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Shiftlings Review

Shiftlings Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 
 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Shiftlings. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

Playing through Shiftlings is a lot like living next to an amusement park. At first, it's awesome, charming, fun and exciting but then you start to realize that nothing changes and you start to notice the little things make it not as awesome. Rock Pocket games' platformer and puzzle hybrid is great fun at first, but the more you play it, the more you start to see just how thin of a package it is. You can prolong that fun experience with a co-op partner, but Shiftlings unfortunately are mostly full of hot air.

 
...some pretty charming moments thrown in here.
Shiftlings Review Screenshot
 

You should know going in that Shiftlings is a game about farts. It may not come out and say it, but it doesn't exactly hide it either. You control a pair of goofy intergalactic janitors conjoined by a tube on a quest to repair the galaxy. One of the janitors down a bottle of an extra fizzy drink and his flatulence makes him blow up to the size of a hot air balloon. You can pass that gas through to the other character at the press of a button and this switching mechanic is at the core of most of what Shiftings does (both right and wrong). It's not overly heavy on fart jokes and it's nothing to hide your kids from since it's no worse than anything you'll see in modern kids movies and if you don't mind the lowbrow humor there are some pretty charming moments thrown in here.

The goal of each level of Shiftlings is mostly the same, get from one side of the level to the other. You'll have to switch sizes pretty frequently to make it through some of the obstacles and half of the fun of the game is finding out just what you can do with both big and little characters like when you find out that you can drag around the little guy by simply moving as a big character or that the little guy can sometimes bounce off of the big guy. It's never really explained when you're able to do this and when you're not, and there didn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason why it worked sometimes and didn't others, but the game doesn't take a lot of time to explain things and I can't help but feel like that was on purpose since there's really not much here to begin with.

There were a few times when I was stumped as to how pass an area that felt like it should be easy to get through. Experimenting with different strategies usually had me moving on within minutes, especially when playing co-op, but a few of the later stages required some additional thinking. The game also has a habit of letting you reach the end of a level and then telling you to go back to the beginning. Sure, there's some merit in having to think about puzzles in another way but it really just quickly kills any sense of progression that the game tries to create.

 
I lost interest in completing most levels...
Shiftlings Review Screenshot
 

There are additional challenges, like collecting soda bottles in each level and though completionists will try for them - there's really not much reason to go back through Shiftlings. I actually found the most fun not trying to achieve any goals but just goofing around with a co-op partner. Trying to complete a section and then surprising them with a sudden size change was a lot of michevious fun, especially since the game doesn't have any time limits or time based goals on levels. To be honest, I lost interest in completing most levels midway through the game since they all looked mostly the same. I really can't tell you one standout level or moment from my time with Shiftlings.

The game looks a lot like most modern day cartoons and is full of vibrant colors that pop and go a long way in telling the story. There's a sportscaster style commentator who jokes about your performance and while at first I thought it was a nice touch, when I started hearing the same insults four or five times it began to be more of a nuisance then a cool feature. The game is broken down into different worlds with levels in each, and while each one did have it's own unique touches there was never enough to truly differentiate any portion of the game from another.

Shiftlings is not a bad game, it's just not a very good one either. It's unique blend of puzzler and platformer comes with a lot of great ideas but unfortunately they just never feel like they're fully realized. I had a lot of fun playing co-op with Shiftlings, but it wasn't really for the reasons the game wanted me to. You can finish the game pretty quickly and once you're done there's almost no reason to go back through. Unfortunately, unlike it's characters Shiftlings falls mostly flat.

 
Overall:  6/10 Presentation: 6 Gameplay: 6 
Lasting Appeal: 5 CHEATfactor: 0 
 
 
CHEATfactor
 
As of this writing there are no cheats available for Shiftlings. Stick with Cheat Happens for more as they become available.
 
 
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