Real Talk By: KJ
Mr. Shifty is an action title that will immediately remind players of another outing. This being “Hotline Miami”. Similar camera angles with fast/tough gameplay. Developer tinyBuild takes on familiar themes, with a twist. Our hero character has two main powers: Teleportation and Heavy Punching. This effect is similar to X-Men’s Nightcrawler. A tap of the button will shoot Mr. Shifty through and around environments easily. Hitting confused thugs into walls, seeing them rag-doll is satisfying. To level the playing field, enemies will continue to gain better weapons.
Big fellers will require more hits landed. Flamethrower types can be forced into walls, resulting in explosions you can feel (more on this later). Standard Gun-Toting Thugs, Ninjas, and others fill the screen. A bit of help comes from smashing environments. Shifty can make-use of what is found. Killing a Rocket Launcher equipped Grunt with a keyboard? Check. The throwable item list is solid. Mugs, Water Coolers, and Money just to name a few. Death by Dollar Bills. Downed characters will stay that way. Upon stage completion, take a look around and see what you’ve done. As the game went on, I grew somewhat jealous. Seeing all these cool weapons being used, knowing Shifty could never take full advantage. An expansion on his ability to teleport, or similar powers would have been a nice touch. Even still, players will feel pretty-super throughout.
Continuously smashing certain walls can leave holes, Some challenges are conquered this way. Making your own exits. These are the elements of Mr. Shifty that work, giving us the Marvel Comic feels. Bullets flying all around the office building, while players slide an any direction smoothly avoiding it all.
Teleportation can be accessed five times before a cooldown state takes place. The power can be thrilling especially in tougher areas. Narrowly Escaping Shotgun shells right as the recharge happens, getting out of messy situations. In hectic scenarios like this, awesome tunes playing can really magnify the action.
Mr. Shifty’s Soundtrack is pretty generic with only a few tracks that play throughout. It gets really annoying when an area is difficult. Unlike the music, Sound effects fit well within the game, and they’re amped-up with the Nintendo Switch. Those looking for a game to utilize the Joycon’s HD Rumble in a fun way will be satisfied. Depending on which arm Shifty throws a punch, feel it on the corresponding controller. Explosions work the same way, feel the controllers shake properly with the effect happening on-screen. Doesn’t feel gimmicky and It adds to the experience. Overall the controls feel nice and snug. Shifting was easy.
While getting my Nightcrawler-on is exciting, it didn’t come without hiccups. The title Crashed once, right after defying the odds against (seemingly) the entire Villain Roster. Not only did I have to load that segment again, but restart the entire level also. When the action intensifies, gameplay speed drops significantly. Often I would notice it, but it was manageable. However, Stages 17 and beyond Mr. Shifty was moving at a sluggish pace. Please note The Developers at tinyBuild are currently working on a patch. This simply can’t go unnoticed.
Mr. Shifty will take players around 4 hours to complete with 18 stages in total. Retrying areas is where replay value is found. Death counts in each place tallies-up. Going back to improve, or fixing it all together could be a goal for gamers if they see fit. The comparisons are obvious. Enemy types, level designs, ext. The Main difference Mr. Shifty has going, is his freaking powers! Villain waves would get involved, while our hero remained the same. It would have benefited this title to capitalize further on his skill-set since what is available, works well.
Mr. Shifty Gets
3 of 5
+Fun Teleporting and Punching
+Controls (Solid HD Rumble Usage)
-Heavy Framerate Issues
Review Copy Provided by tinyBuild Games.