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How are you going to get them all?

OneShift – Game Review

Format: PC (tested)

Released: August 2018

Freeze, Twist and Move

OneShift’s title is a lie. Over the course of the games 90 levels, there are literally about 2 levels that contain only one shift! This is a good thing though as OneShift is a beautifully balanced puzzle platformer that will test your mind and your timing too.

How are you going to get them all?

You control your character (Mr Bones is my favourite!) on a simple square platform and your goal in each level is to collect the crystals that are on each level. However, there is more than one version of the level at play at once – and you need to freeze time and ‘shift’ between these plains with the shoulder buttons and unfreeze time to continue your journey on the next plain. This will quickly mean you’ll make a jump, pause, shift, unpause, land and move to your next point. It’s a simple premise once you’ve done it a few times and the difficulty curve really supports building your knowledge as it adds new layers upon each level. Before long you’ll have 5 plains to shift to and crystals on different plains to collect as you use bounce pads, jumps, avoid barriers and manoeuvre your way to your goal.

OneShift reminds me of Echochrome, but static

At halfway the game switches gears to add another game mechanic which then allows you to shift your perspective too, rotating the entire square around to see things you couldn’t see before. This reminds me of the superb PS3 game Echochrome where the puzzles are all about perspective. OneShift is at its most fiendish when you have plains and perspectives working in tandem because not only do you have to work out what to do, but then get the timing right to do it. Thankfully your character handles predictably and that really helps. Similarly, if you freeze time and try to unfreeze it whilst your head is in another plains wall, the game won’t let you – so it’s always fair and helpful. The game can be played by keyboard but is way easier with a controller and I must commend how minimalistic but well put together the entire game is too.

A copy of the game was provided by the developer for review.

Final Thoughts
OneShift is an excellent puzzle game that challenges both your mind and your dexterity. I really enjoyed my time with it and it's trial and error approach that makes you feel like each puzzle can be achieved and you get real satisfaction each time you complete a level. You know when a game is that good when the only negative you have is that you wanted even more of it and OneShift is hardly lacking content. The sleeper hit puzzler of 2018 so far.
Two very distinctive gameplay mechanics that work perfectly separately and in tandem.
Predictable physics and movement aids your quest.
Excellent difficulty curve keeps things interesting without blowing your mind.
Could have done with a few levels that mix both gameplay mechanics together.
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