Mr. Shifty Review

Before you ask, no, Mr. Shifty isn’t about that guy lurking around the corner of a secluded street nor is it a nickname given to a secondary school teacher. It’s in fact the title of the character you play, who so happens to have forgotten how to use his legs at all and decides to teleport everywhere. And I mean everywhere…which in theory, isn’t necessarily a bad idea for a title such as this. But is it worthwhile?

Granted, some of us are hoping for some form of solo Nightcrawler game – he is quite an underrated superhero with amazing teleportation, speed and flexible abilities, but for now, we’ll take what we can get under the guise of Mr. Shifty, by Australian developer Team Shifty. In fact, it would be hardly surprising if they hadn’t have had some inspiration from Nightcrawler in X-Men 2, given that you’re practically advancing a corrupt billionaire’s tower, defeating a plethora of security using your cunning and teleportation skills, but let’s not digress.

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Controls are kept relatively simple: Pressing A along with the left stick in the direction you want to go, will teleport you a short space ahead. X will allow you to attack enemies and B will pick up weapons for you. This allows you to focus on the intense gameplay that will soon follow without the need for ‘finicky’ fingers. The idea is to progress through the several stages of a corporate tower, reaching the elevator at the end of each stage. With each stage, comes new challenges and tougher enemies. The first couple of stages introduces you to the basic skills you’ll need to learn, coming across simple enemies. These enemies don’t have teleportation skills like you do – they have to use the good old fashioned way of hunting you down through doors, where you can simply just teleport across to the next room, and follow behind them and “Surprise!” – a couple punches to the back of the head and they’re gone. Not all enemies use the doors, and not all enemies are even human…Some enemies will attack with brute force and can knock down walls, where other enemies are simply traps which will require quick reflexes as there’s no time to think. This adds a nice change of pace for some stages as this title can get repetitive.

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Yes, there are a few weapons you can pick up and use against your enemies but it’s still the same old bash of the X button several times, then your weapon breaks. There is an added function of slow-mo when your metre gets full, but we only managed to unleash this on our enemies a single time; having no idea how it was activated and no explanation of this ability was given to us through the title. Nevertheless, this was an interesting title that surprisingly worked. These enemies will kill you in one shot or one hit, so constantly teleporting is key to outwitting your enemies, where some scenarios proved much more fun, others were down-right infuriating. Thankfully, this title doesn’t force you to restart from the beginning of the stage, just at the start of the section you’re currently at.

Mr. Shifty proves that you don’t need to walk or run in games, relying purely on teleportation skills to outwit your enemies. Although intense at times, this title was surprisingly fun and for Team Shifty’s first title, let’s hope they come up with some other good ideas for a video game…Mrs. Shifty, anyone?

Mr. Shifty is available to download from the Xbox Store, priced at £11.99.

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