Sega’s ‘Shining Force’ series set to return as RPG for Android and iOS

Shine a light

Sega’s classic RPG series Shining is set for a revival, with a new Shining Force game in development for mobile platforms.

Japanese site Gamer.ne.jp says (as spotted by VGC) that developer Hive has licensed the Shining Force IP from Sega and is working on a title tentatively called Shining Force – Heroes of Light and Darkness. The game is expected to be free-to-play and will be coming to Android and iOS handsets.

The Shining series debuted on the Sega Mega Drive (AKA Sega Genesis) in 1991, with the dungeon crawler Shining in the Darkness. Since then, the franchise has expanded to include action RPGs – 2018’s Shining Resonance Refrain being the most recent – and turn-based tactical RPGs under the Shining Force banner.

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Hive has specifically licenced the Shining Force splinter, so Heroes of Light and Darkness will most likely echo those earlier games. The mechanics of turn-based combat are arguably the best suited to playing on a touchscreen, too.

Sega previously ported the original Shining Force to iOS in 2010. However, rather than adapting the game for touch controls, players had to use a virtual onscreen controller to emulate Mega Drive’s controller.

Heroes of Light and Darkness is set to launch “global service in the first half of 2022 after a beta test”. Hive has “the right to distribute services globally, including Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries, as well as Europe and the United States”, but whether the game will launch in all territories simultaneously is as yet unconfirmed.

Hive is the Japanese subsidiary of Vespa, the Korean developer best known for side-scrolling mobile RPG King’s Raid. Hive itself currently only has two games to its name on the global Google Play or Apple App store, Aggretsuko: the short-timer strikes back, based on Sanrio’s death metal-loving red panda, and Peko-Pop, featuring the mascot character Peko-chan from Japanese snack-maker Fujiya. Both games are match-three puzzlers.

Gamer.ne.jp quotes a Vespa official who says “we are preparing a game that many people can enjoy, not only existing users who miss the Shining series, but also users who are new to Shining Force, so I hope you can look forward to the release.”

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Elsewhere, another classic Japanese RPG could be set for a return, with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 reportedly in development.

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