If you enjoyed Just Shapes and Beats, then you’ll likely enjoy Last Shape Standing. They are two games from the same mould of “avoid everything that is red on the screen”. However, the way they go about it is different meaning that whilst similar, they are by no means the same. This is great because instead of having the either/or conversation in your head, I’d argue both deserve your time – especially for 4 player local multiplayer hijinks.
Last Shape Standing takes the form of various minigames to enjoy – all around the idea of avoid red things. In around half of the minigames they’ll be patterns of blocks, lazers or moving scenery to avoid. These aren’t set to specific music like other games in this genre because they don’t run the exact same pattern every time. There are small variations in the way how debris flies around the screen or where a lazer pattern will trigger from. It’s like Last Shape Standing pulls from certain parameters to build a familiar but slightly tweaked level every time and that means you can’t hide in a corner knowing you’ll be safe. These levels are Last Shape Standing’s bread and butter and they work well. Whilst the movement of your shape is a little floaty and woolly, its largely very predictable. My only mild complaint is around the invincible dash ability which didn’t always trigger the invincibility. The game is in early access though so these will be easy things to clean up.
It isn’t just plain top down avoid the pattern games here though. One game was a zombie twin stick shooter. Another saw me on a conveyor belt jumping over boxes to avoid a giant spike wheel. Tetris styled bombs popped up a few times too. Flappy Birds gets a send up and so does Undertale. You’ll only need your movement stick and action button but that action button gets good use as it swaps around each game. If you have multiple players there are also some versus specific minigames like a deadly pong variant. The idea is to survive for as long as possible and last one left wins.
Very little of the game is unlocked and playable from the start and this reminds me a little of Move or Die’s online mode. For each minigame you clear you’ll be given tokens which you can spend unlocking new minigames. in the menus you can choose which minigames to turn on or off for your random selection and they are ranked by difficulty too. The trickier the minigame, the more tokens you get for surviving it though. After a few hours of playing, I was only half way through unlocking variants and most of them were genuine new minigames, not just harder variants of something I’d already unlocked. There is plenty here to enjoy for the pricepoint although I had to pace myself because you’ll get a bit weary of replaying the same games over and over early on to start unlocking things.
I really enjoyed Last Shape Standing though, and with a few friends locally or through Steam Remote Play, it really shines. The majority of my time was playing in single player where you are simply against your own clock for the longest run possible. That’s fun for a bit, but this is definitely made for mates. An enjoyable hybrid of dodge em up and minigame selection.
Review copy provided by developer. Out now in early access on Steam.
Last Shape Standing
A very solid start for multiplayer battles and competitive hijinks. Not stingy on the minigames either!
Loads of minigames to unlock over time.
Multiplayer can be both comedic and intense at the same time.
Lots of customisation options to ignore/focus on specific minigames if you want to.
Excellent chiptune soundtrack even if it isn't synched to the gameplay.
Some issues with the dash ability sometimes causing a loss of health when it shouldn't.
Controls require a little more finesse to allow for some very tight manoeuvring.
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