DEVELOPER: tinyBuild Games
PREVIEWED ON: Steam
You can’t really go wrong with a tinyBuild title these days. The independent publisher has managed to keep people on their toes with insane games that you’d swear were being programmed by a comic book fan living on a lifetime supply of Jolt Cola. Seriously, after titles like Punch Club, Hello Neighbor, Clustertruck and Party Hard, it’s hard to find a company as fun and geeky as them. Which made me super excited to get a preview copy of their latest title, Mr. Shifty.
Mr. Shifty is the name of your teleporting-badass hitman because he can shift from spot to spot. You’ll use this ability to get the drop on people and beat them up in two or three punches, clearing out complete floors of goons and taking elevator rides to the next area. You’re navigating through Olympus Tower, which is said to be the most secure building in the world. Along with the hacking skills of your friend Nyx, you’ll make your way up to the top to steal back some Mega Plutonium and defeat the “evil asshole” Chairman Stone.
The teleportation mechanic is pretty simple, not as complex as you might find in Portal or Dishonored, but it works for the dropdown field of play. You have a small dot in front of you that dictates where you teleport to, nothing more than a few feet, but enough to get you around a room and through certain walls. A small meter bar at the bottom shows you how much teleportation power you have. You have to make quick decisions while also conserving energy before the meter runs out. It does recharge as you go, and there is an abundance of dropped items that can be turned into weapons. After a while, you’ll feel like Nightcrawler in X2, which makes the ability much more fun than other games where it’s treated as either a mode of transportation or a mechanic for the real goal.
The preview beta is all sorts of awesome, within moments of starting it, I received an achievement called “Yippie Ki Yay” for throwing an enemy out of a window. How can you not appreciate that kind of reference? The graphics are pretty tight as they give that feeling of being inside a comic book, and the soundtrack makes you feel unstoppable as you plow through hoards of enemies. This is going to be one of those quick fun games you play for laughs.
Mr. Shifty is slated to come out sometime in the second quarter of 2017. There’s no word on whether or not the game will be on consoles yet, but the Steam version plays like a dream. It’s going to be interesting to see if tinyBuild ups the difficulty or adds in much more story than what the current beta had to offer, but so far this version has no bugs and feels like it should be released today. For now, I’m sold on this indie title and I can’t wait to try the full version.