Video games have always been a favorite pastime of mine. However, working full time doesn’t allot me the time I need to get invested in a plot-driven game. I find nowadays I enjoy games I can pick up and put down at will, without feeling like I’ll forget something. Enter Shift Quantum, a puzzle leveler that provided me with just what I was looking for.
Shift Quantum is a puzzle game where the player must use logic to pass the level, or rage quit trying. It has a similar feel to the Portal series in that you manipulate the environment to win. In the case of Shift Quantum, this means shifting between the normal world and a flipped mirror world. Shifting between worlds allows the player to advance past obstacles that would be otherwise impossible. Luckily, shifting is incredibly easy to do, which means instead of worrying about controls the player has time to strategize.
The levels start out fairly simple, but very quickly become complex and difficult. As you progress you are given more things to manipulate besides just shifting. Additions such as blocks and layout changes give the player an added bonus while also creating an extra challenge. Obstacles like pitfalls provide just the right amount of danger to get the blood pumping while playing. Still, there are things in Shift Quantum that have the sole purpose of helping you. In some levels a mysterious girl appears to help you past obstacles to clear the level.
When it comes to video games, puzzlers aren’t my favorite. After working all day, I like to play video games to relax my brain, not make it work overtime. Given that, I really like Shift Quantum. The levels are tricky, but not impossible, so players can feel accomplished when they clear them. The addition of different manipulative items gives each level some variety. The only downside is the Shift Quantum has a lot of levels, so some layouts end up recycled.
A good sign of a good game is a good soundtrack, and Shift Quantum absolutely delivers in this regard. The techno-house music has a wicked bass and a beat I could (and did) listen to for hours. The quality in music helps make up for a lack of atmosphere. I understand why the levels aren’t more colorful; shifting into bright, negative colors would probably be atrocious to look at. Still, playing a level with the same color scheme over and over again grows boring after a while.
Despite its flaws, I highly recommend fans of puzzle games check out Shift Quantum. Shift Quantum is currently available for purchase in the Steam Store.