I believe that this game used to be named “Mage Drops” earlier in its development but as of now it’s named “Joon Shining”.
Joon Shining is a precision-based platformer that uses golf in its gameplay.
Since this game is in early access at this time, I’ll be lenient in giving it a positive review because it’s fun.
However, you should consider this review to be more mixed than positive and I’ll be describing some issues that made me feel frustrated at times.
I mentioned that this game is a precision platformer that uses golf mechanics to play.
An example that I can think of would be the Golfing Over It game that parodied the infamous Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.
Joon Shining plays similarly to that game except more fair and reliant on gold rules.
The game is very challenging since golf and precision platformer are two worlds of pain brought into one. So if you don’t like either then the gameplay isn’t for you.
Onto the gameplay itself, it plays from a 2D perspective like the old Super Mario games.
You can aim the ball up, down, left, and right in an arc because gravity exists.
A great mechanic that I found interesting is the ability to brake or make the ball roll slowly forward mid-stroke. This makes the game more of a platformer and leads to amazing plays.
The goal is to obviously score in the hole at the end of each level.
I think the level design is pretty fun, albeit frustrating to try to play under par at first.
You could bounce on bubbles, cling onto sticky slime, travel across the air, etc.
There are obstacles and tools in each level to make the game interesting.
For obstacles, it comes in the form of enemies that litter the area or spiky hazards.
You have three hearts and coming into a deadly hazard will take away one heart at a time.
Losing all three hearts will cause you to spawn all the way at the start of the level while keeping your strokes.
Art & Sound
I’ll be honest, the art style just reminds me of Playdough, or rather clay art in general.
It has that extremely colorful and smooth while being a bit bland.
I think the mage looks great and cool. I love seeing the trail that they make when in the level select.
The sound is decent.
Ambient sounds are great and the music is okay.
I’ll say that the sound effects do get annoying fast but to each their own.
Since the game is in Early Access, I’ll give some feedback that could be taken into consideration.
1) Game-breaking bugs: I know that not all games can come bug-free. Hell, even some bugs can make the game more fun but players really don’t like bugs that can ruin the game. I experienced a bug in the forest area that requires you to set your ball on fire to pass through a wall of shrubs. The ball just wouldn’t get set on fire and I know you’re supposed to do it because I saw a guy named Batprince play through the level. This meant that I could not progress through the game anymore. UPDATE: I don’t know what caused it but I fixed it by closing and reopening the game.
2) Arc seems to not be accurate: I’ve been noticing that some times, the ball arches down a bit under than what was projected. It’s not as bad as the first issue but it’s bad if you’re going for precision. UPDATE: So the ball does go way under than what the arc actually shows which means that it will be annoying to adjust to.
3) Camera makes it hard to aim: It’s hard to tell whether or not an object in the background will affect your stroke or not. I was wondering why my ball kept going up so short until I realized that the shrubs were slowing it down. It’s also annoying to have to keep holding the camera while adjusting your shot, so why can’t it be a toggle like with the free camera.
I’ll say that if you enjoy golf and platforming together then you should consider this game.
As far as gameplay goes, it’s pretty fun though I’m not an avid player of golf.
However, you should be mindful that the game is still in Early Access and you might experience bugs that stop you from progressing.
Unfortunately, this is how much I am to confidently write as the bug really limited how much I could play but keep this game in mind for those that prefer the aforementioned stuff.
You can purchase Joon Shining at the Steam store page HERE!