Protoshift – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Reflex
Developer: Reflextions
Publisher: Black Shell Media
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Protoshift – Review

Site Score
Good: Simple, Music, Oddly enough not annoying
Bad: Hardly any content, Graphics could have been better
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

For years now, more and more games are going live, with the concept of ‘testing your reflexes’. While many of these games have migrated to mobile platforms, there are still some that reach Steam, and Protoshift is one of them. At first, like many other reflex games, Protoshift looked yet another game that would immediately get on your nerves, but we were proven wrong. It seems simplicity is not always a bad thing, especially when it’s supported by a great musical experience.



As this game only revolves around guiding a little square through several gates, in order to rack in points, there is no story present in Protoshift. This is pretty much a pure arcade experience, thus it does not really need an elaborate plot for it to be appealing.


Graphically Protoshift is very underwhelming, as the game looks like it has been made with a very old version of Flash. You’ll only be treated to a simple black square, a few flashy background colors and simple gates which you’ll have to cross in order to keep your square-ish friend alive. In some ways this game is reminiscent to a very simple looking Flappy Bird.

While arguably a game like this doesn’t need a very wide color palette, high definition graphics or top notch designs, it would have been nice if the developers made the game a bit more appealing. It’s easy to assume that certain potential buyers might lose their interest solely on the graphical prowess of this title.

Not sure if this was something the developers intended, but during some stages the screen tends to wiggle a bit, making things rather unclear. While at certain times it feels as if it was intentional, at other times when the timer in the top right corner of the screen starts shifting as well, it feels like it’s bugged.

One other point of annoyance might be the fact that you can’t set the game to ‘full screen’, but only three different windowed modes. Whilst this does not really hamper the overall experience, it tends to make things rather tedious if your mouse cursor goes outside the window, seeing you will instantly perish.



Protoshift offers an amazingly good Drum and Bass experience, which immediately gets you in the mood to start playing. There are more than enough tracks to plow through, while you’re keeping your little square safe, which makes it even more amusing to keep pressing on. In a way it’s actually quite odd that a soundtrack of this proportion goes hand in hand perfectly with the simple gameplay that defines Protoshift.

A fun touch is the fact that when you die and you press the retry button, the track that was playing does not start over, but it actually takes off more or less where you left off. This makes the music refreshing and it makes sure you will not get tired of the music, simply by having the intro over and over again.

Those who are looking for a musical experience, can simply opt to purchase the game’s soundtrack via Steam, but you’ll have to own the game in order to be able to purchase and download it, as it counts as DLC. Even though the soundtrack is actually slightly more expensive than the game itself, you’ll still only be handing in some pocket change in order to acquire both at the same time.


Protoshift is an arcade game that revolves all around testing the player’s reflexes. The goal of the game is to survive as long as you can, while guiding a small black square through different gates. This might sound simple enough if it weren’t for the screen to keep rotating the entire time, often shifting directions. To top things off, you’ll have to keep your mouse cursor inside the playing field at all times, as you will otherwise die instantly.


The game itself offers four different difficulties, namely training, hard, very hard and futile. All of these modes are exactly the same as one another but they just amp up the scrolling speed, as well as the rotation speed. Each of these difficulties will have around five levels to conquer, which you’ll have to play in one go, while trying to survive in the fifth one for as long as you can in order to gain more points. To aid you in your quest, there are a few power-ups that will give you a short boost, by either shrinking your size, slowing down the game’s speed or allowing you to break walls. That being said, it’s not always an easy task to actually get hold of these items, as they can spawn on rather tricky places. Although these power-ups are quite welcome, it’s annoying you don’t get a small timer to see how long they remain active.

Whilst the above may sound simple, it’s pretty much all there is to the actual gameplay portion of Protoshift. Nonetheless, there are a few settings you can mess around with, but those don’t tend to do that much if you ask us. Those who are missing an actual goal might be pleased to hear that the achievements are fun targets, which are quite doable.

Protoshift might be a rather simple concept, it’s not without bugs. The collision detection is quite off at times, making you either hit a wall without consequences, or die midair, while you haven’t touched a thing. Luckily these bugs don’t come along that often, but they tend to be quite annoying when they ruin your ongoing lucky streak. At other times some power-ups simply don’t activate properly, causing you to die, simply because their effect did not pop in.



Protoshift is an odd game, because it fits a genre that often spawns very annoying titles, albeit under the pretense of being an arcade game. While this ‘reflex-testing’ game proves to be hard as nails, you won’t be thrown into a fit of rage by dying a lot. We reckon it has to do with the stellar soundtrack supporting the simple, yet appealing gameplay mechanics. If you’re a fan of DnB or you’re looking for a small game to play in-between bigger titles, this one is certainly a very fun one to check out.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Protoshift - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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