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Shiny Sense

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The concept of luring players to press the "do something" button by having a flashy sprite could date back to the fourth generation consoles. It's not until the sixth generation, when the use of sprites receded, being replaced by 3d graphics that the developers had to find a way to avoid making players run around spamming the action button. This is when shiny sense was truly born.

One of the first examples of this trope in effect would be Resident Evil 1, but as only keys had the Shiny Sense, players were still stuck searching for all other items, only to be greeted with many instances of "It's all wet and useless," (referring to rope.)


In some genres this is replaced by the item spin of importance and upgrade. In other genres, and usually games with children as the targeted audience, a few seconds pass as the item is zoomed in upon to show its importance, location, and adding artificial game time expectancy. In this second example, it's usually stars.

See also Notice This.


  • Arx Fatalis: While not present by default, high enough Intuition skill can sometimes highlight various concealed things of note in the environment, such as pieces of loot and secret switches.
  • The Binding of Isaac: The Shiny Rock Trinket makes tinted rocks (rocks which may contain useful items) briefly flash when Isaac enters the room (as well as every 10 seconds afterwards).
  • Dauntless: Gatherable plants tend to stand out at a distance due to their colouration, and have a subtle "sheen" effect when you're close to them.
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  • The Bond-Sense mode in Everything or Nothing, which slows time to a crawl and illuminates callout points for Bond moves, and is handy for switching equipment in a pinch (you can normally do it on the fly, but that's in real-time).
  • This is how most items are obtained in Final Fantasy Type-0.
  • Monster Racers: Star Crystals on the ground have a telltale sparkle.
  • Serious Sam:
    • Serious Sam 3: BFE: Ammo glows yellow, health red, armor blue, weapons green, and key items purple. This was done to compensate the lack of spinning around mid air and sparkling in the previous installments.
    • This is also used the same way in Serious Sam The Next Encounter.
  • Neo Pets The Darkest Faerie: Items that can be picked up emit a glitter and are brighter than normal.
  • With high enough Perception stat in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines items you can pick up or significant points in the environment you can interact with will have sparkles floating up from them.