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Posted by admin on Apr 6, 2011
:Shift: Review

:Shift: Review

:Shift: - Armor Games Inc

Riding high on the wave of test subject in a creepy facility vibe set by Portal, :Shift: brings a black and white adventure of space-warping excellence to the App Store.

Simply presented in stark black and white – and occasional red – :Shift: presents the story of a test subject traversing through a dangerous, spike-filled facility, guided and menaced by a robotic voice. There are even cryptic and enigmatic messages for you to find, including a “the timer is a lie” reference. However, while I compared the tone to Portal, the game is vastly different, and is certainly its own unique games, despite having some nods to the Valve game.

You are a small figure making your way through a test chamber. You can move, jump, and most importantly “shift”. This swaps your color to the opposite of that you are now and moves you into the negative space of the test arena. Suddenly an impossibly high wall that blocked your way when you were white became a jumpable chasm when you inverted the map.

:Shift: manages to use this mechanic of inverting to not only sustain a game, but keep in interesting. The difficulty of the game and ratchet up, however thanks to the singularity of the mechanic, you can only be sure that the solution will involve the eponymous shifting.

The game however isn’t all calmly solving puzzles, no – you will be faced very shortly by steadily and unmercifully descending spikes. The unyielding spikes add a air of much appreciated menace, danger, and pressure to the game, something that even Portal didn’t have. :Shift: can make your feel the imminent danger and make it clear that you should be hurrying right about now. In terms of a certain underlying message and a quite fine restraint of story telling (not to mention a jazzy soundtrack) :Shift: succeeds admirably. In another point essential for any iOS game, :Shift: really has mastered the “pick-up-and-play” feature: load time is fast, you can pop back to where you were speedily, and retrying a level is a painless affair (spikes notwithstanding).

With it’s interesting mechanic, striking visuals, and increasingly excellent and challenging puzzles, :Shift: is a fantastic game, a winner held back by only a sense of some repetition through levels and by that fact that its puzzle solution mechanic – shifting – is really the only solution – a bit of a no-brainer if you will. However, in the slew of puzzle games, :Shift: stands out by its excellent and accessibility and has already produced a fantastic sequel.

Author: Kit Marlowe

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