Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Wes Maulsby 07.04.2018

Review for Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition on Nintendo Switch

Shiftlings, a puzzle platformer made by Rock Pocket Games, is making its way to Switch in the form of Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition. First released for PC in early 2015, it has made its way to a variety of systems, and now Switch owners will have the opportunity to pick up this odd-ball 2D puzzle platformer, which is overflowing with personality, puns, puzzles, and one particularly portly alien. The galaxy is in need of some light repairs, and there is no-one more fit for the job than a pair of aliens tethered together with one having consumed dangerous amounts of carbonation.

Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition has players in control of a pair of alien mechanics who must navigate a series of pitfalls, traps, and other obstacles to fulfil their custodial duties. The main selling point of this game is that one of the friendly extraterrestrial custodians consumed a bottle of Black Hola Cola and filled their space suit with, to put it bluntly, some excess gasses. All that carbonation inflates the suit, which makes it too large and cumbersome to jump with or fit into small gaps, but it does make for a handy trampoline. Switching between one of the two tethered handy-aliens, and swapping all that pesky gas from one suit to another forms the core mechanic of the game, and the primary way in which the player navigates their environments.

Screenshot for Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition on Nintendo Switch

At some points later on, some of the puzzle layouts can be downright intimidating as the player searches for the proper path to take to their destination. The levels, though, never begin to feel stale or repetitive, as Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition does an excellent job of mixing in new elements with old ones to make each new puzzle feel like a distinct and interesting challenge.

While the design and layout of these levels is functionally satisfying, they are aesthetically lacking. The various puzzles are distributed into five different worlds, each of which contains nine puzzle levels, a boss-like final level, and a bonus level that can only be accessed by finding all of the collectable bottles of Black Hola Cola in each of the 10 previous levels. Within each world, the aesthetics of the puzzles are nearly identical. The aesthetics are further lacking when it comes to structure of the levels; despite going to five different worlds, you are always navigating on some form of space-scaffolding. This leaves little character within the levels, or even the worlds themselves, as there are only a few stylistic differences between the first, fourth, and fifth world, with the second and third having a bit more character.

Screenshot for Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition on Nintendo Switch

At some points later on, some of the puzzle layouts can be downright intimidating as the player searches for the proper path to take to their destination. The levels, though, never begin to feel stale or repetitive, as Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition does an excellent job of mixing in new elements with old ones to make each new puzzle feel like a distinct and interesting challenge.

While the design and layout of these levels is functionally satisfying, they are aesthetically lacking. The various puzzles are distributed into five different worlds, each of which contains nine puzzle levels, a boss-like final level, and a bonus level that can only be accessed by finding all of the collectable bottles of Black Hola Cola in each of the 10 previous levels. Within each world, the aesthetics of the puzzles are nearly identical. The aesthetics are further lacking when it comes to structure of the levels; despite going to five different worlds, you are always navigating on some form of space-scaffolding. This leaves little character within the levels, or even the worlds themselves, as there are only a few stylistic differences between the first, fourth, and fifth world, with the second and third having a bit more character.

Screenshot for Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition on Nintendo Switch

Even with some unfulfilling visuals, Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition provides a very engaging and challenging puzzle experience. Collecting each of the worlds' 30 soda bottles for their respective bonus levels is not an easy feat. The task can become especially difficult for those wanting to take these challenges on with a partner. As with other co-op puzzlers, the fun in each level is split between properly overcoming each challenge, and failing them on purpose to mess with your friend if favouring sabotage over co-operation. Whether taken on alone or with a friend, fans of puzzle games should find quite a bit to enjoy in this goofy, soda-filled occupational adventure.

Screenshot for Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Even with some unfulfilling visuals, Shiftlings: Enhanced Edition provides a very engaging and challenging puzzle experience. Collecting each of the worlds' 30 soda bottles for their respective bonus levels is not an easy feat. The task can become especially difficult for those wanting to take these challenges on with a partner. As with other co-op puzzlers, the fun in each level is split between properly overcoming each challenge, and failing them on purpose to mess with your friend if favouring sabotage over co-operation. Whether taken on alone or with a friend, fans of puzzle games should find quite a bit to enjoy in this goofy, soda-filled occupational adventure.

Developer

Rock Pocket

Publisher

Rock Pocket

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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