Sine Mora Review (XBLA)

One of the games I always liked back in the day as they say was 1943; this was a great simple game that involved the player shooting down the enemy planes as they scrolled past. There were various power-ups that added to your fire power and it helped me pass many an hour in pursuit of victory.

In many ways this new side scrolling, shoot’em up game from Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture is in the same mould as that one although this game is set in a different, almost futuristic time. Sine Mora revolves around a team of intrepid pilots from the Enkies nation who are trying to save some of their people from their rival nation the Layil Empire. The aim, as you would expect, is to shoot down as many as you can in order to save their people. Both the Layil Empire and the Enkies can manipulate time as you will see throughout the game, but the Empire are not happy with the Enkies because they are not adhering to the rules laid down by them.

I enjoyed the story mode in this game, it was very smooth in the transitions from cut scene to the action and made for a very immersive experience and was actually much better than you would expect from a game of this type. In fact at one point I couldn’t work out where the action began until the airplane started to respond to my input.

You have an array of weapons to help you throughout, and power-ups floating past that can slow down time (always handy if you have a big boss shooting multiple bullets at you). The range of weapons available is good, and will deplete the enemies’ health bar at various rates depending on its power. I found it best to save the big guns for the big enemies as shooting them with your normal weapon will take a long time. If you are hit you will lose any weapons that you have accumulated along the way and they will float away from you, but if you are quick, you can catch them again.

The big question of course is the game play, well, the game is very easy to pick up and play, in fact my five year old daughter was able to get to grips with it very quickly. She was also racking up some big numbers (a chip off the old block) but of course this is pointless unless the game itself is good, and I must say that it is. What could become very repetitive is actually engaging and very addictive thanks to a good mix of content and all out speed. The enemy fire is at times relentless and as I said earlier, tools such as slowing down time come in very handy. There are also different planes to fly in each part as well as different terrain from flying over buildings to navigating through underwater caverns.

The graphics are very clean and you fly past some very beautifully created landscapes. The level of detail is very impressive and even though this is a side scrolling game, there are some wonderful 3D aspects thrown in. The game is very retro in its approach but it’s done in a respectful way and uses the power of the modern hardware to bring a touch of magic. The dialogue and story in-between chapters is written in English but spoken in Hungarian so for those who do not speak it I recommend reading all the dialogue as it gives you a great insight into what this war is about.

Overall Sine Mora is a very good game with some of the best story and transitions for the genre. Of course you don’t need to play the story mode, but I think it adds something to the game and actually gives some background as to why you are blowing up all these planes.

You can download Sine Mora from the Xbox LIVE Arcade now.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About the Author

I'm based in the UK and I have been writing about games for quite a while now. I like most types of game which helps, but I especially love management games.