An Amorphous Buddy Comedy with…
“Shift Happens Download”
John Steinbeck may be the most notable American author to introduce the world to the archetypal friendship between big oafish guys and little Napoleonic smart mouths.
George and Lenny can be seen reinterpreted across cartoons, TV series, novels and video games.
Rayman and Globox; Banjo and Kazooie; Jak and Daxter, the list is long and varied.
“Shift Happens,” by klonkgames adds to this lineage and turns it on its head with Bismo and Plom.
The Dynamic Duo
The game is a simple puzzle platformer. The player controls one of the two main characters in online multiplayer, and alternates between both in single player.
The feel is akin to a Donkey Kong Country game, as a side-scroller that utilizes the buddy system, with similar humor to beloved Rareware titles.
It also draws on Portal 2’s color coordinated co-op and laboratory aesthetic.
Use Plom’s great size and weight to hold switches and throw Bismo into hard to reach areas.
It seems like a classic division of labor, however, due to the gelatinous nature of our heroes and some unspecified technology, they can exchange not only control but also weight.
When it suits the player, or when it’s necessary, Bismo can shift himself to Plom’s size, taking from Plom his girth, leaving Plom small and agile.
Shift in Perspective
The game-play is familiar, as it harkens back to the sidescrolling platformers of the 80’s and 90’s.
Even the innovation the game offers, the shift controls, are seamless and easy to grasp.
Some puzzles require the player and partner to switch midair to take advantage of the game’s physics and the level’s teeter-totters or trampolines.
As with any abstract sci-fi platformer, the characters must avoid lasers, acid, and swimming pools deeper than their height. Yet if at least one of your heroes survives an accident the other can revive their partner without losing a life.
There are different sized cubes to push and pull, weighted switched, force fields and anti-gravity beams that must be utilized to clear the levels.
Though the purpose of our cute protagonists’ quest is still a mystery they seem very excited by every victory.
Happens to the Best of Us
The game is colorful, detailed and flawless; the animation is smooth and develops the characters through wordless gestures, grunts, expressions and dances.
The player collects “precious” coins and rare cubes to obtain a better score in each level.
The purpose of these collectibles is, as of yet, un-clear but they provide a bit of competition in an otherwise cooperative game.
Depending on how you perform your character will dance and celebrate differently at the end of the level.
The game will ultimately have 4 unique worlds but only a portion of the first is available for download at this point.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for the release of this lovable game. Click on the Shift Happens Download link below to try the game out.