A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Completing levels, posting a good score to the leaderboards as positive as it gets. The announcer ridicules the player, and the game goes for cheap laughs.
Positive Role Models
You play as aliens trying to fix the galaxy. No particular good or bad characteristics demonstrated; the aliens are just doing their jobs as janitors.
Ease of Play
Keyboard controls unintuitive; use of controllers much more responsive for solving puzzles. Levels get harder as play goes on.
Verbal, very tongue-in-cheek humor.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A television commentator drinks alcohol, smokes a cigar in one cut scene.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shiftlings is a downloadable platform-based puzzle game. The game contains sophomoric humor (farting), and the overall tone is very tongue-in-cheek. There are 50 levels of play that get progressively harder as players advance. Apart from the humor, which could turn off some, there's very little offensive content, save one cut scene where a character drinks and smokes a cigar.
Is It Any Good?
Shiftlings offers up a different take on the two-dimensional platform-puzzle-game genre. Since the two characters are attached by the air hose, and gas can be transferred back and forth to inflate a suit, teamwork and strategy have a strong role. Fifty levels of gameplay also are a plus, and it doesn't take long to up the ante, so to speak, in terms of difficulty. Visually, it's a pleasing game; the bright graphics and colorful levels are eye-catching, and if the galaxy is so broken that these two aliens need to fix it, at least they're fixing the pretty portions of the universe. The downside, though, is that the keyboard controls are anything but intuitive. At times, it feels like you're doing acrobatics with your fingers to hit the right key combos. When you combine this with the ever-increasing difficulty, you'll beg for a controller to simplify the gameplay. The tongue-in-cheek humor -- especially the fart jokes -- also gets stale after six levels or so. Overall, Shiftlings has a great look and is challenging, but some gaps steer it away from being exceptional.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.