Saturday, March 31

Review: Warp Shift [Nintendo Switch eShop]

One of the strengths that is already helping the diversity of the Switch lineup, and that will continue to make it a more widely accessible console, is the system’s touchscreen. While the mobile and tablet market is awash with garbage, without a doubt, there are games from some genres that are well worth checking out, especially in the casual and puzzle game space. While these may not always appeal to hardcore fans they do represent inclusiveness for a wider audience and the use of the touchscreen in handheld mode is absolutely the key to success in that area. Warp Shift, a clever puzzler with great ideas and a terrific look, is one of those titles coming over from the mobile space and if you’re a puzzle fan it’s absolutely worth checking out.

In the game you control a girl, Pi, who is paired with a small robotic cube and is trying to escape a series of mazes to get home. For the most part everything is quite intuitive but it helps that there’s not much complexity to it either. You need to either move cube-shaped rooms around by row or column to line up openings between them. Your goal is ultimately to get to the exit portal, just as you progress through the 5 worlds and 75 levels the difficulty in getting there will continue to grow with multiple door colors and added mandatory stops along the way.

While the game is certainly playable in docked mode using the controller when compared to play on the touchscreen it’s plain slow. This is a game meant to be played in handheld mode and everything is silky smooth and easy about it, simply leaving you to solve the puzzles. While getting to the exit isn’t necessarily hard, the challenge is in getting there by making as few total moves as possible. You’ll be scored up to 3 stars depending on how efficient you can be and in order to unlock the next world there’s always a minimum number of stars you’ll need, though in general this is pretty reasonable and allows for not nailing every room completely.

Though perhaps a pretty mellow puzzling experience isn’t what everyone is seeking out if you’re looking for a soothing break between much more hectic fare Warp Shift is a great candidate. Even among other puzzle games on the platform there’s a carefree essence to it that is refreshing. With great looks, a pace you set for yourself, and puzzles that can be far more tricky than the game’s appearance would imply it’s great for pondering on the couch after a tough day.

Score: 8

  • Looks fabulous
  • Performs wonderfully with the touchscreen and workable in docked mode
  • You’ll need to get as many stars as you can to progress but not an unreasonable amount either

  • May be too sedate for people in search of excitement