Shifting World
| Shifting World

You've probably played at least one title in the Shift browser / smartphone game series, or, at the very least, you're aware of it. Since its birth back in 2008, the black and white platformer has been reincarnated almost a dozen different times on iOS, PSN, and PC.

With the graphical implications of the game's shifting mechanism, a Nintendo 3DS version with stereoscopic 3D integrated excited us greatly.

Unfortunately, the transition to handheld console hasn't gone especially smoothly for the silhouetted star of Shifting World, with buggy controls and trial and error gameplay altering our perception of the series for the worse.

Hold Shift to run

In Shifting World, you play a detective who receives a mysterious invitation to enter an old mansion. Inside the mansion, you discover a whole new dimension where you can switch upside-down and the blackspace that you were walking on abruptly turns into free-roaming space.

The idea is that whenever you hit a dead end, you can shift the perspective, meaning that you're suddenly at the top of an obstacle, rather than the bottom. This is the series's tried-and-tested formula for success, and it still works just as seamlessly as it ever did.

There are plenty of extra bits and pieces to keep the puzzles fresh, too, as you try to reach the door on each level. You may find switches which open new pathways, or encounter special pads that you need to 'shift' on to create new space.

Shifting World is very stylish, managing to look great despite the lack of colour. The stereoscopic 3D effect isn't anything incredible, mind you, but it definitely provides a bit of depth to the game.


While the gameplay in Shifting World is very similar to that found in its iOS and Flash counterparts, the way in which it holds your hand all the way through is grating.

For a good portion of the game, arrows stuck to walls and floors show you exactly where to go, and if you eventually do get stuck, you can just keep shifting over and over in different spots until you find the right solution.


In later levels, spikes are introduced, and if you touch said spikes, you're instantly taken all the way back to the start of the level. That wouldn't be too much of a problem, except for one noteworthy issue - the jump button doesn't work properly.

Every so often, your character will simply refuse to jump, and you'll walk straight into a pit of spikes or down a hole. For a platforming game, having your jump button work 100 per cent of the time is rather crucial.

Shifting World could have been a must-have 3DS release if these issues had been ironed out. As it is, the popular Armor Games series's shift to 3DS is flawed.

Shifting World

The fact that Shifting World's flaws are so easily fixable makes this release all the more frustrating
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.