(ags) Shifter’s Box – Start thinking inside the box. – AGS

ShiftersBoxSS01 Today we have another AGS created adventure game freebie, by Ben Chandler aka Ben304.  The game is called Shifter’s Box, Outside-In.  And we play the role of Sally.  Just a girl outside the city enjoying the wonders of nature.  To introduce us to Sally and her adventure and narrate the story is the framed, severed head of Ebenezer Leary a 19th century hobbyist and scientist.  Sally is just taking a walk, when she stumbles upon a box with a strange symbol.  She wonders what’s inside.  When she finally manages to open the box, she’s transported to another world.  On her adventures, Sally encounters strange worlds and interesting characters.  Can you help Sally Get home?

ShiftersBoxSS02 The interface is really easy to use.  Simply right click or left click on any item that’s highlighted.  If there’s no item to interact with Sally will move to the spot that you left click.  You pick up an item in the inventory with the left mouse button.  To replace it just use the right mouse button anywhere in the scene (not in the inventory, as that won’t work.)  The games worlds are played on a single screen, so no hunting where another room might be.  The game is delightfully short, able to be completed in less than an hour (more-or-less as I didn’t really pay attention to the time).  The puzzles are well executed, and for the most part won’t leave you stuck (except the puzzle with the cat in it, I had to actually look up that one because it wasn’t really obvious to me).  You can’t actually get stuck in the game, that is, there’s nothing in the game that you can’t go back to if you don’t have an item you need.  There’s also no dying in this game.  The dying issue has been debated for decades, but it’s clearly a design choice when one decides to use it or not to use it.ShiftersBoxSS03
The sound effects are interesting but are meant to sound electronic as they’re trying to give the retro feeling.  The music, unfortunately, is in my opinion, not very good.  They’re executed well enough, and it’s clear the person that did the music knows what he’s about, but the music tracks were too abstract for me to truly enjoy them.  The one bright side to the music really is the end credits song, it’s pretty funny (I don’t know if it’s intended to be or not).  The graphics are where this game shines (not that the rest isn’t good as well).  Ben Chandler is generally an artist (I don’t know if he’s professionally one or not, but on the whole most of it is pretty good).  There are different colors for the different worlds, and the game is decidedly low res to appeal to those nostalgic to the genre.  Some colors to me are odd choices(such as Sally’s green hair), however, but most of the time they’re pleasant.  The animations are adequate but nothing special (sorry Ben, but I guess I was too wrapped up in the game itself to notice the animations themselves).ShiftersBoxSS04

All-in-all an enjoyable experience.  Ben sort of leaves this open for sequels (I won’t spoil it, but you’ll see what I mean when you finish).  So, Ben, will Sally see any more adventures, or is this the only one we’ll see?


Name: Shifter’s Box, Outside-In

Developer: Ben Chandler

Price: Free

Final Analysis:  A fun adventure, nice (even cute) graphics, solid puzzles.  You should give it a go.

Where to get it: The AGS page for Shifter’s Box.

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2 Responses to “(ags) Shifter’s Box – Start thinking inside the box. – AGS”

  1. Ben304 says:

    Thanks for the review, Keith!

    As far as the graphics go, no I am not a professional illustrator, just some guy who likes to draw pictures.

    As far as music goes, Sebastian generally makes strange tunes when I draw strange things, and I drew a lot of strange things in the game.

    On the topic of sequels – no promises. I am glad to hear you enjoyed the game but!

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