Oscura Second Shadow – Lighting Up Classic Platformers

4.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Design: 4/5
Duration: 3.5/5

Very well balance platformer levels | Neat art style | Precise touch controls

A bit on the short side | Relies on surprises versus puzzles, can be cheap deaths


There’s nothing like the classic platformers starring Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, and so many more. Oscura Second Shadow is a new iOS platformer based on the classics, but made for today’s tastes. There’s a neat silhouette style design with neat lighting effects resulting from a flame held in the hand of Oscura, the main character. Oscrua’s goal is to collect pieces of the lighthouse to put the flame back into its rightful place, but there’s a dark world to explore to find all of the pieces. The art style sets the stage for quite a platformer experience which focuses on the classic simple left/right movement, jump, double jump, collectables, and varied enemies.
After you get past the intriguing visual design, the next thing you notice are the touch controls, which offer silky smooth precision. The Oscura controls may be the best platformer controls on iOS letting you do everything in the game without ever really thinking about the controls. The main gameplay introduces a number of challenging sequences that require quick reaction where the controls are always a benefit. Every level offers a unique challenge that build upon classic platforming elements whether it’s falling platform, spinning gears, precariously placed collectables, quick moving enemies, and more. One aspect of Oscura that is especially intriguing is the surprises to the point that things can come flying out of nowhere, or you can jump off a cliff after a checkpoint with some crazy new obstacle waiting for you.

There are only 20 levels included, but each one is relatively long, and delivers quite a value for the relatively small purchase price. The levels flow so nicely with a finely crafted difficulty curve so that levels never feel too hard, or too easy, and just right for an engaging challenge. That doesn’t mean you won’t die numerous times, and most result from great level design with nice twists along the way. Part of the fun of the game is seeing what comes next in each level, but it’s equally neat to simply double jump through sequences that require quick action. Another neat feature is that the collectables are tied to a power-up meter which lets you slow down time, which is an essential tool in some of the fast moving stretches.

Oscura Second Shadow ($2.99, Universal) offers great platforming fun tailor made for iOS to make for a must buy, and a thoroughly entertaining experience.


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