Shifts Review – A good 1-person board game for iPad

On March 18, 2013

App Type: Uncategorized

Shifts Review – A good 1-person board game for iPad

Our rating:

By: Threadbare Games

Version #: 1.2

Date Released: 2012-12-28

Developer: Threadbare Games, Inc

Price: 1.99

User Rating:

I always have mixed feelings with board games developed for iPad. They can be anywhere from awesome to an utterly mess. Shifts comes in-between. Read on!

In Shifts, your task is to find 4 colonizable planets for the last ship of the human race, after a deadly revolt/failure of the robotic AIs. You need to manage your 5 crewmembers, each having a special power by putting them on shift and getting them out of shift.

Let’s put it more clearly. As Douglas Adams said, Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. Shifts also adds another point. Space is out there to get you. As you travel for your colonizable planets, your engines will stop working. Your hull will breach. The DNA of your settlers will fail. Your robots will revolt.

Each of your crewmembers can repair one of these problems, but they get tired after each shift… And things only get more complicated after this. The game is a simpler, streamlined version of the Battlestar Galactica board game, where space is also there to get you (well, the Cylons are, at least.)

In Shifts, each game lasts only 10-15 minutes, so it’s an easy pick-and-play game. On the other hand, even if the universe is procedurally generated, gameplay gets dull after 3 or 4 games. As soon as you win a few games you can get tired of it. Or not, depends on your personal tastes.

In short: My feeling is that Shifts needs something “more,” but it’s a very good 1-person pick-and-play board game for iPad.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Maybe

Learning Curve:Medium

Who Is It For:Board game geekers

What I Like:It's a good 1-person game

What I Don't Like:It's a little "flat" at moments. Needs something more

Final Statement:A good solo game for iPad

Read the Developer's Notes:
Lost in space with the last five humans in the entire universe, it’s up to you to guide them through the stars. Find habitable planets and colonize them with creation engines before your nanoVirus-infected arkship self-destructs.

Game Features:

Chances are, space will get you killed. Make smart tactical decisions and you just might save the human race. Play recklessly and humanity dies with you.

Your ship’s artificial intelligence just might go insane. The thruster reactors leak and the hull is cracking from the stress of intergalactic flight. Your robots need constant maintenance, and pesky nanobots are trying to corrupt the creation engines and break the ship apart. Manage your resources carefully or there’s no tomorrow.

Every member of your crew has been engineered to give the arkship a special power. Activate those powers by connecting crew to the ship’s artificial intelligence (interfacing).

Assign non-interfaced crew to shifts. Every crew member is armed with a different speciality to deal with the arkship’s growing list of problems. Decide who’s on shift and when to keep the arkship from falling apart. But be warned, your symbiotic crew members will grow fatigued if you keep them from interfacing with the artificial intelligence for too long.

Look, space is a very big place. There’s no reason to play (or die) in the same place twice.

Article By

Ruben Berenguel is finishing his PhD in Mathematics while writing in about being a 'geek of all trades'. He also happens to be the senior editor in the What's on iPhone network: any complaints go to him!

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