Choice Provisions helps bring the Shift series back to 3DS in America and Europe.
The 3DS eShop game Shift DX was originally released in Japan last year before being brought overseas by Choice Provisions. This simple platformer is reliant on a single mechanic: the titular shifting. At the press of a button, your little white character on a black background goes through the floor to become a black character on a white background, revealing an entirely new series of obstacles and platforms in the process. Over the 100+ levels, this concept is chewed and twisted, spitting out all sorts of mind-bending dilemmas that require you to think about how the single screen map would look like inverted, rotated, and flipped. Even when the challenge is low, Shift DX still makes solving puzzles feel rewarding as you deftly move through the stages, toying with the perception and gravity.
This package contains all of the levels from Shift 1 and 2 (originally Flash games that were later brought to iOS), as well as more than 100 brand new ones. Progression requires you to beat the levels in order, which can be frustrating if you get stumped on any given level. When beaten, each level is unlocked in Challenge, where you can venture to complete each stage in a set amount of jumps and shifts. Along the way through these modes, you unlock different visual styles and avatars. My personal favorite is the Commander Video avatar that even has a rainbow trail that trails him every time you move.
In addition to all that, a robust Level Editor lets you build and then share levels (using QR codes). The creation tools are extremely intuitive and easy to use in a way that would Mario Maker’s toolset nod with respect. Much like Nintendo’s own platformer creator, it’s easy to make a simple level, but you need to really sink your teeth in to make an engaging level. The ease of sharing via QR codes is a nice addition.
Shift DX is a no-nonsense platformer with simplistic graphics, single-screen puzzles, and straightforward progression. The focus on shifting shows the depth of that concept, as the levels rarely feel stagnant and regularly add new twists as you go deeper. This is a fun platformer that’s easy to get lost in.