I am not a destructive person by nature. But give me a rock and a glass bottle, and that bottle is gonna get smashed. I can’t help myself. There’s just something so weirdly satisfying and pleasurable about throwing a rock at a bottle and watching it shatter and explode into a million smithereens. Wapps Games must know what I’m talking about because they’ve just released Shup (out now, free), a physics-based puzzle shooter that revolves around obliterating items of glassware with a cannon.
Each level of Shup presents you with a glass object that’s perched or suspended somewhere within a large, obstacle-filled area. Your job is to smash this target by firing balls from a cannon located on the bottom left of the screen. The cannon rotates up and down automatically, so all you’ve really got to do is wait for the perfect shot to line itself up, and then tap the screen to shoot a ball. Patience, timing and precision is key though, because you’ve only got a limited number of cannon balls with which to complete the objective.
Despite being based around such a remarkably simple gameplay concept, Shup never gets boring or repetitive. This is thanks to a well-implemented difficulty curve that gradually introduces more complex level designs and multi-step puzzles that involve making tricky ricochet shots to activate switches and remove obstacles. In addition to a lengthy and very enjoyable level-based campaign, Shup also features a secondary endless mode, which helps boost its longevity and replayability even further.
Overall I really like Shup, though a couple of things do bug me about it. Firstly, the game serves WAY too many video ads for my liking. (The ads can be removed with a $1.99 in-app purchase thankfully, and Wapps Games also have an update in the works that will reduce them by 85% for free users.) And secondly, some of the music choices, such as the aggressive dubstep track that blares during certain stages, clash badly with the game’s otherwise understated, elegant tone and feel out of place.
Shup is a smashingly fun physics-based puzzle shooter that boasts pleasant visuals, great gameplay and tons of varied levels. Well worth giving a shot.