Developed By : Daedalic Entertainment
Published By : Daedalic Entertainment
Category : Platformer, Puzzle, Co-Op
Release Date : Oct 10, 2018
Shift Happens for the Nintendo Switch is the latest release from Daedelic, and the latest in an installment of game titles that sound like swear words. This couch co-op title features two jelly-like blob creatures, Bismo and Plom. United in a freak accident, the duo have opposing sizes with one being quite large, while the other is petite. Yet they can exchange sizes with each other at any point in an instant, which will come in handy to overcome the trials laid out before them.
The game spans forty levels across four very different worlds, all set to test your ability to work together. Or, since Shift Happens is entirely playable solo as well, your ability to think clearly for two people seeking to reach the same goal. Each level presents you with a number of different obstacles : weighted pressure switches, crates that need to be moved, gaps that need to be jumped, gaps that need one character to be thrown across…there are so many things you’ll need to overcome to reach the end of the level.
When it’s time to bring in new mechanics, the game’s level map off-shoots into lettered levels. So instead of progressing from 103 to 104, you’ll instead move to 103a, and possibly b and c versions as well. This brings you to a much smaller room where you’ll be able to focus on the new thing you need to learn. Complete this action three times and you’ll be back on track like normal, putting your new skill to the test.
It’s easy to determine just from the main image of the game that it’s meant to be played as a duo. However, the game isn’t exclusively a co-op game and can easily be enjoyed alone. Switching between the two characters is as simple as flicking the right joystick in the direction of the idle character, which was probably the hardest thing to get used to while playing the game early on. Shift Happens isn’t original in it’s idea of two characters working together and having to switch off of each other, so it’s a playstyle that you can encounter in numerous instances. It is, though, the only one I’ve played that pulls off the switch between characters with the joystick instead of a button press. This is just a default setting though, which can be changed in the Controls section of the options.
Once again, while it’s not a completely original concept for a game, Shift Happens is quite entertaining and grows on you after a number of levels. It feels a bit sluggish at first in that there’s no control option for moving both Bismo and Plom simultaneously. That is until you get through a few levels having been annoyed that you have to guide one to the end and then the other, when you realize : the big guy can pick the little guy up. Once his epiphany occurs, things get faster, smoother, and a hell of a lot more fun when you can just throw your friend through a doorway to make it to the next level.
And if you die, the “dead” character just becomes a messy slop of goo on the floor until the partner gets close enough to re-blobify the downed one. My only issue with the game came in a single instance, and it had to do with this system. While exploring in one level, I managed to walk a character into some lasers. Sent the other one down for the revive, and ended up being forced to back out and restart the level entirely. Why? Each time I re-blobified, I was still stuck in the path of the laser so the downed character would be downed yet again. Luckily, the levels are short and sweet so “restarting” really only meant losing about one minute of progress, but it still would be nice to be able to manually move where the revive occurs in situations like this.
At first I wasn’t a big fan of Shift Happens simply because of how similar it was to another title I played under the same concept. Eventually, this one grew more on me. I got through enough levels to see enough of it’s own mechanics, and was able to separate this game mentally from the other that I’d been comparing it to. Daedelic has a really fun title with this, and hey when you talk to your friends about it you can, for a very brief moment, make them think “What did he/she just say to me?” So head to the eShop and grab a copy of this game and start having fun, or else we might start wondering what the flock is wrong with you..