Mr. Shifty reminded me a whole lot of Hotline Miami when I first played it. I came away from my E3 demo amazed. Developer Team Shifty took the exemplary gameplay from Hotline Miami, tweaked a few things, added a new warping ability to the character to make the game unique, and ported the game to Nintendo Switch. Surely, this would be an excellent indie release on Nintendo?s newest platform"
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as great as I had hope. An hour into the full download version, the novelty of Mr. Shifty wore off. The game features top-down punching gameplay with intuitive warping mechanics. Yes, warping around levels was immensely satisfying for the entirety of the game, as was knocking out dozens of enemies in each level, but the game came up short in both design and performance.
Through the beginning levels of the game, Team Shifty does well introducing new mechanics and enemies. By mid game, players face off against regular gunners, flamethrower-wielders, swordsmen, and a variety of other enemies. Unfortunately, after this point, the developers run out of new mechanics and ideas. For the remainder of the title, it felt as if each level was harder only because of an increasing number of enemies, not necessarily because of a more difficult skill curve. Mr. Shifty is not a particularly long game, perhaps a four-hour playthrough on average, but the title still felt like it could be about 30 percent shorter and still show off everything it has to offer.
There were some other jarring decisions the developers made that prevented it from reaching its full potential. For example, on occasion, Mr. Shifty can pick up melee weapons enemies drop to use against them. At one point, Mr. Shifty can use everything from a katana to a broom to decapitate enemies. However, I never understood why picking up enemy weapons was only limited to melee items. It seems that if the player were allowed to pick up guns or flamethrowers or any one of the myriads of weapons i...