Shift 3: None More Shifty

By Alec Meer on July 22nd, 2008 at 2:03 pm.

OOPS

Walker introduced us to the monochromatic delights of indie puzzle-platformer (increasingly the de facto indie flavour, in the same way the de facto indie film flavour is interlocking vignettes about miserable peoples’ miserable lives) Shift a while ago. At least I think that’s what he was posting about, but of course I didn’t read it because it was by Walker.

The third one’s out now, and it’s expertly pushing the lovely concept (obstacle navigation via colour-inversion, sort of like Lost Vikings via Ikaruga) into something new.

No longer a series of standalone rooms, it’s instead one long adventure. A switch flipped in one room might open a door several rooms back, or picking one exit door over another might lead you down an entirely different path. This involves a fair amount of Metroid-style backtracking, but rewardingly so – you’re genuinely plotting out an elaborate puzzle-path.

The cheerily shallow plot borrows heavily from Portal, but hey – there’s nothing wrong with thrilling escapes from mad science experiments, right? It’s all exceptionally polished and a right old treat, the two-tone graphical approach proving as delightful as a monkey eating an ice cream, even third time around.

Honestly don’t worry if you’ve not played the first two instalments, by the way – there’s a quick’n’dirty tutorial up front that tells you all you need to know whilst still being cannily streamlined into the main adventure. Go play.

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19 Comments »

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  1. Andrew says:

    Man, why does everyone hate Walker?

  2. Jaxtrasi says:

    They don’t hate him. This is how male BFFs shout out their maximum love for one another.

  3. MeestaNob! says:

    Any idea if I’m meant to do something in the code entry screen? You know, where it expressly tells me NOT to shift with fairly dire consequences?

  4. Leeks! says:

    Did you just watch young people fucking, Alec? Also the film.

    HAW.

  5. John Walker says:

    No, they do all hate me : (

    I think it’s because they are frightened of how lovely I am.

  6. Pace says:

    Bah, Alec’s just jealous he couldn’t beat Walker’s title for the previous shift article: Shift 2: Shiftier.

  7. Nick says:

    They are jealous of the John Walker ‘They’re Back’ fanclub.

  8. Jaxtrasi says:

    “Bah, Alec’s just jealous he couldn’t beat Walker’s title for the previous shift article: Shift 2: Shiftier.”

    Shift 3: Shiftiest, shurely?

  9. KingMob says:

    @Meesta Nob:

    You missed something earlier on. Backtrack and you’ll start finding clues to how to get the real ending.

    Also: Reviewing adventure games has made Walker a cold shell of a man, who knows only pain. The other 3/4 of RPS have to be mean to him for him to notice (or else lock him in a room and require a 4-step Rube Goldberg machine to escape).

  10. Fazer says:

    I’d rather play it from here – http://armorgames.com/play/1846/shift-3 – because there are less ads and the game itself is in the center of the page.

  11. Fazer says:

    I’ve just beat it with a little help of a walkthrough. Excellent as always :-)

  12. John Walker says:

    Kieron wrote They’re Back once.

    Brrrrrrr. Dark days.

  13. Arathain says:

    Heck, I’m frightened of JWs loveliness, and I’ve never met the guy in person. I can only imagine the ragging is a defense mechanism. And severe ‘They’re Back’ jealousy.

  14. Pace says:

    I feel left out, anyone care to tell me what ‘They’re Back’ is all about??

  15. John Walker says:

    It’s the budget review pages in PC Gamer UK. Which aren’t possibly the most serious pages in the magazine. I’ve been writing it for about 110 issues now – it’s a relief to know people still enjoy it.

    I really need to get around to updating this – it’s a couple of years out of date – but there’s a bunch of old ones here:

    http://botherer.cream.org/?page_id=391

  16. Pace says:

    Reminds me a bit of the guy in car magazine’s who had to do long term durability reviews of Ford Escorts and the like, while the other guys were reviewing the latest Ferraris and Porsches. Poor bugger. OH, but, er, you like budget games right? so I guess it, um, all works out fer the , ah, best I guess. Right then…

  17. Garreett says:

    MEGA SPOILERS:

    codes are: 33, 71, 24, 19.

  18. The_B says:

    Man, why does everyone hate Walker?

    Now that sounds like a premise for a hilarious spinoff sitcom/website if I ever heard one…

  19. Jon says:

    I quite like Walker actually…