Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Shift series

There are only a few flash games that prove good enough for
multiple sequels, and keep providing the same quality. In the game
series Shift, you take the role of a more or less average guy,
whose only objective is to escape the experimentational course he
somehow landed in.
That alone sounds unspectacular, but there's (literally) a twist in
the gameplay that will motivate you on your way to freedom. The very special
feature I'm talking about is the ability to invert platforms and space, changing the level to its exact opposite, or modifying gravity by touching little arrows.
So much said, let's go on to the reason why you're being captured
four times in a row, forced to escape over and over again.


Shift 1: Similarly to the highly popular puzzle platformer game
Portal, you're playing as a subject, testing a new form of
movement. The biggest difference is that you don't teleport, but
change platforms to empty space and space into platforms by
changing your colour from black to white or the other way. Also, just like in Portal, you're promised some reward for completing the
"test", though the humorous comments you find in some levels should make
you suspicious about it.

Shift 2: Once again, you're left alone in a surreal black and white
test chamber, with the task of finding the exit. However, there
are some smaller changes to the storyline: this time you play as a
woman, and there's a not-so-secret alternative ending.

Shift 3: This time the alternative endings might reveal some
information about what happened to the previous test subjects,
and who's behind all this. In this episode you
get to play not only with your usual numbered subject, but there's
also an unlockable character. I don't want to spoil the surprise
though, so only highlight the following letters if you really want to
know who it is. The secret character is: Mel Gibson

Shift 4: After you successfully escape the experimenteer's lab,
you get attacked by a giant space squid and crash land on a
seemingly abandoned planet. To survive, you must not only find a
way out of every room, but also look for your companions who got
lost in the crash.


Shift 1:
In the very first puzzle platformer adventure of the
series you get introduced to the game's core mechanics and learn
to control your character using his rather unusual ability.

Shift 2: Some major improvements have been made comparing to
the first game in both level design and gameplay elements. You
newly discover some strange arrows that make you able to change
the direction of the gravity. This proves very useful, since many
keys are placed quite inconveniently.

Shift 3: In addition to the new things in part two, in Shift 3 you
find a PDA that shows a minimap in the right lower corner. The
reason you need this is, that, unlike in previous episodes, this time
you have to make choices which way you want to go.

Shift 4: In the last installment of the series you get to control
multiple characters in the same level. You can switch between
them by pressing Ctrl. For some new puzzles you need to place
everyone just where they have to be, making getting out of a room
a lot more difficult than in any of the previous games. There are
only two things that can help you play this part through: lots of
patience, or a walkthrough.

Further info

-In Shift 2 you get an extra award for beating the evil title
-Shift 3 has an unlockable character that you get after beating
the story mode. The levels you play with this character are nearly
the same, but he has a different storyline.
-If you're stuck, look up one of these walkthrough videos:
-Already beaten the game but still want more? Try some of the
player made levels in Shift 2, 3 or 4, or a very similar game
called Yin Yang.


The Shift series has gone a long way to become what it is now, but
it always kept things as puzzling as possible. Especially the newer
episodes stay challenging in every and each level. Anyone who
wants to put their grey matter to a test of confusing hallways full
of spikes and gravity shifting devices will find at least some of
the Shift games appealing, and the crazy story comes as a reward
for those who patiently play the games through.