Reviews

Shift Quantum Review – Block Party

Enter Shift Quantum, a dystopian minimalistic approach to the tried and tested platform genre. Developers Fishing Cactus wanted to bring something new to the table and build on the games already sparkling community rep following the very first flash version of the game over a decade ago.

Surprise readers! The future is terrible and relies on specialist software and hardware to train your brain to be a happy one. How does corporation manage such a feat? Well readers, that’s up to you to find out. But it involves some pretty awesome platforming gameplay.

It’s all very simple. Move the protagonist from start to finish by navigating Shift Quantum’s 117 levels. Players can jump and move around as usual, but they can also shift.

shiftquantum15

“Players will have this boxed off”

Shift Over!

Shifting is the core mechanic of quantum shift which sells the title. In the games many levels, players will have to perform a shift. This is achieved by pressing a single button. When a shift is activated, players are literally shifted from the normal play space of the level to the black areas they were just running on which are known as negative space.

Fishing Cactus did a very good job of pulling this off, and also added hazards such as spikes along the way to keep things interesting. The single issue this games reviewer has is that Shift Quantum takes longer than it needs to introduce manipulative level items to mix things up. 

Players do not have to worry about dying either, Shift Quantum allows players to retry as many times as possible. This alleviates the need for a life counter in a platforming game, how awesome is that? Please bear in mind puzzle fans; this doesn’t mean the game is easy by any standard.

shiftquantum02

“All this negativity…”

Fifth Quantum Element

Shift Quantum is blatantly inspired by 90’s Sci-Fi cinema, with skyscrapers packing out the city skyline along with hover cars sticking to their air lanes. That’s just the background of the game.

This title is aesthetically simple but sharp. The gameplay reminds me fondly of losing weekends to N+ on Xbox Live Arcade. Obviously with more realistic physics and smaller levels, Shift Quantum is oddly a conservative approach to platforming in a good way.

The jumping is tight and level blocks are just the right measurements to secure air time for everyone. Character animations are super smooth with no frame rate issues throughout one’s play through. 

Tuning In

The palette for Shift Quantum is 99.9% black and white and comes complete with its own CRT Television interference and tracking effects. Unlike most Indies, Fishing Cactus seems quite modest about their quirks which are why they work in this writer’s opinion.

The soundtrack is akin to most nightclubs in The Crow or Blade. Electro beat complete with buckets of ambiance for the hard-core concentration moments. The sound engineering is also spot on, although there is not too much to apply sound too to be honest.

At the time of reviewing, Shift Quantum’s community built online level selector was not live so I was unable to see other people’s creations. Oh, did I not mention that Shift Quantum had a level editor? Easy to use and fun to build, once servers come alive Shift Quantum is going to blow up!

shiftquantum11

“The Grass is always whiter on the other side…”


Verdict

Graphics and Presentation: 4.5

Gameplay: 4

Sound: 4

Overall score: 4.2/5

Shift Quantum stands out from the crowd as one of this year’s best puzzle platformer. My only gripe is the campaigns momentum which is easily outweighed by the positives of this title.


Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam

Price: £15.99 (eShop)

Publisher: Red Panda Games

Developer: Fishing Cactus

Release Date: 29/05/2018

Age Rating: PEGI 12+



Review copy provided by publisher

 

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