Shiftlings is a new platform puzzler for the WiiU from Rock Pocket Games. This colorful new addition to the eshop is the story of two whacky janitors on a mission to repair the galaxy, which also happens to be a popular intergalactic reality TV show, with commentary and all. The two aliens you control are connected by an air hose. After one of you drinks a very gaseous drink by the name of ‘Black Hola Cola’, you are able to shift the gas between characters making one of you very large and the other very small. This makes for a good, fun challenge but is it enough to make you want to cough up 15 bucks? Lets take a look…
When you start a new game you begin by watching a short cinematic that introduces you to the hit TV show Shiftlings. You’re greeted by the host, a very debonair purple alien who explains the ins and outs of shift work. As you progress through each level your two characters must work together using their weight and size to open new pathways, reach collectables and unlock secret areas. The host of Shiftlings will also be sure to add in his 2cents while you’re playing, making for some very entertaining background commentary…until he starts repeating himself.
The controls are simple but a little confusing at first. On the WiiU gamepad you use the L stick to move, B is jump, A is used to swap between which character you’re currently controlling and X is used to swap size. It can be a tad frustrating but after a few levels it gets better. Swapping characters and sizes is what got me at first, having to switch back and forth numerous times while making sure the right sized character is in the right place is a challenge in itself. You must also use each other to gain access to new areas sometimes. For instance, the smaller alien can bounce on top of the bigger alien to get to different places. But in my experiences the aliens must be in the EXACT right spot to do this, which was also a bit frustrating.
This being a co-op game it can be played with a second player. You can use the Wiimote, with or without the nunchuck, the WiiU pro controller, or the Wiimote/classic controller. Its fun to play with 2 players if you’re really in sync but if not you’ll probably get a bit irritated with each other seeing as you’re connected by the hose and cant really move around freely. Also I forgot to mention, while playing alone you can hold down the ZL button to move both aliens at the same time making it more convenient getting around without your player 2. The co-op experience is pretty fun but its definitely going to take some teamwork if you want to succeed.
Visually, Shiftlings is a impressive game. Its chocked full of vibrancy and color which enhance the above average graphics. BUT, (and I say this with huge amounts of hesitation) it might be a bit too much. If you know me you know I love this sort of thing, but with all of those details and color everywhere its sometimes hard to make other things out, its distracting. I’m in no way downing the beautiful graphics I’m just saying some parts of the levels and the characters could stand out a little more from the background, that’s all. I really enjoyed the quality of the animations and level designs themselves, there are so many ways to utilize your weight and gain new access to different areas.
Throughout each level you will have a main objective but there are also items to keep an eye out for and collect if you’re planning on completing the game %100. With 5 different themed planets for you to explore, each with 10 levels (and maybe a few more depending on how many secrets you discover.) you’re sure to get your moneys worth out of Shiftlings. Especially if you plan on collecting everything. It may not be the simplest or easiest of games but its definitely a new interesting concept that you’re sure to have at least a little fun with. Check it out now on the WiiU eShop for $14.99.
PN Review: Shiftlings (WiiU)
Shiftlings is an interesting game. Being able to control 2 separate characters at a time can be overwhelming but its a fun challenge, it just takes some getting used to. When playing in co-op mode you can let a friend join in but it can be frustrating trying to navigate through the level. Overall Shiftlings is a neat game and regardless of the few flaws its worth playing if you’re into these types of games.