Shift: A Review, in Black and White

Shift, a popular and acclaimed Flash game, has made its way to Android! Having been played by over 10 million people in its life as a Flash game, it’s sure to be a success on Android too! But how well suited to a mobile screen is it?

It’s is a well polished platform puzzle adventure game with a few added twists, mainly the one that lets you reverse your black / white world. To really understand this concept your best bet is to try the game! There is a free option on the Market which is limited to 15 levels, compared to over 40 in the full version.

Concept

Its a platformer game with a simple design and interesting gameplay. You play as a black silhouette, a subject escaping from a truly terrible experiment.

Before: Theres no where to go from here! Or is there?

Much like the game layout and design your goal is simple: get to the exit door in the quickest time possible. Though this doesn’t just involve jumping from one ledge to another, sometimes you’ll be in a position when it looks like you need to go a new pair of legs four or five times the length of your current ones. This is where the added twist comes in.

Hitting one of the in-game Shift buttons literally turns your world upside down! And inside out..  I’ll attempt to explain this concept as best I can but you’ll have to try the game to see its real magnificence. When playing as a black silhouette, you walk on the black platforms, the white being the level’s background — but once you shift, as in the picture below, you play as the white silhouette, and run and jump along the white platforms, all with a black background. It’s a brilliant game mechanic which leads to some great puzzles.

After: Now the keys are out of my reach!

Meet at the Rendezvous!

Depending on the level you’ll encounter different obstacles — locks, which need keys to be opened, or to really get your heart racing a ceiling of falling spikes so you’ll have to run to the exit door before they land and kill you!

Most importantly, its a highly fun and addictive concept for a game, causing moments of excitement when you’re so very close to being squashed by the falling spikes, as well as moments of true spy or detective work in figuring out how to complete the levels.

What Else Makes Shift Different?

The Design

The minimalist black and white design is what really adds to Shift, providing the stark contrast in colour of the two different worlds in which you can pursue your hopeful escape. The design is highly polished, something a lot of fun games miss out on.

The.. um.. pause menu!

Music

The theme song to Shift is definitely suited to the game style; it’s very sneaky spy music, which is just what you’re up to in the game! The music, just like the other main elements of the game, is thought out and polished to a brilliant standard.

The Theme

While there isn’t much in the way of a story, there is a prevalent theme to the game, one that adds an enjoyable air. You play as Subject 32763 who is trapped in an experiment and must try to escape! All elements of the game add to this theme, from the music to the anonymous silhouette you play as.

How Shift Compares to Other Android Games

Shift is much like Angry birds in that it picks a simple theme and sticks to it, honing the details to a pretty high standard. The most obvious similarity is that they’re both fun and just slightly addictive! They’re both well suited to playing on Android, and using the multi-touch technology.

Shift has a gear up on Angry Birds!

Shift is a lot more creative that the likes of Angry Birds, while Angry Birds was based off many other older games with a similar concept such as Crush the Castle, I don’t know of any other games quite like Shift.

Replay Value

Once you’ve finished a level (which can be quite a challenge) you can replay the level over and over with the goal of weeding out those few seconds that you think you could do without, leading to a most successful escape!

Shift is a great brain teaser, and perfect for playing on the go, with over 40 mind puzzling levels geared towards leaving your gray matter in a tizzy and maybe even annoyed! Shift has also proven to be fun to show your friends, and see them fail at “such an easy level” which you finished in your first go!

Controls

The controls will be of interest for fans of Shift from its roots as a keyboard-controlled Flash game. I found the controls very easy to get adjusted to: with only two buttons, plus the Shift button, the layout wasn’t hard to follow. Left to go left, Right to go right. Piece of cake! But what of Up and Down?

When running either Left or Right, whichever directional button is going unused turns into an Up button!

Conclusion

As Shift was a Flash game before moving to Android you can still play it over at Armor Games.

A fun and enjoyable game, Shift is well-suited to the Android platform, even being ideal for wasting those few minutes when you’re stuck waiting on whatever it is you’d rather not be bored waiting on. The concept and finish of Shift make is it a brilliant breath of fresh air as a new addition to Android as a new and different platform puzzle game.

Shift is fun enough, and addictive enough, to become one of the next top-selling games on Android, and I have no doubt it soon will be. Would you agree? Maybe you were even one of the 10 million to have played it as a Flash game.


Summary

An original and fun yet simple to play game, standing out from others with its added twist!

9
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