Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Review

Posted on Jan 6 2017 - 7:18pm by Jordan Cundiff
  • Gameplay
  • Display
  • Content
  • Fun Factor

Shantae: ½ Genie Hero is a 2d-sidescrolling platformer from developer Wayforward; the same people who made the Ducktales: Remastered game only a few years ago. Ducktales: Remastered provided the feeling of a truly amazing platformer from the past, the encapsulated the essence of the 80’s & 90’s. If this is any hint on how Shantae is, expect a stellar game that will provide a lot of fun gameplay, but still has its fair share of flaws.

Shantae: ½ Genie Hero follows a young girl name Shantae who is half genie, thanks to her mother who thought to be somewhere in the Genie Realm; this is unknown since Shantae has never seen her parents. In the Genie Realm Shantae is the hero of Scuttle town, a small town that will immediately make you think of Aladdin. Shantae must protect the town from Pirates, and various other monsters that threaten the inhabitant’s well-being.

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There are five worlds to explore in the game, each with their own original touch to them. Ranging from a town overrun by evil pirates, to a factory where women are being turned into fake mermaids in the background, each level feels incredibly unique. The worlds all look incredible with a bright color scheme, and vibrant backgrounds that don’t feel like static images. This is a good thing because you’ll be back tracking to each area a lot. Throughout each level there are areas are just slightly out of reach, though as you progress you’ll unlock new forms making it possible to reach these areas. Don’t expect to take too long to achieve all the forms as you can complete the game in around seven hours; and that’s without even speed running the game.

Shantae, being half genie, has a load of abilities that help her on her quest to defend Scuttle town. Shantae’s main way of defeating enemies is the use of her hair to whip enemies. While this make no sense at all, it’s a funny and unique way for the character to fight. As stated before, many area’s in the game can only be reached using new forms that Shantae can take. Using her transformation dance, Shantae can transform into various animals such as a monkey, crab, elephant, and even a spider; all of which are incredibly adorable!

½ Genie really recreates the old school platformer feel, even bringing along some of the flaws. Like old school platformers, this game has it’s sections that are ridiculously tedious. It isn’t that they are hard, but one slip up will cause you to redo the whole area. One area in general has you outclimbing a giant worm beast that looks to eat you, with many routes that you climb leading to dead ends; and no time to switch your path.

½ Genie Hero provides a truly enjoyable platforming experience that looks incredible, and plays just as well as it looks. If you can overlook the harsh difficulty, short story, and consistent backtracking, Shantae provides a fun game. ½ Genie Hero will easily give players their monies worth while playing.


THE Breakdown


  • Gorgeous environments make exploration enjoyable.
  • Shantae’s forms are useful, and extremely adorable.
  • Provides an overall incredible platforming experience.


  • Short story
  • Loads of Backtracking
  • Can be very unforgiving in various areas of the game.