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Review: Mr. Shifty (Switch)

by on April 20, 2017
Release Date

April 13th, 2017 (Switch)


Developer: Team Shifty
Publisher: tinyBuild Games


Indie games don’t need to feature a lot of things that you would expect to find in a AAA game.  And honestly, its hard to expect an indie title to have the budget and capabilities to match exactly with AAA titles.  The key to success is really the key to every type of game – make the game fun.  If it’s fun, gamers will support it.  This is the case with Mr. Shifty, an fun and exhilarating indie title from Team Shifty.  It may not have all the bells and whistles of a big title, but the fun gameplay makes it a standout hit on the Nintendo Switch.

Mr. Shifty doesn’t exactly have a world class story.  You are a thief that must break into a highly secure facility.  You don’t have to rely on guns to make it through this building.  Mr. Shifty has teleportation powers.  Shifty teleports through walls and doors on approx. 18 different levels in the game.  Each level has some sort of destination to reach or a puzzle to solve before you go to the next level.  These puzzles were fairly easy and nothing groundbreaking.  While the puzzles are a little easy, the combat is the real winner in Mr. Shifty.

The teleportation powers let you do a ton of different things in the level.  The basic but fun move is to teleport through a wall and catch the enemy by surprise.  From there, you let your kung fu do the talking.  Each enemy is armed with at least a gun (and more as you get to later levels), and one bullet will kill you.  Of course, you can teleport through bullets and defeat the shooter.  You can chain attacks by teleporting to different enemies all over a room and wreaking havoc on them.  Keep in mind, you only have a certain amount of teleports.  They recharge really quickly, but you need to be careful on how you use them.  This is a great way to keep you from being too overpowered.

Shifty is a pretty awesome brawler.  Not only can he teleport and take out enemies, but he can also use the environment to his advantage.  For example, punching a door will send it flying towards an enemy and kill them.  You can pick up weapons to help you and throw them as well.  The enemy AI is not terribly smart, so there are times when you can teleport and confuse them, causing them to shoot each other.  I was able to mostly take out enemies by myself during my gameplay, but if you are clever enough, you can trick enemies into taking each other out.  This comes in handy towards the end of the game when you are fighting a ton of enemies.

The AI may not be too bright, but the levels themselves are challenging, especially as you get farther in the game.  This is important because your move set is really repetitive.  Each level will throw something new and challenging at you.  While the puzzles are fairly simple, the levels themselves are challenging.  And there is enough variety in each level so you can replay and try new strategies.


Mr. Shifty (as you can see in the gifs above) has a top down point of view.  Some say it looks a lot like Hotline Miami.  I would say the art design is a tiny bit better than Hotline, featuring some nice cell shading.  The demolition effects, or effects that occur when a desk breaks or when a door splinters, are clean.  It probably won’t win any graphic awards anytime soon, but it works.  It’s worth noting that I did hit a couple issues with the framerate, especially with levels featuring a lot of enemies.  It didn’t really effect my gameplay, but it’s worth noting.  Again, the real winner with Mr. Shifty is the gameplay.

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Mr. Shifty is a wonderful indie game with gameplay that makes you feel unstoppable.  It’s an exhilarating feeling when you take out enemies with teleportation.  The levels are challenging and, most importantly, it is extremely fun to play.  At $14.99, I can’t recommend Mr. Shifty enough.  The game will last you a few hours, but every minute is adrenaline fueled.


Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.

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Intense gameplay
Fun teleportation powers


Very minor framerate issues

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Mr. Shifty is a wonderful indie game with gameplay that makes you feel unstoppable. It's an exhilarating feeling when you take out enemies with teleportation. The levels are challenging and, most importantly, it is extremely fun to play. At $14.99, I can't recommend Mr. Shifty enough.

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