Mr. Shifty Review

We’ve got another Nintendo Switch indie game in our sights. Feel free to read our full Mr. Shifty Review …

There’s no hiding from the fact that Mr. Shifty is heavily influenced by the cult indie classic Hotline Miami. Its top-down perspective, pulsating action, and thumping soundtrack bring back late nights of trying to beat my top score.

But while Mr. Shifty will be compared to its contemporary by all and sundry, it’s very much its own thing in every way. While traversing the stages you’ll need to take advantage of your ability to shift between walls and spaces, covering distances in a minute amount of time. This allows you to take on take on enemies in numerous ways, from going head first into combat, to playing cat and mouse with enemies, shifting in front of them to draw attention and then quickly shifting back behind a wall to plan an unsuspecting attack as they chase you. It’s a system that is fundamental to the gameplay and the game allows you to use its rules in intriguing ways the further you progress.

A number of stages in you’ll start to encounter automatic turrents which will shoot at the mere sight of you. You can use this to your advantage by luring enemies near the turrent, appearing briefly in front of it and then moving out the way and watching your enemies being mowed down by a turrent that was meant for you.

This moment-to-moment gameplay keeps it fresh throughout. The feeling of bursting into a room full of enemies and zipping about so fast that they can’t get hold of you is satisfying. You can pick up melee weapons as you go to increase your damage, which comes in handy against stronger enemies, but in the main, your fists and quick movement will be enough to progress through the levels.

Mr. Shifty isn’t just a top-down brawler and mixes up the gameplay often throughout its stages. At times it will force you to escape from oncoming lasers and enemies in a manic last ditch escape with explosions going off in every direction. These are fun divergences, but they often hit the framerate quite significantly, especially in TV mode. Handheld mode does, on the whole, fare far better than when the Switch is docked.

The base game feels great to play and is a fantastic handheld game for the Switch. It should also be applauded for a plausible price point (£13.49/$14.99) and hasn’t tried to take advantage of any type of Switch premium like titles such as RiME and Super Bomberman R have.

Its price is reflected in its length though, with a playthrough of all stages taking just a few hours, but you’ll certainly be challenged when going back through in order to gain a no-death ‘Perfect’ on every level.

Mr. Shifty Review Conclusion

Mr. Shifty is a frantic top down brawler at a staggering pace. Great on the go and with a suitable price point, Mr. Shifty is a strong candidate for your next Switch game.

4/5

We tested the Switch version of Mr. Shifty after receiving a review code from the publisher. Mr. Shifty is out now on Nintendo Switch and PC.

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