July 25, 2014 9:00 AM | Lena LeRay
Sundae Month is a newly-formed collective of student game developers. It consists of two teams working on large game projects Levity and Boatventure, but the teams have committed to taking turns releasing small, free games every month as a sort of ongoing game jam to keep their skills fresh. Their first monthly release, ShapeDown, is a game which blends simple mechanics and aesthetics together in a way that results in a more engaging experience than the gif above might imply.
Mechanically, all the player must do is rotate the block at the bottom to catch falling objects on the matching side. Every time an object is successfully caught, though, a sound is made. Each shape/color of object makes its own sound, so although the game isn't a rhythm game, it feels a bit like one. Even the sound made for mistakes meshes well and lands "on the beat" so to speak, which means that although the sound is a bit jarring in comparison to the success sounds, it comes off as a warning rather than a distraction.
There are two play modes, with the default Play mode having constructed levels and the Arcade mode just dropping objects at random. In Play mode, different levels have different sound schemes that help keep things fresh. Arcade mode is difficult enough that I have been unable to confirm whether or not the sound scheme changes.
ShapeDown can be played for free in a browser. It is colorblind friendly, with the falling object types being different shapes as well as different colors. The red and green shapes are not all that different, though, and may be difficult for some players to distinguish given the speed at which they are falling.