Mr Shifty (Review) Nintendo Switch

Mr Shifty (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Mr Shifty by tinyBuld Games is a top-down beat ’em up where the player takes on the role of would-be thief Mr. Shifty, as he uses his teleport ability to obtain a plutonium core from a thug-infested high rise building. The game is a combination of Die-Hard Arcade and Hotline Miami, as the player runs from one room to the next dodging bullets, attacking NPCs and pulling levers to solve trap-based puzzles.

The first few levels of Mr. Shifty are spent learning the controls, understanding (and utilizing) Mr. Shifty’s teleport ability, and being guided by informant Nyx, as the player battles a group of gun wielding enemies. These early levels are simple in design, and the objective is to survive and reach the exit (designated by a green, glowing door) at the far end of each level.

The game’s difficulty ramps up rather quickly, though, when the player realizes that the plutonium core is located elsewhere in the high rise, and not at the location designated by informant Nyx.

From there, the player must explore a total of 18 levels that contain a variety of hazards, including lasers, gun turrets and a force field that prevents Mr. Shifty from teleporting, among others. Since the gameplay is fast-paced and requires quick thinking, the player must devise numerous strategies to survive each scenario. For example: during one of the game’s earlier levels, Mr Shifty can run by gun turrets and redirect their missiles by ‘teleporting’ to the desired location. This also works on large groups of enemies that are difficult to kill.

During the more challenging levels, the player must learn to improvise when Mr Shifty’s ‘teleport’ ability is hindered by a force field. When this happens, the player must play a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with each enemy, luring them to a safe location before dispatching them. Since the environment can be destroyed, the player can use debris such as barrels, canisters and wood as either melee or projectile weapons, to name just a few. While this ‘weapon’ system is limited (i.e. a wooden plank tends to splinter after a couple of well-timed blows), it adds just enough variety to keep things interesting.

Combat is full of heart-pounding, nonstop action, as the player punches and teleports their way through large groups of gun-wielding thugs and imposing strongmen. By rapidly pressing Y button, the player will unleash a flurry of punches that will knock down most foes. In some cases, the game encourages the player to teleport around the enemies and attack from behind. It all boils down to the type of enemies occupying the level and how many there are. For example: enemies that carry shotguns are too dangerous to approach head on. The buckshot spread is too wide; dodging it can be very difficult. If Mr. Shifty does successfully dodge a bullet, the action will slow down just enough for the player to escape or retaliate.

When played in handheld mode, Mr. Shifty tends to experience random performance issues (i.e. a drop in frame rate) when too many enemies appear on screen. It’s not enough to affect the gameplay, but it is noticeable (especially when the player is fighting). This issue is not present when the Switch is docked, though.

Mr. Shifty is a solid beat ’em up thanks to its hard-hitting combat system, fast-paced gameplay, and thought-provoking puzzles. If you haven’t already, add Mr. Shifty to your library of Nintendo Switch games today; you won’t be disappointed.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Team Shifty
Publisher: Tiny Build
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $14.99

Mr Shifty Official Website:

Review Score
While lacking in detail, the cel-shaded graphics give Mr Shifty a unique, cartoonish look.
Ear-pounding sound effects and a rockin' soundtrack enhance the experience..
Combat is full of heart-pounding, nonstop action.
Mr. Shifty is a solid beat 'em up that is worth the price of admission.
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