Have you ever played classic first person point and click adventures but wanted them set in a zombie apocalypse with a cheap, gritty feel? Well here comes Paradigm Shift crawling on the floor covered in its own vomit missing legs and both of its arms. Its a hastily thrown together game devoid of interesting puzzles. The game excels at startling you if you take too long on a screen. Horrifying zombies pop in screaming when you least expect them.
There are a few death traps such as gas leaks that you’ll need to simply back out of. You need to be hasty though, sticking around in one area too long will kill you in one way or another. Like the zombie apocalypse, you need to get from point A to point B as quick as possible and you do that through trial and error. The game plays out quick and it feels like there’s a small amount here to keep it interesting. You can be done with everything in less than ten minutes. Its ultimately a death trap. A price for a horrifying jack-in-the box. You never know when its coming, but it’ll jump out.
You are packing a shotgun, but it feels useless. Even when you have the time to pull it out and shoot a zombie, it does nothing, but it could be out of ammunition when you first get it. The game needs to specify such things or at least have a click. The game’s instructions say that a blast can take out most enemies. What’s even stranger is facing off against a girl crying in a corner removes the shotgun from the inventory time and time again. I would say its to prevent from hurting her, but you still have a screwdriver.
You can find a few descriptions of flavor text, but the game feels empty and vacant. Your mouse cursor never changes, it just stays as an arrow forcing me to click like mad. The toughest part about the game is finding little doors, nooks and crannies. Clicking around to find everything even if it looks like nothing.
Its obvious that its someone’s first game. There’s the cheap price and the Click Fusion icon still on the game. When you start up Paradigm Shift you’re greeted with more external links than anything else. There are no options or settings, you play the game in a window rather than having a choice. Its bare bones.
The environments look good, gritty and downright cheap, but it fits for a horror game. There’s no animation, just static photos. Even when zombies pop in they’re just pasted on your screen and in a way that adds more drama. Their eyes are cut out, mouths pasted on their lips. The editing of real people is disturbing and does add a unique flair to the game. The real problem with the atmosphere is that its all ruined when the game forces you to stay in a window rather than full screen. Its scary seeing my kitten wallpaper on my desktop among still frames of burning buildings.
As for the puzzles, you have things like a simple keypad and you need to find the combination that’s somewhere close at hand. You have a door lock that you need to pick. When you do so it returns you to the hallway you were already in. Its all so quick between game overs that it never gets a chance to be dull. I kept up a rapid pace through memorizing what to do and where to go.
To the game’s credit there is tense music that adds something to a dirt cheap game. It hastens your pace and adds intensity to a bare bones game. There’s budget and then there’s cheap. It still feels gritty, but its nothing I can ever recommend.
If you’re big into jump scares and little more than pictures and clicking, Paradigm Shift is a cheap enough game to be worth your time. To the other majority of people, avoid this game, because you never know when a horrifying zombie with all the animation of a cardboard cutout will burst into the area and start blood staining your screen.