Shift Quantum is the spiritual successor to the 2008 flash browser game created by Anthony Lavelle. Fishing Cactus has updated the game and its puzzles in order to bring it to PC and consoles.
Shift Quantum is a cyber-noir action-puzzle platformer in black and white, with a unique gameplay mechanic called SHIFTING. Solve puzzles and create negative space by inverting the world and transform barriers into escape routes. Use this unique SHIFT mechanic to your advantage and overcome the game’s obstacles.
You’re greeted by Mary, and as her automated voice will tell you, it is her pleasure to register you with Axon Vertigo. The company aims to deliver absolute happiness to absolutely everyone, absolutely free. What could go wrong? Axon Vertigo is the leading authority in cerebral contentedness programming, and as subject 32763, you’ve put your trust in this questionable rhetoric to enter Shift Quantum, their game application that stimulates the brain through a series of puzzles. The only way you’ll get back control of your brain is to solve all of the 117 puzzles the game will throw at you.
The gameplay in Shift Quantum revolves around a simple yet mind bending mechanic. The levels are made up of black and white levels with that can be turned 180° and into the negative by using the Shift mechanic.
Black floors and white backgrounds now become white floors and black backgrounds. Your goal is simply to get from the start of the level to the exit. It sounds simple but having to envisage the level on two separate and opposite planes in order to progress can be really taxing on the mind.
As you progress through the 117 levels items such as spikes that kill you and movable boxes are introduced to had further depth and difficulty to the puzzles.
Shift Quantum graphics are quite simple and monochromatic but deeply absorbing. Whilst the levels are simple, the art style really makes you feel like you are in some technological, dystopian future.
The only colour in the world is a mysterious girl who appears sometimes in levels and runs away from you. A mystery to be unravelled in a cold, unfeeling world.
Shift Quantum is a simple yet fiendish puzzle game. The kind where one day you will smash through levels and the next quit in frustration. It is a simple yet effective game mechanic that will test your cerebral capabilities thoroughly.
A great expansion on a classic 2008 browser game that has been updated for today’s consoles without losing any of its charm or difficulty.
Overall Score – 6/10