At first glance, the Windows Phone game Shift may not be very impressive. It is a game of tic-tac-toe so it cannot be that challenging of a game, right?
While Shift is a tic-tac-toe game for Windows Phone 8, the game adds an interesting twist to the game. Game play is done in match style where you have to be the first to win three games, but you have to win by two games. Game play has a continuous pace until someone wins the match, which gives Shift that twist to make it stand out a little.
Shift is a fun, casual game for your Windows Phone gaming library and the twist in game play helps give the game a little staying power.
When you first launch Shift, the game will walk you through a series of tutorial screens that outline game play. Shift is a simple game of tic-tac-toe with each game win earning you a point. The goal is to be the first to earn three points (or wins) but you have to win by two points.
You can play against the computer or enjoy a two player game (pass and play style) and as one game of tic-tac-toe is complete, the game board will shift left, right, up or down to create a new game. The game will automatically shift when a draw or "cat's game" is reached (no winner).
The game shifts can leave player's marks on the board, which at times can give one player an advantage over the other.
While game play is simple, yet challenging, Shift does have a settings menu that is accessible from the gaming screen (the gear symbol in the bottom left corner).
Settings for Shift include switching from the two-player and single player game, increase the computer's gaming skills, turning on/off the game sound and re-play the tutorial.
The 'bot skill level is set mid-level by default and moving it to the extreme or "bring it on" side of the scale is almost punishing. The easier or "take it easy" side of the scale is perfect for younger players.
Shift is a simple game of tic-tac-toe and the shifts that occur during game play helps give the game a slight edge. While Shift may not be your first choice of games when you are in the mood for lengthy gaming sessions, it isn't a bad choice when you need help passing shorter bits of time.
Shift is also a good gaming title for your Windows Phone Kid's Corner and the two-player mode may save you a few napkins at the restaurant when your child challenges you to a tic-tac-toe match.
While the game may not have a lot of bells and whistle, Shift is an entertaining version of the classic tic-tac-toe game. Shift is a free game that is available for Windows Phone 8 and you can find your copy of Shift here in the Windows Phone Store.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.