Client: Nick jr,
Warning: this game comes with a little sprinkle of genie magic. Starring Nick Jr’s #1 genie duo, Shimmer and Shine - two genies-in-training who are on a quest to unlock the secrets of symmetry!
There are two core parts to the game. A sideways scrolling flying game and a collection of curriculum-linked symmetry puzzles. The player must drag to steer a magic carpet through one of the four richly beautiful environments in the app, whilst collecting differently shaped jewels. Simple, intuitive touch controls and character animations make this an incredibly tactile and rewarding experience. The first stage of development was focussed on making the control and flow of the carpet feel just right, and we’re really pleased with how this part of the gameplay feels. We kid-tested 3 different input mechanics before we arrived at the optimal system.
Placed strategically around the levels are treasure chests. These contain the jewels which the player is seeking, but to access them, the genies will have to practice their magic! Arriving at a chest, the player must help Shimmer And Shine by tracing the magical shape that appears on the screen. Doing so unlocks the chest, a magic jewel emerges and the duo continue their adventure!
At certain points during each flying level, the genies may encounter an obstacle or barrier which will block them from progressing. At these moments, another magic spell is required to clear the way. Using the touchscreen, players must tap or swipe any obstacles out of the way, revealing another jewel and a new path!
At the end of each level, the collected jewels are presented in the form of a symmetry puzzle. The jewels are arranged on the left, and the player must mirror the pattern by placing their collected jewels in the correct positions. Completing the puzzle unlocks a prize, and we have created 50 unique trinkets, ornaments and toys for players to collect!
With four worlds and fifty prizes, we had to pay a lot of attention to ensuring the levels are fun to play and replay, adding more variety to the later challenges. As the puzzles get harder, it takes longer to collect all of the necessary jewels and so keeping the player engaged is very important. We experimented with random level generation, but found that the levels this created just weren’t fun enough. The levels lacked a sense of design. To correct this, we designed a collection of level segments that could be stitched together at run time, so that the game flow would feel smooth yet the levels would still not be completely predictable.
This is the third time we’ve made such an expansive app for Nick Jr. and the third time we’ve delivered them something so beautiful, fun and educational – all in one download!
Plug-In Media Ltd
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