Hands on with Sine Mora

9:23 AM on 08.27.2011

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

Grasshopper Manufacture has been a busy little studio of late. Hot off the heels of Shadows of the Damned, it has Lollipop Chainsaw in the works for Warner Brothers, and has teamed up with Digital Reality on not one, but two downloadable titles -- Black Knight Sword and Sine Mora.

Sine Mora is a sidescrolling arcade shooter with a strong old school sensibility and just enough quirkiness to let you know that Grasshopper's involved. It's also pretty damn fun.

Sine Mora is a game about time. Each level must be completed before a timer counts to zero, otherwise you lose. There's no health meter or one-hit kills, either. Taking damage cuts precious seconds away from the clock, while destroying enemies adds them. This balance of time is what Sine Mora is all about.

Despite this quirk, there's a lot of tradition to be found in the game. The scrolling action and focus on throwing many, many bullets at the player betrays Sine Mora's strong arcade roots. In addition to regular fire, players have access to a powerful alt-weapon. There will be six alt-weapons in the game, and the one I got to try was a huge beam of energy that decimated enemies in moments. In addition, there is also an option to temporarily slow down time, a blessing when facing the game's huge, multi-part bosses.

No shooter is complete without powerups, and Sine Mora has a modest offering of icons to pick up. Most of them replenish ammo and slowdown, but one can also pick up red orbs that make the regular attacks more powerful by increasing bullet spread. Taking a hit causes these orbs to fly out of the player and require recollecting, though to panic and go after them without thinking often leads to a quick death, as I soon learned. 

Sine Mora is on track to be a fantastically fun downloadable shooter. The graphics are terrific, there's a silly story at play and the bullet-Hell action is fast-paced and surprisingly varied. In my one demo session, I fought giant skytanks, went underwater, and shot at big worms in a subterranean cave. With three planes to choose and plenty of levels with shifting scenery, I can't wait to try out the full game. 

It's due out within the first two months of 2012. Definitely don't let yourself forget about it!

Get comment replies by email.     settings



Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our comment moderators

Can't see comments? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this. Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your security software's whitelist.


More Sine Mora  updates:

review ( ! ) news ( 27 ) galleries ( 13 ) videos ( 13 )

Avant-garde shoot-'em-up Sine Mora is this week's addition to the Instant Game Collection on PlayStation Plus. Subscribers will be able to freely download the Vita version of the collaborative project from Grasshopper Manufac...
There you go again, Sony, making me regret actually buying things. All my favorite games eventually find their way to PlayStation Plus! Sony's subscription service going to be awesome next month, which I guess is just par for...
After a string of ports, Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture's well-regarded shmup Sine Mora has found its way to iOS. This version for iPad and iPhone is priced at $5.99 and was developed by Pocket Scientis...
As much as we've been talking up Sine Mora, I figured one more post couldn't hurt. The shoot-'em-up has finally released on PlayStation Network for both Vita and PlayStation 3 as a $9.99 download. These are separate versions...
Digital Reality and Kalypso have released the gorgeous horizontal shoot-'em-up Sine Mora on Steam today for $9.99. There were certainly some of you who called for a PC version to happen, so here's hoping that wasn't just tal...
If you thought shooter Sine Mora was beautiful on consoles, imagine how much better it will look on PC! Kalypso Media Digital has announced that they will be bringing the side-scrolling shooter to Steam and other di...
In case you missed it among the wave of posts during the week of E3, Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture are in the process of bringing their currently Xbox Live Arcade-exclusive shmup Sine Mora over to PlayStation Vi...
I know this will hardly be the biggest news of the week -- but wow! -- talk about a great little surprise to set the mood early on. Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture are bringing their previously Xbox Live Arcade-ex...
What I’m concerned with is the aristocracy of the mind. It is our obligation to select -- through our experiences, knowledge, and heart -- what is eternal and what is worthless. [...] But if I don’t represent ...
With just a week left until the release of Grasshopper Manufacture/Digital Reality's gorgeous schmup Sine Mora on the Xbox Live Arcade on March 21st, I can barely wait, and now I have an even bigger reason to be excited ...