Game and Release Info

Search and Filter Results

The wiki database includes over 200 columns for info! View toggles: compact, pin, fun. Bigger Big Normal Small Smaller [-] [+] font size. Site & minireviews by xoxomonstergirl. Click a row to expand!


Specific tags for the title's features


Similarity & Review


Multiple Sources


Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe

Shape Shifter: Formations


A game that applies all of the survivors-like lessons to a classic abstract arena shooter format, so far seems to be very good at both. Vibes of Geometry Wars or the vintage vector shooters both are based on. I've been playing mostly with auto aim / auto shoot which I think works pretty well and makes it feel a lot more survivors-like in a way my sore hands enjoy. Build depth is pretty good for a more arcade-style title and while there isn't much setting/stage variety I don't spend much time thinking about it. I admit I'd love if there was at least an unlockable boss-free mode, since it feels full on bullet hell with them. Great vibe overall, looking forward to more content.

Arcade Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Bullet Hell Enemy Hell Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Shooter
7.9 Combined Ranking Score
26/72 Ranking Position
1357/1600 Total Points
9.6 Final Review
100% Steam
9.5 Scale
9.2 Vibes
62 Steam Reviews
387/400 Review Points
6.2 Similarity Score
81% Diagnosis:
970/1200 Comparison Points
95% Genre 7.2/8 genre
72% Simple Controls 3.1/7 move
83% Survival Modes 2.6/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
69% Buildcrafting Depth 1.9/5 build
50% Stage Features 0/7 stage
78% Content Breadth 5.1/9 stuff
83% Aesthetics 4/6 style
93% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.6/10 vibe vibe

Shape Shifter: Formations Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 3.5

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/14/2023

First impressions on this Early Access arcade style arena shooter are very positive. Honestly I'm super thankful for this resurgence of arcade style games so I can get stuff like this.

It's a top down shooter in a small arena, with "shape" enemies more complicated than you might see in some retro shooters but very much giving the abstract vibe. While the aesthetics are quite good in my opinion, the general direction of them is that you should concentrate entirely on the play and the play so far is worth concentrating on. I absolutely don't mind when an arcade style game doesn't have plot/setting trappings, it can still get a full score for on the review scale categories from me if it feels like the 'world' is still crafted for the experience the player is supposed to have. You know, Tron without all that talking.

I haven't yet encountered what I would really call multiple maps or stages, though the arena changes at different stages through the run. After beating a run once (referred to as "the game" in the guide accessible in the main menu), you unlock difficulty modifiers.

Has both goal based and currency based unlocks. The goal based ones are pretty solid for giving you something to do in a run, as in the best of these games (get a new ship!) and I enjoy how the refundable currency upgrades also include different play or build styles, like deciding to prioritize burn for the burn ship. Some of these games don't really understand that meta unlocks can be like offering the player interesting new puzzles and not just ways to make the game easier. The skill tree luckily isn't too baroque and easy access to it at the death screen made it easy to loop into another run.

Speaking of ease it certainly feels harder at first but I think this is partially the classic arcade style format. I'm not sure how much content actually exists here yet with early access, but in many of the games in this lineage you're not really expected to be beating all the bosses on your first run or very quickly. At least, I tried to tell myself this as I got used to actually dodging boss bullets again.

There is a special move button and dash. It's in no way bloated, but does include some fun stuff like stats. No bestiary, but then again not a lot of enemy variety yet either. I'd love to be able to unlock an endless mode without bosses so I could truly zone out.

It's definitely not a mowing game, with very projectile based attacks. The auto-aim/auto-fire is sometimes off in a way that feels a little bugged, but for the most part does work pretty satisfyingly. I found myself doing up close strafing more than I would in a classic arcade shooter, partially because I'm trying to collect the XP drops as well. In that way, while in an aesthetic wrapping of an older wave shooter, the gameplay can feel very much like a modern survivors-like. You move towards some things and away from others, getting into a fairly zen state interrupted only by quickly selecting from a simple selection of upgrades and eventually only sorely interrupted by the arrival of an often run ending boss.

I'm a big fan of older arcade style shooters (my favorite perhaps being Super Stardust HD) and while this one is a little slower to get started because it has the metaprogression aspect I found it very much tickled that old enjoyment. The music seems to keep on the same theme and the visuals are a very satisfying mix of retro aesthetics and fairly active and busy scenery in implementation. Overall I had a lot of fun with it so far and am eager to see it get more content through Early Access.

Shape Shifter: Formations Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

6.2 Similarity Score
81% Diagnosis:
970/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0.9/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0.5/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.5/1
Move Only 0/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger 0.8/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode Planned/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.6/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0.5/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible -0.5/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps -1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 0/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 0/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 1/1
Enemy Variety 0/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0.1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.9/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.1/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 0.8/1
Over the Top 0.8/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.5/1

Shape Shifter: Formations Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.6 Final Review
100% Positive Steam Reviews
62 Steam Reviews
9.2 Pure Vibes
9.5 Review Scale
387/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.9/1
Not Janky 0.9/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.9/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Shape Shifter: Formations Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories


Genre and Control Style Tags

ArcadeArena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenBullet HellEnemy HellRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Shooter

Aesthetic Tags

3DGeometricNeonRaveRetroVector InspiredVivid

Setting / Story Tags


Control Styles


Game Mode Tags


Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud


Castec Studios

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.


  • Local: Co-Op
  • Online: Co-Op (Remote Play)
  • Player Count: 2
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 86
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Shape Shifter: Formations is an action twin-stick shooter with rogue-lite elements, where you must destroy hordes of geometric enemies alone or with a friend. Select your ship and combine a large variety of weapons, abilities and infinitely stacking upgrades to craft your own unique build."

"Choose from a wide variety of ships each with their own unique active and passive abilities, ranging from protective barriers or invisibility, to shocking tesla towers and a burning laser. Pick the ship the suits your play style and outfit it with a weapon of your choice. Spend cores gained each run on the skill tree to provide powerful permanent upgrades."

Co-op notes: "So each player can select their own ship/weapon and receives their own choice of upgrades when levelling up. Players earn currency in each run together, but they get their own pool to spend at the shop separately. The only thing that's shared, is progression on the skill tree, but this is offset by the fact you progress through this a little quicker in co-op"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 30m

Run Time Notes


Speed Settings


Home » Shape Shifter: Formations

To see Shape Shifter: Formations in context of the entire ranking table click here! To view the Shape Shifter: Formations database entry in the google sheet click here!

To update and correct information simply right click on any cell in the google sheet and leave a comment. You can also add full info for a game by filling out the scorecard form for devs and reviewers or the review form just for players.

You can find tons of info about the project in the main menu and can conduct detailed searches for the info you're looking for with the search and filter menu. Enjoy!