by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Number of players:
Anybody old enough to take themselves too seriously
In one line: shift the F from the name.
The game and gameplay
Shift is a game designed to open up your mind to new possibilities and potential awarenesses.
You begin with a little cylindrical token with three plastic doughnuts on it, meant to represent your defenses to new ideas. As you progress through the game, you ‘drop your defenses’ and become more open-minded.
Throw two dice. One is a regular die and tells you how may places you will move, depending on the outcome of the other die. If the other die shows Doubt, you’re stuck and do not move on that turn no matter what happens. If it shows Trust, then you move ahead.
Now you draw a card. There are four types of card: SHIFT (no wrong answers here and sometimes you get to do something potentialy fun, or potentially the most embarrassing thing in your life), Drop Your Defenses, Step Into Their Shoes (you decide if the statement is born from fear or love, though they are pathetically obvious to anybody with common sense); and Choose (choose which statement is love-based) cards.
All have some kind of dilemma, or choice, on them. The designers of the game claim there are no wrong answers — but in practise, you only move forward if you are open to the idea on the card and in fact, there ARE right and wrong answers.
An example: “You live in the past.” or “You live in the present.” The answer is the present, and if you get it “wrong” (even though there are supposed to be no wrong answers), you don’t move ahead. How’s that for open-minded?
“What I give away is no longer mine” or “What I give is a gift to me” — Shift
Wade begins every family outing with “Let’s hurry so we can get home.” — Step into their shoes
“What would anxiety smell like if it were cologne or perfume? Give it a name.” — Shift
“Tina and Ernesto share tasks. He folds the panties, she changes the oil.” — Step into their shoes
“Name a current disagreement you are involved in. Explain how the other person’s perspective can be real for them.” — Shift
Sing a favorite song out of tune. — Shift
Drop Your Defenses are even more bizarre. You often are asked to tell the group of a time you acted a certain negative way. That’s it! Then you remove a ring and place it on the board (at least this gets the stupid exercise over more quickly).
The winner of the Shift game is the person who gets to the end without their defense rings. You could make it more interesting by declaring the winner the person who uses the most colourful language to describe this terrible game.
ALL of these games are WAY, WAY better than SHIFT
Balderdash board game buyer’s guide
Beyond Balderdash board game
Apples to Apples board game
Catch Phrase game
Mad Gab board game
What’s a DAME to do?!
Pros and cons
There’s no getting away from it: Shift DOES impose its way of thinking on you and all claims to the contrary are totally hypocritical. Your suspicions will immediately be aroused when you open the box and find a small photocopied sheet explaining the manufacturer’s beliefs and why this should not stop you from enjoying the game.
It’s nicely packaged, that is one thing going for it. You could recycle the contents and use the box as a really pretty keepsake holder.
It’s rare for me to so totally dislike a game as I did the Shift game. It’s so simplistic, it’s impossible to enjoy. Some of the answers are totally obvious and those which are not have the annoying habit of declaring you “wrong”, despite the game’s rules stating the contrary.
The overwhelming conclusion I reached was, the designers are preaching to me. Either I agree with their mindset, or my “defenses” are up and I don’t “get” it.
Well, I could play a Christian-themed game and if the game is enjoyable, I wouldn’t need to be Christian to enjoy myself. Just as I don’t need to practise new-age thinking to know when I think a game is totally without merit.
My wife and I know one person who might enjoy this game. That person spends a lot of time talking about Angels. She even went to an Angel therapy course. So, draw your own conclusions about that.
Unless you take a lot of recreational drugs, it’s unlikely that this game will broaden your mind or prove insightful.
I really want to like new games and I hate giving bad reviews, but the Shift game is the biggest waste of resources I have ever come across. This is paper which could have been used as junk mail offering replacement windows I don’t need — that’s how awful Shift is. It gets one footprint because we don’t have a zero.