We kind of love Armor Games here at Dealspwn. They were a regular staple of Matt's Click To Play column in the early parts of last year, and they've built up a cracking stable of indie developers looking to offer some really nicely polished and fantastically addictive gaming experiences for absolutely free. It's no surprise that when Apple offered a superlative crossover platform for casual gaming, it'd only be a matter of time before we saw some of Armor's finest appear in the App Store. So it was that Shift found its way onto the iPhone and now, stuffed with twice as much content, the game's finally come to the PSN.
As a part of a strange experiment you're tasked with escaping each room using your Shift ability in this maze-treading, platforming puzzler. If you're a fan of games like Exit, Crush or Echochrome, you're going to love this. It's even better.
To reach the exit door, you must activate a 'Shift' (L or R button) to invert the game world. You can move along the white background or change to travel the opposite black side. When a Shift is activated you sink into the ground and the world is flipped 180 degrees. Shifts can only be performed when your feet are planted on the ground. So when confronted with a spiked column, just change it around so it's a hole to jump over. Still confused? Have a quick look at the video below.
It doesn't take long to adapt to the gameplay, the biggest problem is usually keeping track of where you are when the world has stopped flipping around. You'll need to have your wits with you to avoid getting pushing off platforms by moving blocks or impaled by spike traps. Thankfully the controls are perfectly responsive and although your jumping height is locked you can change direction mid-air.
Chequered areas of a level can't be shifted into, so you'll have to think of a way around. Keys need to be collected in some stages to unblock areas and sometimes create extra platforms. There are also orbs that will change the landscape, moving blocks or remove them completely. Keys and orbs can't be collected in the wrong order, so if you can reach one of them, make sure you go for it.
The graphics are obviously basic, but the razor-sharp images are effortlessly cool and fit the gameplay perfectly. There's only one jazzy music track, which you'll be hearing in your sleep after hammering the game for a few hours. The track will only play once per level instead of looping, it feels like the game's way of telling you that you're taking too long on that level.
Shift Extended is packed with 120 levels, but it's not until roughly oh say, level 88, that it starts to get difficult. Many levels can be beaten in under 30 seconds with you not getting truly tested until very late in the game. It would have been better to spread out the challenge a bit more as it feels slightly too easy for the most part. An early contended for Mini of the Year though?
- A great concept that's a joy to play
- Stylish visuals
- 120 levels for £3.49
- Most levels are too easy
- Level 88 can go **** itself though
- You'll want more, even after finishing Level 120
The Short Version: A cool idea to shake up your brain in this maze-riddle of a platforming puzzle game. It might look confusing, but it's really simple once you get the hang of it and you'll have blitzed through 50 levels in no time. A warning though, every time you close your eyes afterwards, you'll be looking for white areas to Shift into in the darkness. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have finished it in one day.