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Grave Shift


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Rating: 4.2/5 (81 votes)
| Comments (67) | Views (82)

graveshift.gifJohnBReady for some "up arrow means up-right" isometric adventuring? Grave Shift from Tangerine Pop Games provides all that plus a little puzzle solving, item collecting, door unlocking, and a dose of Halloween-esque spook for good measure. On the trail of the White Warlock who has covered the land in darkness and stolen the king's crown (it hides his bald spot, you see), you must trek through graveyard and tomb, keeping your health and courage up while avoiding snakes, zombies, spiders and plenty of other baddies.

Controls for isometric games are always a point of concern for some gamers, as everything is tilted at a slight angle. The [up] arrow moves you up and to the right, [right] moves you down-right, and so on, all of which translate to straight directions in the game's world. It's a bit mind-warping at first, but you'll quickly adjust. A help bar at the bottom of the screen shows you a few additional commands, such as tapping [spacebar] to dig with the shovel. Pretty standard stuff for an adventure game.

Monster generators, shown as colored "targets" on each screen, can be shut down by sliding a block on top of it, ridding the immediate zone of foes. Recovering stolen relics will net you extra gold, and King Krump would just love it if you brought some extra loot back from your journey. Food items such as root beer, turkey legs and potions replenish health/courage, both of which must be kept high to stay alive.

Puzzles are of the sliding block variety, so expect to do a lot of pushing things on top of other things. Often you'll have to skirt around enemies while maneuvering, which can be quite tricky. Defeating all of the on-screen foes often causes special events to happen, so if you're stuck, try focusing on the enemy generators and see if you can't make something good happen.

Analysis: Although the game takes place on an angled grid, you'll find Grave Shift is a bit forgiving about putting your character on the straight and narrow. In other words, if you're trying to edge by the corner of a fence and you're partially obscured by the obstacle, you'll automatically slide to the side. This is also true for block pushing, opening up quite a few possibilities to "bend" the game's rules and find alternate solutions to tough puzzles.

One departure from the adventure realm is the addition of enemies and health. Not only will you be pushing blocks and tripping switches, you'll have to do so while keeping killer trees as bay. Purists will long for a simpler adventure experience where you can stand and scratch your head all day long, while action gamers will feel greatly underchallenged. Straddling two opposing genres like this is risky and neither camp will be wholly satisfied, but the end result is far from disappointing.

Grave Shift is a well-illustrated and fun adventure game with a good sense of humor. Its four levels offer just the right amount of challenge and the length is spot-on for casual gamers.

Play Grave Shift

67 Comments

Help! I have

the green key but I need yellow and blue and orange, and I need to get the shovel. How do I get the sliding tombstone down to get at the shovel/yellow key, or remove the hedges to continue exploring in the gold room?

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Where did you find the shovel LS? I'm not even sure where it is?!

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How to kill the roaming dogs and get the green bottle of health that's locked behind the grave stone door:

To kill the roaming dogs you push the bail of hay on to the blue circle in front of their kennel. To get the green bottle of health you need to do the same. Slide the big rock onto the red circle where the snake is. That will open up the grave stone door.

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For some reason this conjures memories of way back playing Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds. It wasn't isometric (though the next game by the company was), but the charm feels similar. Also kind of reminds me of a game I played for a little while called Graal, which is probably closer to this game than Nexus. If you love this you might want to check that one out.

Nice find, this is great!

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You can walk on lilypads and stones that are in the water. That took me awhile to figure out.

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Can anyone help me through level one?? I have the green key, I have killed everything except for that lonely snake guarding the red circle. That's it. I'm stuck. There is no where else for me to go. Please help.

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How are you supposed to get that green key down from that stupid pillar?

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Isometric AND enemies? Why don't you just throw in a sliding block puzzle to complete my misery.

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Jezabel, it's off on one side by the gold key in an area that's only accessible via -- it looks like -- another room or a lowering tombstone. But I can't get to either.

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JohnB --

Thanks! I'd tried pushing those hedges half a dozen times without success. After your hint I went back and did it again and again and finally got one to move. The dratted isometrics -- I must have been just offset enough not to be 'pushing' properly.

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Thanks John B! I thought I was doomed forever, haha.

LS--

I found it. Thanks!

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Anonymous October 21, 2008 7:52 PM

Great stuff! I usually find that these isometric games get too tough very quickly and end up requiring pin point accuracy that is so hard to achieve (Head over Heels anyone?). But not this - a nice shallow learning curve IMO. One point to anyone stuck on the first level - make sure you search everywhere as I missed one of the room exits and took forever trying to find one of the keys. Try to save your shovel as well as it gives you courage points whenever you use it and sometimes they can get very low.

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The solution to using the arrow keys in isometric games is so simple you'll want to kick yourself when you read it (I know I did): rotate your keyboard 45 degrees counterclockwise.

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how can you get through this game, at the rate this guy loses courage?? bottles of health refill 50%, but courage only 25%! and they're not easy to find, either. You even lose courage gradually in a space you've completely cleared of enemies!

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I'm a bit surprised that this isn't doing so well in terms of ratings. I just spent a good amount of time beating the entire first world. This is a huge game. Lots of content to be found. 5 stars!

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Visually very polished, but gameplay-wise... isometric views and arrow keys just don't work well due to ambiguity.

Movement is a bit too slow for my taste (though it does make speed potions more valuable) and the needless backtracking doesn't help with that either (but thanks for the map to show me where I need to backtrack to).

The courage meter makes little sense and is introduced rather... well, it's just there, at some point you see it's decreasing and you're like, what effect will it have (because there's also a health bar) and how can I fill it again? There could've been some more courage potions until you find the first shovel.

All in all, it's an ok game, but not exactly because of it's gameplay. Too bad, as it's obvious that a lot of work went into this one.

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mixedmetaphor Author Profile Page October 22, 2008 9:25 AM

I played this last month and completed all 3 available levels -- but apparently I cleared my history and now the game does not remember me. Does anyone know where I can enter the passwords from later levels? I don't want to have to play through again... and the email address they give for feedback is incorrect.

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To enter the password, click the right white arrow next to "Choose a level".
But - where do you get those passwords?

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mixedmetaphor Author Profile Page October 22, 2008 4:08 PM

Thanks! Here are the passwords (case-sensitive).

1:

zombified

2:

hot lava

3:

tomb boom

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Up to level 3 now. Woohoo! The first two levels are the least of your worries. Level three has

things stabbing you, shooting at you, burning your feet. All this PLUS the creatures trying to kill you. Ha ha.

Great game. Not too easy, not too hard. I'm addicted. Thanks for adding on here JohnB.

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Anyone know how to get to the

extra areas

on level 2? I see them on the map, I see that they have

keys

but try as I might, I can't figure them out. Driving me crazy! Please help?

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How does one get past the jumping flame balls and the constantly going up spikes. I have tried to see a timing on these but there seems to be no space allowed for you to quickly maneuver through them in the level three.

Any suggestions.

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Very intriguing game! However, my only fuss would be the controls.:)

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[ShuDog]:
You get to them from

level 3 :-)

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mixedmetaphor Author Profile Page October 23, 2008 10:08 AM

JIGuest, I usually found that there was a gap -- often small -- during which you could step on a spike when it was down to avoid a fireball, or stand in the fireball's path before it flew to avoid a spike. Is there a specific area that's giving you trouble?

Level 3 was pretty brutal in terms of spikes, fire, enemies, etc. I really didn't like the burning coals that were all-too-easy to accidentally walk on.

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I'm stuck. I pushed all the green blocks to the edges of the playfield and now can't push them on the last switch. Can I pull these blocks? Or do I need to restart the whole game?

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mixedmetaphor Author Profile Page October 23, 2008 2:36 PM

sheeep -- You can't pull blocks, but if you leave the room and enter again, the blocks should be back in their original places -- at least, the ones that aren't on switches will be.

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I have a fairly slow computer, and I'm encountering a bug on the third level where things go too fast to possibly pass through safely. The floor spikes don't even go all the way into the floor. They only slow down to normal speed if I walk around the level for a while. Frustrating!

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Benedicta Author Profile Page October 27, 2008 9:40 AM

Andy, by hitting "T" you can toggle the quality. While low quality doesn't really look nice, the game gets MUCH faster (and feasible, too).

And I don't think it's your computer's fault... my computer is rather quick, and the game is slow for me.

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I'm stuck on level 1 - how do I get to the yellow key and shovel - tried many things - nothing works.
thanks

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Cannot get past level 2. Can't find yellow key and can't get to room blocked by thorny shrub things. Did I miss something on the downstairs room? Something else? Frustrated!

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I am on level three and I cannot find how to get the red key. I am in the room with the red door and I cannot move from here because of one of those pop up gates. I do I get past that pop up gate in the room with the red door?

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Mary Butler December 8, 2008 2:20 PM

I love the game, but cannot devote all my time to it how do I save or, can I purchase it to play at my leisure? I have played the same scenes umpteen times and am ready to move on.

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Does anyone know how to get the blocks through the green door on the last level? Everytime I try to move the blocks through, the door stays shut. Is there a way to hold the unlocked door open long enough to push the blocks thru??

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I am also stuck on level 3 in the room with the green gate. I have the key. Sometimes I get in to move the blocks 1 time but then the door will not open again. I have tried so many different things, please help.

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Finally!!!
To get the blocks through the green door in last level you have to

move the blocks in the right order from right to left. Begin with the one on the right next to the arrows, pull it through the door to the blue corner on the upper right. Then the right one next to the key to the right blue on next to the green door. On the left side begin with the one next to the arrows.... Don't forget to move the switch befor leaving!

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Hello Everyone,

I'm an old gamer, and I find GS1 to be one of the most exciting and fun games going on the internet (and the entire game is free).

I cannot wait for the promised GS2 by Tangerine Pop Games.

Use the "M" key on your keyboard to bring up the "map" of each room... it really helps you find keys and locks once you have visited a room.

You should defeat all "enemies" and pick up all "treasures" in each room, make sure there are no "unopened gates" too or you will be searching forever later in the game.

Check to make sure of entrances to other room (some are "underground"). Hint... some keys to other levels are on earlier levels, note the differences in the shape of the keys to tell the difference.

You can build up your "courage" in this game by defeating enemies.... save the orange courage flasks for when you really run low. Do not pick up the green "hit points" (life) flasks unless you really need them too.

When you get to final room in each level fill up both green (life) and orange (courage) flasks as they count in final score for that level.

I have never done a feedback on a game walkthrough before, hope this helps someone.

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Hi people!! I have a huge problem... I`m stuck in level 2, I have two keys but I don`t know where are the entrances (I have tried with all the arrows unsucessfuly)

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How can I push the block through the blue door of the last level (Tombs level 2)? I already get the blue key, but every time I try the door locks.
Thanks

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Anonymous March 30, 2009 12:11 PM

Is there anyway to beat level 3 with all the fireballs and spikes? Especially the one room with all the gold skulls, the stairs that go up and the fireballs and spikes? I keep trying and either I get killed by the constant fireballs or the spikes coming out of the walls. If anyone has beaten this game or just this level please tell me how because I'm beginning to think it is unbeatable.

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Anonymous April 7, 2009 9:00 PM

The trick to getting by the lava balls that bubble up from the floor is

that they are safe to pass while the mess they leave is still on the floor; if you wait for it to vanish you won't have time to get by. Some are on a regular timer and others are triggered bu your stepping on the square - figure out which is which, and don't linger on the triggered ones.

For the fireballs that come out of holes in the wall,

like other projectiles, they are on a timer and you just have to time when you pass. It's easiest to do right by the spot where they shoot out, if you have a choice. In rooms where you have stones or whatnot to move around, they can screen you from the fireballs.

In the room with all the skulls and the lava balls,

do them one at a time. Wait for the moment just after the lava balls have popped, then run to where the first skull is, stop and wait there for the lavaballs to pop again, run to the next one and so on.

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HELP!!! not to complain but i read through every thing about this game

an no one has answered the question as to how to get the shovel.

I'm becoming desprit.

Someone, please, how do u get the shovel.

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How do i get the stupid green skull key in level 2 ?!

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Anonymous May 25, 2009 12:02 AM

I have having loads of problems, due to glitches, on the tombs level 2. the room with the cross firing fireballs(6) it gets to the point there is a constant stream of balls, no space between at all. I know by hitting pause, They will clear for a moment, but it just gets worse. Also. I can barely move along. I am getting hit 2-3 times by each fire ball and lava burp. any solutions out there?

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How do I return to the king? Please help!

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Nicalicious June 12, 2009 4:51 AM

Does anyone know where I can find the yellow key on level 2? I can't find it anyway. Also, I can't get past the thorny bushes either (guessing there is a backway after going through the red and yellow gates). I know this comment has been posted already, but neither has it been answered. Please, help.

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Nicalicious June 13, 2009 3:30 AM

Okay. I am having trouble on level 4 in the room with the green key. The far corner I can move around there (to move the mummy generators), but I cannot see ANYTHING once I am back there, and I end up dying. Any help, PLEASE!

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Theresa July 7, 2009 12:02 AM

There are a couple of places in the game where I know I've missed picking up extra gold. One I found in the first level, as you're exiting the yard with the coloured stones is to go right up against the right side of the exit - there are hidden bonus gold points there.

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Theresa Author Profile Page July 9, 2009 2:56 PM

SJ re stupid green skull key in level 3: you get that key in level 3.

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I'm at level 3 and have been through 14 rooms there. Managing fire and enemies ok, but I see the red, yellow, and green locked doors, but no keys that I can find. I see someone saying keys may have been in earlier levels, but I played the earlier levels and won them successfully in all the rooms (I think) but had no extra keys left when I won level 2. Am I being dense? What am I doing wrong? Anybody? Thanks in advance for any tips. [really fun game, though!]

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UPDATE: sorry, I see now what you mean by getting the level 3 keys on level 2 (at least I see the green and yellow--but that's all I can find). But I just can NOT figure out how to get there. I'm really impressed with this game, but I'm at a loss how to keep going, since I can't find a way in to those keys! Anybody take pity on me? :)

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Theresa Author Profile Page July 27, 2009 3:25 PM

To get the green skull key on the third level:

You have to go through the third room (the one with the ghouls) through the door on the right that takes you in to the room with the spiral path guarded by the ghost knights. Exit that room into the next room. Open both gates. In the center of the lava next to the second gate are a set of stairs. Go up the stairs and it will take you into the graveyard seen in the second level. The green skull key is there.

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Theresa, cheers to you--you're a lifesaver!

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Nicalicious: did you ever figure that out? I'm having that exact same problem :(

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Also, same room (level 4 with red key): I've taken a few tries pushing the box around to get it into the right location, and each time I make a mistake I leave the room and re-enter to get the box back into its original position to try again. HOWEVER, now my box is frozen in that original position and no matter how many times I leave the room, even if I go a couple of rooms away, when I come back it's still stuck there and un-pushable.

After getting this far int he level, I *really* don't want to quit and start the level over again--aargh! Any ideas?

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I don't think you've got a choice, ABW; you're going to have to start the level over again. BTW, where are you playing it that you can save in the middle of a level? Is it downloadable? Unless... are you trying to push the box when the mummies are in the way? Because if you are, the mummies won't let you push anything if they get in the way.

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Can anyone help me? I am on level 3 and managed to get the green purple and yellow keys but am now stuck at the red door and can't even find a room that I haven't been into. Any help would be much appreciated.

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foxmulder77 Author Profile Page January 16, 2010 2:54 PM

Completed all four levels, but feel I am missing some of the artifacts on level four. Need help.

Tripped switch in last room with the mummy tomb, but don't see it opening any other doors or walls. Also see hidden room on map just above or below when exiting with white key.

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foxmulder77 Author Profile Page January 17, 2010 11:24 PM

Any tips/clues where to find the Red Key on Level 4? I cannot seem to find, though I've been through and completed that level many times.

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Anonymous March 15, 2010 2:00 AM

to get yellow key and shovel in blocked area of lvl 1, you first need the blue key. access this area through the room to its left.

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I justed started this game. I am still on level 1 I guess that is the graveyard. I found two keys a yellow one and now now I am in place that has a blue key but I don't know how to get to it and I don't know how to save this game so I don't have to keep playing the same level over and over again. The place I am at has the blue key up on a pedstal and no way to get to it. I have no idea how to get to the shovels I see they seem to be blocked.

Help please

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I have gone back in to play grave shift and now it isn;'t working. I can't get the guy to move period. I like the game and I even got through some of the gates but now it won't work and I don't know how to get it to work again.

I would like to play the game some more. So how do I get him to move. The arrows don't work.

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foxmulder77 Author Profile Page May 14, 2010 11:45 PM

Even though you can see things in adjacent rooms (shovels), you may have to enter from another room. Keys on pedestals are normally acquired when you destroy the monsters in that particular room.

The first time I went through I didn't pick up the gold to save courage points.

I love this game and the sequel, but not sure if the developers will create the third version that they promised. Emails go unanswered.

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Nickmaster November 8, 2010 6:33 PM

i for one need help getting extra lives and health but the biggest is why did`nt they make it that you cant save your progress at any time i got all the colored keys at minimal once then getting to the portal i got game over :( whats up with that!?

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any one know wher the orange key is or how to get the purple key?

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Please help me!

Were are the stolen relics?

I only can found the first three...and the rest?

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