You know what’s a great game? Hotline Miami, a brutally difficult top-down experience which doesn’t hold back. You know what’s a great movie scene? That bit from X-Men 2 where Nightcrawler goes on a teleporting rampage throughout the White House. Wouldn’t it be cool if the two got together with one of the better stick-fighting scenes from Kung Fu Hustle and had a baby?
If you’re wondering how such a union would go down, wonder no more: The result of that threesome does exist. It’s called Mr Shifty, and it’s…well, it’s damn good fun so far. Alessandro is busy playing it on the Nintendo Switch right now, whereas I’m giving it a bash on PC. What’s it about? You’re a thief, there’s a building that you’re stuck inside of and the security detachment present firmly believes in quantity over quality.
Any other thief would be screwed in that scenario. Mr Shifty, isn’t any other thief however. He’s literally always a step ahead of any danger, thanks to some nifty teleporting skills that can pay the bills. Does Mr Shifty liberally borrow a few ideas from Hotline Miami? It certainly does, but it’s own mix of beat ‘em up fisticuffs and teleportation make it feel like an entirely different product. There’s a certain flow and ebb to the gameplay, that makes it stand even further apart from its inspiration.
A flow that usually leaves your underarms moist and your controller cracked with the pressure of your grip when the crap hits the fan. Mr Shifty never takes itself seriously either, as the goal of the entire game is simple enough: Get in, steal some stuff and punch whoever stands in your way. Each room is a puzzle of action and stealth, requiring either pitch-perfect timing or some strategy to deal with the goons present, but also highly encouraging of you to take more reckless measures during your heist. Quite refreshing actually.
We’re still busy with the game, but we’ll have a review up soon enough. It’s out today on PC and the Nintendo Switch.