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Shift Happens analysis. Size does matter

Shift Happens
Written by Kamran Haider

A couple of small-sized characters star in this 2D platform adventure based on puzzle-solving that is specially designed to be enjoyed in the company. We analyze what Shift Happens offers us.

Despite the fact that I usually opt for productions intended to be enjoyed alone, from time to time I also like to play multiplayer titles, both competitive and cooperative. Precisely this last aspect is the most prominent of Shift Happens, a video game of the independent studio Klonk Games, which invites us to overcome a wide range of levels set in four different worlds.

The main protagonists are two characters called Bismo and Plom, practically indistinguishable types in terms of their appearance and qualities, beyond their different hue (orange and blue respectively). Both must advance in the company trying to escape first from the laboratory that has (accidentally) endowed them with life and, subsequently, another three more areas (a forest, a canyon and a cave) that are composed of various levels of short extension … but not easy to overcome.

No way. Everything is due to the constant presence of puzzles that pose continuous obstacles that we must overcome and to which certain doses of platforms are added. A traditional proposal 2D quite simple but functional, which has been raised so that two players, both online and local, can enjoy it.

Bismo and Plom are two gelatinous beings that have the ability to change the size , large and small, a duality that becomes one of the basic aspects of this proposal. Yes because it is necessary to alternate the size of both characters to pass the tests that are bothering us in our primary task in each phase, which simply consists of reaching the exit door of the same. However, it is necessary to make a fundamental note in this regard and it is that both must always have a different size, so if one of them grows or decreases, the other will experience the opposite process.

Cooperative puzzles

This conditioner is essential throughout the game since, as you can imagine, depending on their appearance the skills of these characters are modified. When its size shrinks its speed, jumping capacity, and mobility increase, and can also cross small spaces of the scenarios. Instead, when they get bigger they lose all these privileges, but in return, they are able to move larger boxes, pick up and throw objects (and even their partner) and get around areas full of water but not too deep.

Each of the scenarios that we must overcome presents a series of relatively varied puzzles (although the basic mechanics of all of them end up repeating themselves) that constantly play with all these conditions. Specific areas of the funds that we can only reach by throwing our partner through the air, switch that only come into operation when they receive a certain weight, areas that can only be crossed if we enjoy a small size and other challenges are the order of the day during this adventure

Apart from this basic game mechanics, other puzzles play with the physics of the objects that are distributed throughout the scenarios, there are also those in which synchronization between both players is fundamental, challenges in which the platforms acquire a greater role … A playable compendium is quite suggestive to which is added the possibility of picking up a series of specific objects that add more depth if possible to its development, being a rather interesting adventure within its genre … if we play doubles.Cooperative puzzles

To take advantage of the game it is much better to play it in a cooperative.

The big problem that the game shows are that, if we decide to play on our own, the gameplay ends up being too busy. In the individual game mode that also presents the title the fact of having to alternate the control of one character and another to overcome any puzzle that is presented to us, however simple it may be, causes us to end up fed up with this swap in the medium term. constant among protagonists. Sometimes it is more cumbersome to solve several situations that the title poses in its individual facet for this reason rather than the difficulty of the challenge itself. It is not that it is unplayable if we advance alone, but it loses a lot of interest and the fun lowers several integers.

It shows a lot that this product has been designed with the cooperative factor in mind and, from that point of view, it is an adventure very well taken and quite appealing, which also guarantees about 6 or 8 hours … although that depends on how fast that you give with the resolution of each puzzle.

As for its technical aspect, the Unity engine has allowed developers to develop scenarios and characters for nothing complex but, on the other hand, they perfectly serve to give life to the game without too many complications. In my opinion, his artistic plot could have given more of himself with a more interesting and unique design despite its simplicity since it is a title without too much personality in this section. And the sound follows a similar path, with functional effects and melodies that hardly contribute anything to the gaming experience.

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Conclusion:

Cooperative puzzles in a 2D platformer wrapper are what this work of Deck 13 and Klonk Games holds for us, which knows how to get quite entertained whenever we play together, although the fun goes down a lot if we decide to do it on our own. A multitude of different puzzles that require concentration, skill, and ingenuity to be overcome are the main protagonists of this production. Very enjoyable to doubles.

  • Well designed and quite challenging puzzles
  • The cooperative model is really fun
  • Good physics system in some puzzles
  • Playing alone loses a lot of grace and becomes somewhat locked
  • Technically it’s quite simple.

About the author

Kamran Haider

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