Once again my weekly app store search has brought yet another game. This week’s choice combines subtle, simple graphics and a cool soundtrack with platform game play and puzzle strategy into a truly addictive and unique gaming experience. Shift utilizes simple, yet intuitive controls to guide the character through each level. The game usually costs $.99 but has been free the past couple of days.
Shift’s graphics are extremely simple, yet work amazingly well. No fancy 3D rendering or colorful puzzles, just black and white. Much like Spy vs. Spy, the game is entirely in black and white which is why the game works so well. The idea is to guide the character to a door to exit each level. Along the way there is both a puzzle aspect as well as a platform style of game play.
To move the character, simply tap the arrows on the side of the screen. To jump, tap both arrows simultaneously. I found the controls to be responsive and easy to use. Running and timing a jump works well and there is no lag when tapping the buttons. Even the button placement worked well for me.
Above the arrows are buttons that say “Shift.” This is where the game becomes unique. Tapping the Shift buttons transforms the level. Basically, the level turns inside out. If the character is moving through the white, the level flips upside down and he moves through the black. Each level will require multiple shifts while planning your next move and solving the puzzle. Make sure when the shift occurs, you are able to avoid landing on the spikes.
To reach the door and complete the levels usually involves grabbing a key that will move a small bridge. Even though the levels are small in size fitting in one screen, several shifts and moves around the level will be required before finding the door. Kind of like a side scroller built into a maze. Jumps must be timed precisely and the next move and shift planned carefully. You must also move swiftly as there is a timer on your performance. Some levels even add some text just to take your attention which is funny.
Shift has proven to be an addictive game that can be played in just a few spare moments or for longer amounts of time working through multiple levels. If you play a quick game while waiting in line etc, you are allowed to resume so the game progress is never lost. I have enjoyed working through the puzzles and shifting the levels to work through the mazes. Shift is usually $.99 but as of Tuesday morning was still on sale for free. Check it out here in the app store.
What I like: Unique use of simple graphics and game play. I love puzzles.
What could be improved: It would be nice to see some advanced items to be added to make the levels more challenging.