Shift Quantum, the official successor to classic indie Flash game series Shift, has been released today for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The cyber-noir action-puzzle platformer has you navigating a black and white maze using a shift mechanic to invert the world and overcome obstacles in a dystopian world where programming gives people happiness.
If you’ve seen gameplay of Shift Quantum and find it familiar, it’s likely because you played the game that it originated from, Shift, on a Flash game website during
a break at work or on a particularly boring evening. Shift Quantum‘s ‘Shift’ mechanic, which involves inverting the black-and-white world to modify gravity, create negative spaces, and avoid traps, comes straight from the original Armor Games-published title. There’s also a fully-fledged editor that allows you to make your own levels and share them across platforms.
It’s evolved a hell of a lot since it began in 2008 thanks to developer Antony Lavelle. For starters, the game now has a fully in-depth story. Shift Quantum takes place in a dystopian ‘world of tomorrow,’ where citizens are connected to programs developed by Axon Vertigo, “the world’s leading authority and most trusted friend in cerebral contentedness programming.” You are subject 32763, and you’ve been plugged into Shift Quantum, the company’s latest version of an immersive experimentation system.
The black-and-white art style, while serving as an aid to understanding the core mechanic of the game, is also visually striking and works perfectly within the game’s cyberpunk dystopian setting. This is complemented by a dark and moody cyber-noir soundtrack co-composed by Volkor X and Simon Felix, who each composed a song in response to the others in what Red Panda Interactive has called a “call-and-answer” format. All of the game’s elements from mechanics to design to narrative play off of the theme of contrast in a very effective and impactful way.
I played Shift Quantum at EGX Rezzed earlier this year, and the little experience I had left me craving more. If it piques your interest as much as it did mine, you can pick it up now on Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PS4.