Mr. Shifty Review

Published by tinyBuild Games
Developed by Team Shifty
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch (also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Mr. Shifty is an action beat up brawler with an overhead perspective that feels a little like Hotline Miami. Mr. Shifty brings a little style into the genre with a twist: super powers. The protagonist has the ability to teleport a short distance in front of him. Mr. Shifty can also punch really hard to break down walls and pick up melee weapons to K.O. the mass of bad guys in his way.

Mr. Shifty is a thief who has broken into a high rise building to secure some special material from the villain of the story, Mr. Stone. The game plays like the recent Judge Dredd film as you make your way to the top of the tower to take on the boss. Mr. Shifty has a witty accomplice that is always in your ear telling you where to go and to crack jokes as our hero is the silent type. The story plays out like a comic book as you make your way, floor by floor, pissing off Mr. Stone as you get closer to the top.

The graphics of Mr. Shifty feel like a comic book that goes along with the story. Mr. Shifty’s dark trench coat and his baseball cap gives that comic vibe. He is a thief, after all, so his face is unseen, with a puff of smoke he teleports through walls and puts the smack down on unsuspecting security guards.

The gameplay of Mr. Shifty is really fun and starts off really easy. It gradually gets a lot harder the higher you go up. Mr. Shifty’s teleport ability can be used up to 5 times before you need to wait for the cool down to recharge the ability. You have to alternative between your melee attacks and teleporting to take down the many types of baddies. Mr. Shifty also has a meter that fills up as you attack consecutive enemies; once filled you will be able to slow down time in a crucial moment to help you out even further.

Mr. Shifty is also the kind of game where if you get triggered easily you might want to take breaks from time to time. Some of the levels really brought my rage gamer out. When you die, you start the level over from the last checkpoint, which is not too bad in the beginning. Towards the end though you will be begging for additional check points.

Mr. Shifty now is not without its flaws. There were many times where the game does have a lot of slowdown, making gameplay very sluggish. One time very early on in the game, I took out all the enemies out on the floor, but nothing happened. I tried over and over, thinking I missed an enemy.  Yet the floor was really small, with only about 6 guys to kill, so I knew I didn’t miss anyone. I finally decided to reset the game to try again, but this time as I defeated the last guy, my partner chimes in telling me to move on to the next area. Team Shifty says there will be a patch coming to the game shorty, hopefully fixing these issues. I was able to complete the game without it. 

I enjoyed the Mr. Shifty soundtrack immensely. It was composed by Ack Kinmonth and adds a very rock feel to the game. I thought it flowed quite well with all the intense fights and explosions, since it really keeps you in the zone. From looking for a way through lasers trying to cut you in half to rocket launching baddies chasing you down the halls, the music always kept me on pace.