This review was guest authored by Danny Petsis.
Shiftlings is a platform game developed by Rock Pocket that follows two alien janitors. The janitors are part of a reality tv show, attached by an air supply hose and a whole lot of gas. The opening sequence shows one of the janitors finding a fizzy drink and downing it causing all the farting throughout the rest of the game.
Your objective throughout the game is to climb and maneuver your way through a series of obstacles, doors and portals while collecting items and avoiding death to you and your partner. As you work your way through the level, you open up the portal to the end point and must reach it in order to move on in the campaign with each level becoming more difficult than the last.
Shiftlings has been a very hard game as a single player while you need to control two players. One wrong press of a button can cause you to pass gas through one janitor to the other and ultimately inflate the suit causing him to fall over, thus starting your quest back through the obstacle you almost finished. Even with the difficulty as a single player, it does not stop you from giving up. You keep at it, and inevitably get addicted to the concept and the characters. You may scream a bit at the TV but it’s an obsession to go back and do it again.
Rock Pocket does a great job to make you feel as though you are watching a reality TV show with the narrator commenting at your moves or lack thereof when you miss a step or kill off your janitors in error. If you do happen to die, you will continue back from the last checkpoint obtained. Every level contains three collectables which you won’t be able to obtain on every level your first play through and once you finish every set of the levels in a world, you unlock time trials for each level giving the user multiple opportunities to replay the game.
The sights and sounds of Shiftlings makes you feel like you’re watching and controlling the outcome of an animated movie. We have loads of vibrant colors, humor, and landscape to fill each level as you progress, giving the user plenty to enjoy as you put your mind to work.
You may find times when you feel like this is getting repetitive or frustrating but once you turn on that multiplayer option and have someone join your session or you join someone else’s game, it provides new life to your Shiftlings. Utilizing the co-op feature really opens up the gates for communicating and working together either on the couch with a buddy or online with a friend. In order to be successful you should be able to communicate which janitor is doing what, and when your janitor is make that certain move. After playing the majority of the first world alone, co-op was needed to try and complete a level with extreme difficulty. Once that level was completed, we couldn’t stop playing as a team.
Shiftlings is a game recommended for anyone that enjoys a platformer or a challenge. Even if you aren’t a fan of platform games it’s still recommended to give it a go. Try it out with a friend or by yourself, and have a laugh at it as well with all the gassy shifting.