Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
Sony’s Minis brand of games often go unnoticed, be it the weak marketing they get or the stigma of being priced higher than they should be. There are those rare occasions where one really stands out, yet suffers from one or both of the afore-mentioned issues. The latest release under the Minis label is Shift Extended, an extremely simple puzzle game that is quick to learn, offers quite a bit of content, but is hampered by one glaring problem that will ultimately be the reason so many people will not experience it.
The concept behind Shift Extended is simple: you are a subject in a number of different tests and your objective is to reach the exit as quickly as possible. Since you exist in a black and white world, you are either black or white and you interact with the environment as such. When white, you can walk on white environments and when black, you have the ability to walk on black ones. Manipulating the environment by switching your perspective from Black to White and vice-versa will get you to the goal.
This concept is extremely simple to grasp; the only controls outside of moving and jumping is using the Left and Right buttons to change your perspective. Thankfully, as you progress, new environment types and objects begin to appear which will be required to ‘trigger’ or overcome in order to reach the exit.
Spikes, locked sections, moving platforms and other tangibles get introduced over time. Thus, manipulating the environment is important in moving around, finding the necessary triggers to unlock sections and/or allowing you to hop over obstacles that would otherwise spell your doom.
The level of challenge is gradually increased and never comes at you all of sudden where frustration can potentially get the better of you. Every puzzle can be solved in a number of different ways and this allows for multiple replays. There is a scoring system, but it doesn’t really give you any real parameters as to how it is calculated. However, pass this off to a friend and the two of you can compare your scores and try to out-do each other.
Unfortunately, the one thing that really hurts Shift Extended isn’t what it offers, but how much it costs. At 3.99, it is extremely over-priced, regardless of the number of levels available. The simple visuals and sound, although functionable, won’t wow anyone and there is nothing else outside of the core levels. This game could be easily ported to any mobile phone and be a smash hit at $0.99 or even $1.99. At its current asking price, most people will have a sour taste in their mouth or will avoid it altogether.
Shift Extended is a great puzzle game put in a serious disadvantage because of its pricing structure. At its current price-point, it’s hard to recommend it outside of those who absolutely adore puzzle games. If this was offered at half of its initial price, it would easily be a must-buy. It’s sad that good games like this will go unnoticed because someone has decided they should over-charge rather than enticing newcomers to the platform with a more reasonable asking price.
+ Fun puzzles that gradually get more challenging as you progress
+ Interesting Visuals
- No real information regarding the levels’ scoring system
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Release Date : 2011/01/26
System : PSP
Publisher : Zallag
Developer : Zallag
Category : Platformer
ESRB : E10+
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