SHI•RO is a game for iOS and Android that uses gyroscope technology to bring art to life in a player’s hand. Gold and silver on coated darkness shimmer in the hands of players while they move their device. Based on a real ancient story, the game tells the tale of a curious empress, a lost love and a blossoming friendship.
In over 60 handmade puzzles, players connect golden moons to separate the sea from the sky. Each level transforms their device into a beautiful Japanese lacquer box, which players need to think outside of! To engage with SHI•RO's story, players have to find the golden elements in the game's handdrawn illustrations. Taiko drums lead their way from one star constellation to the next, puzzle by puzzle, word by word, further in time.
When spending an exchange semester in Japan, Topicbird found moments of calmness in the midst of Kyoto’s vibrant shopping district. In a small workshop, a beautiful black Japanese lacquer box with golden sparkles caught their eyes. When they took their phones out to take a picture, the stunning material resemblance of the smartphone and the box impressed them: Both were glossy, of high quality and had the potential to tell stories on their surfaces. This moment became the core inspiration for SHI•RO, a game that brings a piece of Japanese craftsmanship into the daily lives of players.
Story, design and gameplay in SHI•RO are carefully researched. Jasper and Isabel traveled to Japan twice to come up with digital realizations that represent Japan’s unique design philosophy. SHI•RO is the first mobile game that uses reflective metallic surfaces. It has been developed in Unity. In the summer of 2018, the game was chosen from over 400 applications to be part of the game accelerator program Stugan in Sweden. Topicbird are working on two free content updates called MIDORI and AKA and continue their cooperation with the sound designer Leonard Bahro. The game is published by the brothers grimm.