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Rating: 4.5/5 (170 votes)
Comments (64) | Views (10,245)
zxoShiftNow here's something for those who enjoyed Nitrome's Yin Yang but wished it could have been just a bit more... dapper. The latest from Tony of The-Exp (who brought us the Indestructo franchise), Shift embraces the same negative-space-centric platforming concept as Yin Yang, but in a style more elegant, more minimalist, and more pulsating with sexy-sweet spy music.

Use the [arrow] keys to navigate your man of mystery along the levels; use [space] to jump. After a couple of warmup levels, you'll need to master the art of Shift. You'll never guess what button you have to press...

Shifting flips you beneath the floor on which you are standing, and reverses both your body color and gravity. Thus, if you were at the bottom of a black pit, shifting will put you atop a white mountain, from where you might have more freedom to move. It's up to you to spot the paths that are available using this mechanism, and to figure out how to make it to the exit for each level. Hindering — or occasionally helping — your progress are impassable platforms, which can be rotated out of the way by collecting the proper key.

Short but sweet, Shift shouldn't sap your surplus seconds. The best legitimate scores clock in at just over 4 minutes. However, those minimal minutes are made magnificent not just with the clever mechanic, but through its noir mystique and the little bits of funny sprinkled throughout. At times you'll feel at the mercy of the borderline sadistic but ultimately merciful god-author Tony, but you get a sweet trophy at the end, so it's definitely worth the little shenanigans he throws at you.

That's not to say Shift doesn't have its problems. There are a couple of glitches that can happen when you're near either an edge or a moving door, and there's at least one level where it's possible to get stuck without the luxury of being able to hit restart or throw yourself onto some nearby spikes. Nonetheless, these are very forgivable flaws when viewed in light of the whole.

Play Shift


Oh no, I hope there's no arguing this time. (Although it is a great idea.)


And I love the portal reference in level... 5? 6? I've forgotten already.


Hah, that was awesome. Very slick and fun, I really like the "Shift" idea. I like the humor, too; especially

the "Just kidding" part.

Towards the end, I also noticed some references and similarities to

the game, Portal. I guess Tony must be a fan.

Very fun. Woohoo!


Vault, which one? There were quite a few.

"The Timer is a lie."
"Now You're thinking with shifting."


I was unlucky enough to find a "level where it's possible to get stuck without the luxury of being able to hit restart or throw yourself onto some nearby spikes" as xzo pointed out. I think that perhaps if I was thinking ahead a little further, I might not have grabbed that 4th (or was it the 5th) key, and gone for the door instead. It seems to me that a reset button would be in order though.

Overall, I liked the game, and was enjoying it up until I locked into a dead end.


I loved the Portal references. The shifting ability was really cool. This game goes straight to my Favorites!


In the trophy room, it's just like that. You get stuck and then get run over by spikes. Lame.


That was really fun :-) The blood splatters were gross though, that was not so fun :-(


odd, the game won't load for me. The preloader is showing up, but either the game is at 100%, or 0%, with no sign of movement. I've tried reloading the page several times, but to no avail.


Ok I don't know where to click to get the game... ever since Armorgames changed their website to this horrible layout, there is no game link. There are ads, comments, more ads, and some instructions, BUT NO GAME LINK!!! WHERE ARE THE GAME LINKS!?!


EMDF - There is a small "Play" word under the Armor Games logo on the preloader. Click that for the game.

Drizzt - I believe Javascript is needed for the Armor Games site. Do you have it enabled? If not, I don't think the game will load.

If you do have Javascript enabled, the game should automatically appear in the center of the page. You do not need to click any game link.


Jay - there is no "play" button, and the bar on the preloader still says "LOADING".


Hmm, that *is* odd. Something must have interrupted your initial download. Try emptying your cache and reload the page. I'll bet that fixes it. :)


I liked this game. I really hope it'll be fleshed out a bit more--it's got potential. Right now it's a bit confusing, but I bet with some improvement it could break some new ground on this concept.


Dang, ANOTHER game called Shift? This is getting confusing! ^_^;


was the other shift a game where you don't stop unless you hit a wall?


I thought of this Shift:

But it's nothing like this game.


Liked this one better than the Nitrome one. It was... more intuitive, somehow? And more fluid.


Great game, love the Portal references. Luckily I never ran into a level that I couldn't not complete (bad grammar - don't use no double negatives, kids!). I'm wondering if there's any way to avoid death in the final level, like shifting on the second to last or last, or something?

A great experience, and I much prefer Tony's minimalistic style over Nitrome's usual happy pixels for this game.


Another way to do the final room

what happens if you shift and walk across to the trophy? I haven't tried it.


About the final room:

I tried shifting and walking to the trophy but there was an invisible wall where the pit forms.


My time was pitiful, but I really enjoyed the game. Short, sweet, and quite fun. Definitely better than the Nitrome take on the subject.

When I got the level where it said my timer data was lost, my first thought was: "Well at least now I won't have to be so embarrassed at how slow I am."


i have no skill so how do you get past the level where he says that your at like 10 min or something?

Matt Weiner February 3, 2008 8:15 AM

Entertaining, but I wish there was a level password or game save feature.

Matt Weiner February 3, 2008 8:26 AM

Especially because on the

"Ah I'm Just Kidding Level"

when I miss the first jump I fall to just to the right of the spikes without dying, and then my dude gets stuck, and a bug develops in Flash and I have to abort the script -- so I really wish I could start over without having to replay all the bazzfazzing previous levels.

(Note: My computer has some hardware problems so maybe everyone else won't have the same bug.)


Well, the final "joke" is a bit harsh, I must say...

The game itself is good, not too long and not too complicated, nicely done.

My opnly real complaint is that the vital Shift key was out of my hand's reach area and had to look down for it which made it a bit harder to play - but that was only a minor problem.

Godd one.


Jay - I cleared my cache (I'm using Firefox, and this time, it loaded to 100%, and didn't have a "play" button. I'm going to try and update my flash player.


still nothing, even after another cache clearing. any more suggestions?


EMDF - do any of the games work for you over at Armor Games?


ARGH! why space for jump? it makes no sense! programmers: use the freaking up arrow!!!!!!!!!!


Yes, the up arrow would've been nice. Anyway, nice game.


yay! I'm so glad I got that trophy, it really is awesome!


This game is good enough on its own: one reference was enough. I was hoping the character was some kind of magic spy. I only died (let's say) once, by forgetting that the spikes worked both ways. I'd have liked to have seen a usual problem for platformers (such as an obstacle that quickly descends from the ceiling to crush you) that you can just bypass by shifting. That'd be funny on its own.


am i just stupid but I can't get past the level where it introduces the timer


Jay - that's odd, it seems that all of the games have the same problem... the preloader loads the game up to 100%, but it doesn't do anything after that. Maybe it's a problem on my end somehow?


I like this game a lot but I also fell between some spikes and had to quit the game to get out.

I'm wondering if some of you Firefox users installed the NoScript extension and are unaware of how to manipulate it.


Corona, if I was included in that, then no, I have nothing that deals with javascript manipulation, or even anything that elimates javascript (the ones that are enabled, anyways). I do happen to have adblock plus, but since the games are appearing, it shouldn't be an issue (as in, they aren't blocked).


EMDF - it has to be something local to your setup. You might want to do some digging (googling) around looking for compatibility issues with SWFObject, which Armor Games uses to load the game SWFs on its pages, and any browser extensions you have installed.

Dyslexic Q-Thief February 3, 2008 6:04 PM

Way better than Nitrome's attempt, although I too am stuck on the timer level. Still, yet again, no reference to the first person to think it up.


Dyslexic Q-Thief - that's because the concept of negative space is not something anyone can claim as their own.

Rumpelstiltskin February 3, 2008 6:39 PM

If you play the version of the game hosted here:
It has a reset button in the pause menu.


I can't get through the level where you first encounter the timer, either. It seems like I have to jump over the long string of spikes, but I just can't make the &#^@!!! jump! What am I missing?


Okay, never mind... I tried one more time and it turns out if you stand on the very very very very VERY edge of the spikes you can just barely jump over them. A little more leeway would've been nice, I think...


Shift seems to load fine but does not respond to my keyboard at all, ever. No other game or app has this problem. What's the deal?


Reload the page and try again?


Smooth, nice game. A good take on the negative space idea. Only the blood spatters weren't so cool. Perhaps if they had been black/white it would've been more fitting?

Still, a fun game. :)


I just played the game because I was sick.NO saving!


i see no point in having jump be the spacebar. couldnt it just be the up arrow?


as i wish it was longer. it was too fun to end so quickly.

Miff_Otter February 5, 2008 11:15 PM

This would be better if you could play with one hand by jumping with the up button; otherwise, it is impossible to play.


This best part about this game for me was all the references to Portal. As soon as I saw it talking about the trophy being in the next room, I was expecting a pit of flames to greet me.


You weren't far off Tequitofoot...

Anyhow, I too liked the entire game and all of the references to Portal. Surprisingly, I did not expect

what happened at the end, even though I should have from playing Portal.

Twas a bit harsh, and I really wish you could have

escaped like in Portal.

I suppose the subject number 36,000-something should have tipped me off. Overall, this was a fun, short, and atmospheric game that fits its inspiration quite well.


I would actually love a negitive space game with a portal gun. It would be mind blowing.


ARGH! why space for jump? it makes no sense! programmers: use the freaking up arrow!!!!!!!!!!
With good reason hardly any game does that anymore. If you play with both hands it's much more convenient to jump with one hand and run with the other.

Too bad it only has that few levels, though I understand it probably was quite some work still. I like this much better than the nitrome version.

If there was a level editor that'd be nice.


Now, I want a 3-dimensional version of this game.


The concept is nice and the design is pretty, but really, the level design is terrible. There is no subtlety or challenge whatsoever in any of the levels.


For the people who like this game...

theres a Shift 2 ;)

[Edit: we have a review of Shift 2 going up in about an hour. You can find it here: https://jayisgames.com/archives/2008/03/shift_2.php ]

missmerry March 27, 2008 5:17 PM

I actually prefer the use of the space key for jump. It gave me more time to consider whether I really wanted to press the shift key or not as I was moving my hand.


Hey there.

I'd like to have this game in my site.
Is it possible? And other thing, is it possible to have it in "dark blue and white"?




Hey uh... guys the game was really easy and short. I have also played shift 2. It is 100x better than shift 1. Stupid ending. glad you can actually get a trophy without using a hack or cheat. I won't spoil that for you, but if you liked to be spoiled look on the shift 2 review. As you can see at the bottom i have posted a lot. It also has a level editor. Post some levels on the shift 2 review. I love trying to figure out levels. I have also made a few levels. I think i am addicted to shift. And i am proud of it!

Visitor July 9, 2008 12:19 PM

No, you can't shift in the final room and proudly walk over to the trophy. There's a wall where the dip is. You may not see it, but it's there. Anyway, Shift 3 is out!



[Edit: We know about Yin Yang because it was also reviewed here at JIG:

Visitor July 14, 2008 1:58 PM

I know that, Jay, but how did jjjj who posted about Shift 3 (I think) know about it?

And, no, I don't think this is very good. The end is too harsh. If you want to activate the hole even though you're not in it;
Shift. Walk until you hit an invisible wall. Shift. Jump above it and then land where you jumped. That should do it. Post if it isn't.

Subject 32763 June 6, 2009 4:09 PM

the space bar as a button to jump is useful.

I do inieder case.

ensure that you have 1 hand shift key and the spacebar to control your other runs.

for me work even faster and easier than with the up arrow to jump.

"de spatiebalk als knop om te springen is juist handig.

voor mij wel inieder geval.

zorgen dat je met 1 hand de shift knop en de spatiebalk bedient en met je andere loopt.

voor mij werkt dat zelfs sneller en makkelijker dan met het omhoog pijltje voor springen."


how do you complete the last level? i tried so many different ways but i still end up falling on the spikes. help!


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