Everyone goes through shift, but it’s always easier to handle shift when you have a friend – Shift Happens Review [Xbox One]
Developed by Klonk, Shift Happens is a puzzle platformer that focuses on cooperation and meant for couch co-op play. Players take control of Bismo and Plom, 2 lab experiments that come to life and are bound together by an accident. Being bound together allows our heroes to shift their masses between each other, one gets big and the other gets small. This core mechanic must be mastered in order for players to survive the game’s 4 stages: the laboratory, the forest, the canyon and the grotto. Each stage is composed of multiple levels and gives players a vast variety of puzzles and challenges to solve.
Shift Happens is a fun platform puzzler that is a step below the complexity of Portal. It requires not only impeccable timing but truly brilliant strategizing. It’s the perfect mix and match of gaming skill and logical thinking. It utilizes very common platform elements, as well a seemingly accurate physics engine that pushes your knowledge of weight and momentum to accomplish tasks and reach seemingly impossible places.
What really makes the game so much fun, is the unnoticeable increase in complexity. The game starts off feeling light-hearted and simple then gradually becomes this beast of balancing and shifting that requires a lot of thought. When you reflect on it, it makes you feel as if you got smarter as you played the game, while never having studied. Personally, it is like the same gratification I got from watching Magic School Bus or Beakman’s World. I believe the cutesy game art really helps distract from the complex puzzles the game throws at you.
My favorite part of the game is the co-op mode. I am a huge fan of couch co-op, or just couch gaming in general. I grew up having people over or going to people’s houses to get the full 4-play game experience. Something about the puzzles, and the co-op aspect makes the game more difficult, yet easier at the same time. It can easily cause you to start yelling at your friend or jump up and down with them to give the highest of fives. These emotions are instantly interchangeable as you play the game. Games that push the boundaries of friendship are always fun.
Shift Happens is a monster game in an adorable package. It perfectly balances fun and complexity in a way that it is hard to realize how much harder the game gets as you progress. It is a fun platform puzzler, that is more fun when playing with a friend. If you’re looking for a fun game that challenges the mind, this is the shift you need. My Shift Happens review gets a 9/10