy the game's great original music, and, eventually, create their own. The level editor is wonderfully easy to understand and use, letting players create playable levels with looping tunes in just a couple of minutes, then upload them for others to try as well. And with an almost limitless number of player-created levels available to download, this $15 PlayStation Network game is well worth picking up.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate