Game Review: Shredded Secrets
Girls Make Games Presents: Shredded Secrets! That was the campaign tagline that was on Kickstarter followed by a picture of the Sarcastic Shark Clouds who a group of middle school girls that made the game. Girls Make Games is a summer camp based in Seattle, WA hosted by Smashing Ideas. Doing a quick google search Smashing Ideas is an offering of Luxoft
company which is an IT Consulting company based in Seattle.
According to the Kickstarter campaign, GMG run summer camps across the United States and and of the 33 games developed in the summer of 2018, Shredded Secrets made it the top 5 to compete in the GMG's 5th Annual Demo Day held at the PlayStation HQ in San Mateo Ca. Click here to check out the kickstarter campaign where you can read about the awesome 6th graders that developed the game. (spoiler alert) The campaign is closed and it hit it mark of $14,500 to fund the game and met their stretch goal of $55,000 to bring the game to Nintendo Switch where I played it.
**Spoilers Ahead, You've been warned**
The game introduces you to 4 characters who's story play off each other as they work their way to homecoming. You have Isabella that is being bullied, Oakley who is the bully, Taylor who is struggling with school and London a teacher that is battling depression.
Each Character has four levels to work through in their story arc. Isabella finds out that there are a lot of kids being bullied and derives a way to help everyone. During playing Oakley's story you find out why he's bullying Isabella and others. He's having trouble with self-acceptance. He wants to ask a boy to the homecoming event and doesn't know how to cope with these feelings. The game doesn't express this up front but I believe Taylor is suffering from ADHD. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and how his parents compare him to his sister. And I thought this last character, London, was a brave choice. London is a teacher suffering from and battling depression. All the story arcs play out with the conclusion at the homecoming event. I won't get into the details of each one because I believe everyone should play through this game. I did think that each character's story and how they interacted with each other was fun and interesting.
The game is a basic "platformer". You have the ability to jump and each character has an action. Isabella can deflect insults, Oakley can shout insults, Taylor throws a boomerang Book and London launches positive vibes in an arch. Each level reflected the obstacle they face either in they head or in real life. The controls were extremely basic but very responsive. Some of the jumping parts were frustrating but nothing that made you throw the controller. The animation is cute and music is appropriate for the game but nothing mind blowing.
"Shredded Secrets'" initial pull for me was how it encourages and celebrated young women in an industry that is usually dominated by men. But I played it to the end because as a parent, I wanted to experience a story that some of our kids want to tell. They say listen to your kids stories no matter how little you may think of the subject. Because to you it might be a small thing but them it's the world. With that thought in mind, I really wanted to listen and experience this game. And it hit me pretty deep that these were the stories that the kids wanted to tell. The stories are well over what I would think a 6th grader could deal with, let alone comprehend and express. I will say that this game may not be for everyone. It's messaging can be perceived as controversial to some, especially being developed by 6th graders.
As a game I got to give it a 6.5/10 as it's very basic but as a total package with development and messaging it's a 8.5/10 for me. I think everyone should support the game, it's definitely worth the $4.99 on the Nintendo Eshop.
You can follow Sean Flac on