Initially released for Windows PC, Mr Shifty by Tiny Build and Team Shift has made its way to the hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch; but is it a title that makes full use of its capabilities?
Mr Shifty is a top down action adventure title which has you fight, shift through bullets and walls at lightning speeds while at the same time, taking down an evil mastermind… feels like a pumped up action movie right?
The game begins with our teleporting hero (if you can call him that) Mr Shifty entering Olympus Tower to steal a very important material and along the way you get help from Nyx your sort of sidekick, who most of the time is throwing out puns or making silly jokes. As for you, what you will probably find yourself doing the majority of the time is running down hundreds of bad guys, however the way its executed looks totally bad ass.
The game is split up into stages conveyed using the floors of the tower. Each floor would have an objective of some sorts, but nothing that really requires you to go out of your way to complete, for as long as you simply follow the path, the objective would be naturally completed. At the end of each stage it lets you know how long you took to complete it and how many times you died trying to do it and believe me at certain points, I died a lot.
So Mr Shifty can teleport, attack with super human strength showcased by the fact that in one section I punched through a wall to escape and essentially seem super over powered from the get go. Well this is true and false at the same time as the enemies you come across can be defeated easily, however that counts for you as well.
Enemies carry a range of weapons such as flamethrowers and shotguns, so one hit from these will spell game over for you, making it slightly more balanced. In this instance, it sometimes requires a little more thinking above the standard going in all guns blazing. This is where a sort of stealth mechanic is introduced giving you a little more flexibility in regards to how you want to proceed. One example being landmines that activate after a few seconds once you are within its range. You can use these by picking them up and simply throwing it at the wall where an enemy would be standing on the other side.
The good thing here is that while you’re standard melee attacks can pretty much get the job done, there are also weapons for you to use as well. No you can’t use any guns or such (yeah I know) however other items such as planks of wood, kendo sticks and even stacks of money can be used to attack the enemy. There’s even one AI who throws grenades at you, but if you’re quick enough you can simply pick it up and throw it right back at them.
The AI itself can be a little smart as if there are more than one of them, they will try to surround you, but at the same time, a downside in regards to the AI is that it isn’t exempt from attacking itself and more than once an enemy would launch a rocket towards me, however just behind are its own comrades. (So no honour among thieves eh?) While this definitely helps clear the number of opponents it can also make things a little too easy, although at some points it was a relief when the enemy ended up destroying itself.
For the most part, the game plays pretty smoothly however at some points there can be significant slowdowns when there is too much happening on the screen. It doesn’t necessarily take away from the overall experience, but it would have been nice for it to be tuned up a little more, something I hope the developers can whip out a patch for in due time.
Mr Shifty is a straight forward yet enjoyable game that can not only test you reflexes, but also challenges you depending on the situation you are stuck in. It makes you feel like an absolute warrior the way the combat plays out and while the plot makes no sense at all, you can clearly see that it was not the focus this time around. It really minds me of the old school titles that had a ton of replay ability and the great thing with this is that you can go back and play any stage you like.