Looking Shifty

I do so love these ingenious little Flash platform games, each taking a novel concept and executing it so well. Shift is an excellent example.

Do as it says

A simple platform set-up – single screens, with keys to acquire and a door to reach. However, getting there requires being negative. And positive. That’s a joke there. By hitting Shift, you flip upside down, into the other colour’s dimension. The screen rotates, and now you can progress. It’s muddling at first, but worryingly quickly you can adjust to thinking, “In order to be up there, I’ll need to go down here.”

brain go hurty

It’s short, but a fun old time. And it’s very obviously inspired by Portal, directly referencing the game a number of times. Good luck getting onto that high score table, by the way. Perhaps it would have done better to leave these references out, as it’s a neat enough idea to not need to compare itself to puzzle gaming’s current Mother.

Many thanks to Martin for the tip-off. Get thee to Shift.


  1. Mike says:

    This was stolen from another Flash game, a while back. And that ITSELF was stolen from some chaps blog. He’s compiling a list of game concepts. It’s an awesome site.

    Although this version is considerably slicker. I wish I could remember the website. It has some great concepts on there.

    Is that fair to say? Stolen? Is anything stolen on the Internet? Maybe it’s like Newton and that other guy and their maths thing. But with Flash.

  2. cliffski says:

    bastard I just wasted ages playing that. Its l33t. Its like portal in some ways. Very cool

  3. John Walker says:

    This is what you’re thinking about:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

  4. brog says:

    nice.. until it crashed on about level seven.

  5. Meat Circus says:

    I think, if somebody’s compiling a list of experimental game mechanics and publishing them on the web, he clearly *expects* people to take those ideas and make games out of them.

  6. Lu-Tze says:

    And if he sends an email with a link to the site to every games company, then he manages to legally corner the market on innovation in gaming because if anyone ever makes a commercial title with the idea, he can claim ownership. It’s like patent trolling, but cheaper.

  7. Flint says:

    I was somewhat disappointed to find out on my second playthrough that the final level’s surprise can’t be messed about with some shifting :(.

    A rather lovely game though.

  8. Andrew Farrell says:

    Lu-Tze: which is why games companies as a policy don’t take unsolicited submissions.

  9. Mike says:


    Ideas, eh? You… they’re really good sometimes.

  10. Miles says:

    Sometimes. This one is. Definitely shouldn’t have had the Portal references but gameplay wise, it’s ace.

  11. Gregory says:

    The difference between this and Yin Yang is that the latter was clearly based directly on Squidi’s concept, right down to level design and graphic style, and the creators denied it when asked about it. Shift uses a similar mechanic, but has its own style.

    I wouldn’t call it “stealing.”

  12. hoohoo says:

    reminds me more of n. be better if the shift mechanic was in n though. n has more diversity, different turrets enemies, and of course GOLD!!

  13. squidi says:

    I don’t consider this idea stolen from me. At this point, that idea is out there and it’s impossible to guess who is inspiring who at this point. It’s no longer mine. I’m okay with that. At this point, it’s flattery.

    I just wish somebody took the negative space concept to the next level. It’s always a puzzle platformer where you get a guy to an exit. Why can’t people take it somewhere else? A Tetris game, a cave shooter, an RPG, a painting game, a shooter, a beat’em up – Something else! Please! This idea isn’t nearly as original as it really should be.

  14. Martin says:

    This submission wasn’t mine though.

    Not that I believe that all of you think of me as soon as you see “Martin” in a post but as I submitted another game previously I don’t want me stealing the credit from the proper Martin.

    So; Yay Martin – way to go man!

  15. Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Irish Puzzle Farmer » Blog Archive » Shift 2: Shiftier says:

    […] that time we wrote about Armor Games’ Shift? That was good times. We still talked back then. Remember? Before we had that fight. Look, […]

  16. Shift 3: None More Shifty | Rock, Paper, Shotgun says:

    […] introduced us to the monochromatic delights of indie puzzle-platformer (increasingly the de facto indie flavour, […]

  17. Cheap Oakleys says:

    Cheap Oakleys…

    This article is really dulcet, people do not be apprehensive of the author’s writing situations. I want to recommend it to more people, so the more the body will be such a wonderful feeling….