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Shift Happens Arrives on PC and Xbox One
February 23, 2017

Some games get me on their side right out of the gate, just by having a super clever title that I can't resist. Shift Happens is one of those games. I've never actually played it, but I love its name and you should too.

Shift Happens is more than just a title, though. It's a platformer that you can play with a friend. There are 40 stages, spread across four worlds, which I'm guessing (and available screenshots seem to confirm) is a clever way of saying that you get to see only four truly distinct environments and will spend about 10 stages in each one. But whatever. It sounds like the main draw here is the gameplay.

"With Shift Happens," said Robin Kocaurek, co-founder of Klonk Games, "we wanted to recreate our childhood memories of sitting on the couch eating pizza -- and playing co-op games for hours on end. We hope Shift Happens takes players back to a simpler time, when sibling-on-sibling rivalries and sweet retribution were very much a thing!"

They were a thing, too. I remember playing Battletoads and kicking my cousins into the lava in the third stage, because it's not like they were ever going to survive the speeder bike section that followed, and I might as well get my jollies where I could.

If you're a near-friendless sack of human being, like me, Klonk Games also has your back. There are 30 single-player levels that were designed specifically for the anti-social among us. Which suggests that the multiplayer levels will require meaningful teamwork. I would ask the PR guy for a review key and see for myself, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to talk anyone into playing the thing with me.

From the sound of things, players control Bismo and Plom, two blobs of ooze that were joined together in some sort of scientific experiment gone wrong. Now, they can use their unique capabilities to overcome obstacles such as chasms, heavy crates, pools of water, pressure plates, and so forth. There also is a lot of loot to collect, and if your friend should happen to meet an unfortunate accident (that surely isn't your doing), you can snag a bundle of goodies and beat the stage as a much wealthier blob.

"Shift happens," I can hear myself saying, as my former friend pummels me with my controller and leaves me a weeping mess on my blood-stained couch.

If you would like to try Shift Happens and test a few friendships of your own, here's some good news: the game is available for $14.99 on the Xbox store, as well as on various PC marketplaces (such as Steam and Humble Bundle). A PlayStation 4 version should arrive sometime next month, unless... shift happens. See? I just never get tired of that title!

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