Shiftlings Review (Xbox One)
Welcome to Zomegacorp, Shiftlings. Our two favourite janitors; Purple Plop and Green Goop are on for a series of shifts and you are here to help guide them through!
Now unfortunately one of the Shiftlings drank a bottle of delicious black-hola-cola and gassed up his suit. Because the pair are attached by a breathing tube, the gas can pass between the two air tight suits, inflating whichever Shiftlings suit it is currently in. Now they must continue their tasks managing the fact that one of them is inflated. It is both a silly, humorous idea and a fantastic game mechanic.
Each level of the game is series of platforming puzzles for you to work the two characters through. Playing in single player you can switch between the two characters, move, jump and switch which Shiftling is inflated. The inflated Shiftling is heavier, so you can use him as an anchor or to lift the other Shiftling up from a lower position. The game can also be played cooperatively, both online and locally on a couch. Playing co-operatively will require not only teamwork, but a whole lot of patience!
The puzzles themselves are interesting and challenging, and the further you go into the game the more challenging they become. Each level requires both Shiftlings to reach a valve to turn it on and enable to exit, before proceeding to said exit. They will need to navigate small paths and tall ledges, activate lifts and doors and avoid certain death. There are many ways to be F.I.R.E.D. Flattened, Ignited, Robo-murderized, Electrocuted and/or Dismembered.
If solving puzzles to complete over fifty levels wasn’t enough for you, in each level are hidden three bottles of black-hola-cola. It takes a good bit of looking around to even locate these sparking bottles before you then wrack your brains to figure how to collect their intergalactic goodness. Completing all ten levels of a world also then unlocks Time Attack mode, so there is plenty to keep you entertained.
The whole scenario leads for a really enjoyable gaming experience. The switching mass of the two characters not only leads to a great gameplay mechanic, but provides some slapstick comedy value too. The whole game is presented as a gameshow and the host, Zookod Neutrino, provides a few quality gags over the top of the gameplay as well as inbetween levels and worlds. The jokes are not bad, but the gameplay ones will start to get repeated fairly often. Other than that the style of the game matches the comedic approach to problem solving.
A thoroughly enjoyable puzzler to sit down with a friend (or without) and have a laugh over.
9 black-hola-cola bottles collected out of 10