Shifts

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$1.99 - - v.1.2 - Developer Website







Shift 1

  • Graphics and Sound – 2.5/5

  • Strategy - 4/5

  • Fun - 3/5

  • Re-playability - 4/5

  • Overall - 3/5



by Karan Shah


Shifts is a turn based strategy game based on the post-apocalyptic world where five humans on a spaceship need to find an alternative home for survival. It’s a novel game that brings spaceship simulation to the iPad and while it has an engaging concept, it’s the implementation that leaves a lot to be desired.

Shift

Shifts starts with a short introduction that explains why you are mankind’s last hope. Your objective is to establish four colonies to win the game. You get to choose 3 or 4 actions per turn and you need to keep an eye on the Crises tray to ensure that your spaceship doesn’t crumble to pieces. There are plenty of crisis variables to take care of – Power, Integrity, ARKS and so on and you have a bunch of five officers that will help you take care of some of them. These officers work in shifts and they can be rested to increase healing capacities. Each game takes only around 10-20 minutes so, this is not a long form game where you continue in multiple sessions. While the whole plan sounds great on paper, it doesn’t feel the same while playing the game.

Firstly, the tutorial is extremely inadequate. It took me quite a while to figure out what each function did and yet, there were certain aspects of the game that went unexplained. For example, I couldn’t figure a way to reduce the ARKS corruption or replenish it. Secondly, the level ups for the specialists weren’t well documented, so it was difficult to understand how each officer helped in resolving the crisis with an upgrade to the next level. These seemingly minor problems added up to hamper the gameplay for Shifts, which is actually very difficult to win even once you've figured out the rules. Besides that, the visuals are basic, there's no animation just still images, but the sound effects and music give the game a futuristic feel.

All in all, Shifts is very unique, has a great concept and actually can be a fun game once you figure it out. But the poor tutorial and simple graphics will be difficult to get over for mobile players. If you like space simulation, and space board games like Battlestar Galactica (and don't mind reading up a lot of rules) then you will probably like this game. If you're looking for action, storyline, complex strategy then this might be a pass for you.

Pros

  • Interesting concept

  • Nice graphics


Cons

  • Poor tutorial

  • Unpolished gameplay


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