Back left
Back right

Mr. Shifty Nintendo Switch Game Review

Reviewed by on Apr 28, 2017
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Though lacking the polish and precision of its inspiration, Mr. Shifty is far from being Hotline Miami Jr. Check out Kidzworlds thoughts on the new Switch title.

By: Max Cannon

Zipping through Mr. Shifty’s roughly 4-hour campaign reveals flashes of greatness that don’t quite stack up to the inspirations it so clearly wears on its sleeve. This top-down action game gets some decent mileage out of its core teleportation mechanic but around the halfway mark Mr. Shifty has exhausted every worthwhile trick up its sleeve. Still, Team Shifty has delivered a game that’s stylish, thrilling, and consistently challenging.

Seemingly endless waves of enemies are constant throughout the game.Seemingly endless waves of enemies are constant throughout the game.Courtesy of Team Shifty

Shifting with Style

Our titular hero, the silent Mr. Shifty, is heisting after Mega Plutonium in Olympus Tower, the most secure facility on Earth. That comic book quality plot is mirrored by your Nightcrawler-esque Nightcrawler-esque powers. With the press of a button, Mr. Shifty will teleport a few feet forward to deliver a swift punch, pass through a wall, or evade an attack. Equally as simple, combat is limited to a single button to throw a punch, strike with a melee weapon, or hurl a projectile. Each attack landed will fill up a colored meter that, when full, will slow time down if a bullet with your name on it is headed your way.

As king of the genre, it’s easy to draw comparisons to Dennaton’s Hotline Miami and Mr. Shifty wears its influence proudly (eagle-eyed fans may notice that both games have named their 13th stage “Assault.”) But while Hotline Miami was a violent mess that focused on sticking to a plan conceived through trial and error, Mr. Shifty’s PG world is often forgiving enough to let players chaotically punch-and-pop their way through most encounters on their first try.

Like our favorite Dark Knight, Mr. Shifty is a firearm free kind of guy.Like our favorite Dark Knight, Mr. Shifty is a firearm free kind of guy.Courtesy of Team Shifty

Short, Sweet, and Very Satisfying

Punches feel satisfying and narrowly evading death delivers constant thrills. A few of the game’s puzzles will demand the use of a well-placed throw which doesn’t control quite as well as the rest of game but you can often get by with simple melee attacks.

Evading a room full of lasers, explosives, and trip-mines is simple enough when you’re taking on one threat at a time but later stages will start to throw everything but the kitchen sink at you. Enemies are varied and learning the difference between a pink-shirted brawler and a purple shotgun wielding baddie can drastically shape your plan of attack. Keeping awareness of your surroundings is the key to staying alive in Olympus Tower. Those explosive barrels that could’ve brought your demise earlier could easily take out a row of enemies trailing behind you.

Mr. Shifty - Nintendo Switch Trailer


Performance is the strongest enemy working against Mr. Shifty. On the Nintendo Switch version of the game, Mr. Shifty is constantly bumping into some serious slowdown and a crash forced me to replay an entire level toward the end of the campaign. Each punch seems to hurt the game’s frame rate — whether docked or handheld — and when a room fills with enemies the Switch won’t be able to keep up with the action. Jumping from room to room will also bring up a short, but noticeable, loading screen and when similar games will have you back into the action immediately those 2 or 3 seconds between death and a respawn begin to add up.

The campaign took me a bit over 4 hours to complete which fits nicely next to the $14.99 price tag but doesn’t jive so well with the game’s pacing. Around the middle of the game, Mr. Shifty feels like it’s ready to wrap up but continues on for long enough to nearly overstay its welcome. And once you’re finished with the story there really isn’t much reason to return unless you’d like to give the campaign another go.

Lasers, explosives, and other traps are constant threats in Olympus Tower.Lasers, explosives, and other traps are constant threats in Olympus Tower.Courtesy of Team Shifty

Final Thoughts

Team Shifty’s debut title could be the beginning of something great. While performance issues are prevalent, Mr. Shifty’s gameplay is quick, stylish, and exciting, even if the pacing loses some momentum in the latter half. For those gamers looking for a non-Zelda related reason to turn on their Switch, you wouldn’t be making a mistake by trying Mr. Shifty.


  • Thrilling Gameplay
  • A More Family-Friendly Hotline Miami


  • Pacing Missteps
  • Performance Issues

Mr. Shifty Game Rating:4

Available for Nintendo Switch

Mr. Shifty for Nintendo SwitchMr. Shifty for Nintendo SwitchCourtesy of Nintendo
Have Your Say!

Does Mr. Shifty look like a fair addition to the Switch's library or does Zelda still have its hooks in you? Share your thoughts below!