Shining Nikki: Dress Up Gacha Game Review
Shining Nikki is a 3D mobile dress up game following the story of Nikki's and Momo's quest to save Miraland.
The game was developed by Paper Games (previously named SuZhou Nikki Co., Ltd). The global version was released on July 5, 2021. It is the fourth game in the Nikki Up2U series, succeeding the popular mobile dress up game Love Nikki.
Shining Nikki is an RPG gacha game. Gamers can exchange different game currencies for clothing, accessories, and makeup pieces. All items have a different rarity, with rare items taking expensive currency with a lower chance of dropping.
Should you play this dress up game is the question we're about to explore together today!
Shining Nikki's Story
Miraland is a world where styling battles are held to resolve any conflict. Ever since styling battles were implemented, there was no more war.
Miraland is about to be destroyed by the Sea of Memories, so Nikki travels back in time to Year 0 in a structure called "the Ark." Her goal is to stop Leonid, a legendary designer who she believes is responsible for Miraland's destruction.
You, the gamer, become a friend that Nikki summoned to her inner world through the power of the Gate of Heart. You converse with Nikki helping her through her adventure to save Miraland.
Shining Nikki Gameplay
Shining Nikki takes its predecessor Love Nikki-Dress Up Queen, to the next level with more gaming features.
You collect pieces for styling battles through:
- Gacha system
- Story Stages (Main Story, Mirror Story)
- Challenge and Battle Stages
The difference between Love Nikki's battle system and Shining Nikki's is the interactive element. Shining Nikki introduced a new rhythm style mechanic where you must press skill buttons at the right time or draw a path in order on the phone screen. In traditional Love Nikki battles, you can choose when to use your skills.
In each battle, gamers can choose a hairstyle, dress or top & bottom, coat, hosiery, shoes, up to 5 accessories, nail, makeup, and a designer reflection with designer concepts. The combination of the scores based on the styling theme along with passive stat increases determines the winner of the battle.
Shining Nikki also has "photography" levels where gamers must position the camera at correct angles for a high score.
Gamers also collect "Designer's Reflections." The Designer's Reflections are cards based on the designers of the clothing sets. Gamers can upgrade, rank up, and awaken to strengthen the cards' power to additionally increase styling score in battle.
By ranking up Designer's Reflections, you can unlock dyed clothes, personal bios about the designers, and stories of the designers related to the set's creation.
The new gaming mechanics give players more interaction with Nikki for a more elevated gaming experience.
Some other gaming features include:
- Styling Competition
- Team Styling Battles
- Diamond Arena (Theme Competition)
- Designer Intel Hub
- COLOURS Newsroom
- Nail Studio
- Dream Cube
- Memorial Stairway
- Pinnacle Battles
- Concept Voyage
- Neverfall Curtains
- Clock Workshop
- Guilds and Guild Makeup Study
- Dress Up Room
Shining Nikki Gacha System and Events
Shining Nikki features a rotating gacha system and a permanent gacha system.
- Sea of Mystery is a permanent gacha that takes Mystery Tickets or Gold
- Sea of Fantasy is a permanent gacha that takes Fantasy Tickets or Pink Diamonds
- Sea of Fantasy Gleam is a rotating gacha that takes Fantasy Tickets, Diamonds, or Gleaming Stars
Time to time, there are events for limited time summons for new UR outfits. These events take thousands of diamonds or real-life money to complete. These events are accompanied by exclusive game events. The events have new gameplay stages that help gamers unlock currency to pull in the new gacha pavilion.
Each piece of clothing has an attribute, which can be leveled up through various gameplay. Each piece of clothing also belongs to a whole set, like the Nightingale and Mist set. Once you collect each piece from the set, you get extra completion rewards, boost in stats, and the option to "awaken" designer reflections fully for the awakened recolor of the suit.
Shining Nikki often has weekend events and welfare events for free clothes.
Shining Nikki Graphics
One of Shining Nikki's charms is its 3D graphics and voice acting. With the gyroscope function, Nikki speaks to gamers and also comments
Nikki's interaction with the gamer is especially apparent in the "Home" section. Once you collect curtain suits, Nikki will talk to the gamer about that suit. Gamers can choose from different responses to Nikki.
Because of 3D graphic limitations, unlike Love Nikki, certain pieces of clothing cannot be paired together. Gamers are forced to choose between certain pieces due to this limitation. Even in certain accepted combinations, clippings are sure to happen.
However, the overall aesthetic and rendering of the 3D features are beautiful. The animations are fluid, and the effects you can achieve in the Dressing Room and 3D studio are astounding. Out of the many gacha dress up games out there, Shining Nikki is at the top in graphic quality.
Shining Nikki UI and UX
Shining Nikki's overall UI is simple, and the game's many features are categorized into understandable sections. Although it will take new players time to get accustomed to the layout, getting familiar does not take long.
Shining Nikki is rated T for Teen. The rating is due to heavier subjects in the Shining Nikki storyline and certain risque clothing.
The game also presents many microtransactions to promote the gacha game features. While it is unnecessary to purchase anything to play Shining Nikki, many benefits are offered to paying gamers. Free-to-play gamers are often frustrated because it is impossible to finish every new UR event through free gameplay.
The game also is huge and will take a lot of room on your phone. As of writing this review, the game is taking up 10.27GB on my phone.
Should You Play Shining Nikki?
If you enjoy dress up games, Shining Nikki is a great choice.
Even if you play the game for free, the story, multiple gameplay modes, and graphics will keep you entertained for hours. There are no annoying ads that you have to watch to play either.
But if you plan on playing the game for free, don't expect to get every single piece of clothing in-game. Eventually, all event pieces will return to the game easier to obtain. If you have the patience to wait, you don't need to spend a penny on Shining Nikki.
The other consideration will be your playing platform. The game will require a decent phone or an emulator to play on PC. If you do not have a good internet connection, the game will freeze from time to time during the battle stages. Sometimes you'll be hit with a loading screen for specific pieces of new clothing.
Overall, I give Shining Nikki 8.5/10 stars. Definitely worth a download and try for fun, dress up experience.
Still not convinced? Take a look at some of the Shining Nikki outfits I've created!