Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Shifty's Shape Escape

by grayhaze - Compo Entry


Say hello to a shapeshifting thief named Shifty who has found himself at the top of a very high building after a heist gone wrong. His only means of escape is to base jump through the floors below, contorting his body to fit through inexplicably placed holes which just happen to come in his shape and size. Will he reach the bottom safely? Is there a bottom at all?

Click the game to focus, then press SPACE to start. Choose a control scheme by using the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys. Check all keys can be pressed at the same time! Press SPACE to continue and watch the tutorial. Press SPACE one final time to enter the game.

Use the four keys chosen to extend Shifty's limbs. Only by matching the shapes to the holes exactly will he pass through unscathed. You're allowed to make a two mistakes, then it's GAME OVER!

To control the volume, press - or +, or press 0 to mute.

NOTE: This is the final bugfix version which adds additional control schemes to choose from. This is due to many keyboards not supporting multiple keypresses in certain configurations (see I have also added some non-EN keyboard options. Hopefully this fixes the issues people were having with their keyboards once and for all.

NOTE 2: As you progress the floors speed up. You may be (un)lucky enough to have an older machine which can't run the game at full speed, so it may appear much slower than intended to start out. Stick with it and it'll get challenging!

Created with HaxeFlixel and OpenFL over the course of a single day.

Fonts from Google Fonts.

Sounds are modified versions of free originals sourced from:

Downloads and Links




oal says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:38am

I really like it. Art and gameplay works well. Maybe this should be in the jam, not in the compo, because you used someone else's sounds?

thomz12 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:42am

Fun little game, it's kinda hard to press all 4 buttons at once. Graphics are pretty good, Well done!

Saladon says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:43am

I like it. Very fun to play.

grayhaze says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:48am

Thanks for the comments. :)

@oal: Fair point about the sounds. I've edited my entry to opt-out of the audio category, as although I did modify the sounds I sourced for the game, the originals weren't created during the competition.

@thomz12: The key is to use two hands. ;)

MrDave says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:55am

I am pleased to find this game as I saw it on Twitter. I think this is a great idea for a game and fits the theme perfectly. I love the expressions you get just from the eyes. Also I think the guide on the menu was very clever.

I thought it was fair to vote NA for your sound because you said you didn’t make them and this will not impact your score.

Unfortunately as you said in your description I was unable to press more than two keys at a time. I tried it on many browsers but couldn’t find a way to fix it. I found this a huge shame as I would love to play this game more.

I hope it does really well! 11/10

grayhaze says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:12pm

@MrDave: Thank you for your kind comments. I've just uploaded fixed versions which use a new control configuration. Please give it a try and let me know if it works for you.

Rakowu says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:35pm

Well done. Really I like it. Only problem is that the key don't match on a german keyboard :D But once i figure it out it was fun :D

Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:25pm

Good game, its really funny, nice graphics and mechanics :D.

csimpsonweb says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:20pm

i really like this, its a cool little game

Goutye says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:23pm

Interesting! The web version doesn't handle correctly multiple keys (3-4 at the same time) but the windows one works like a charm! Great work.

ezombort says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:25pm

Fun game! However the ; key is not working on my Norwegian keyboard. I see you have uploaded a bug fix but is that a separate download or the embedded version? In that case it still does not work for me.

grayhaze says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:38pm

@Goutye & @ezombort: All downloads and the embedded version are the fixed version. Originally the controls were Q, W, A and S, but that presented issues for people with keyboards which didn't handle multiple keypresses, such as Mac keyboards. The best fix I could find for this was to replace W and S with P and the semicolon, but it seems that non-English keyboard layouts don't necessarily have the semicolon in the same place. I guess there isn't a solution to please everyone, other than doing some extra work to allow choosing the key mapping, which is obviously more than a bugfix and would likely cause more issues for people with keyboards which have trouble with multiple keypresses.

Next time I'll make a game which only uses a maximum of three keys! :D

grayhaze says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:44pm

For more information on the multi-keypress issue, which prompted a change to the controls in the bugfixed version, see

Unfortunately, this is a hardware limitation of some keyboards and it's nearly impossible to choose intuitive controls which suit all keyboard layouts.

dylanwolf says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:20pm

Neat concept. I think my only problem was pressing multiple keys at the same time sometimes didn't trigger--not sure if that's an actual bug, or just me.

sepharoth213 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:22pm

maybe set up the buttons on a toggle so you don't have to hold them all down?

monkeybit29 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:25pm

Out of all the ones i've played, so far this one is probably one of my favorites. I like these style of games where you hold a key combo before a certain amount of time. My only issue is that the bottom right input doesn't work sometimes

vini60 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:15pm

Amazing. Very smooth and gool to play. Fits the theme perfectly.

Reallysketchy says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:19pm

Very Fun and I love the art style.

Husky says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:31pm

This is interesting, it's clever to assign the 4 keys on 4 corners of keyboard, it feels quite intuition and easily learning.

I have a minor bug that the game didn't detect I release the keys correctly.

Overall well done :D

grayhaze says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:52pm

Thanks for the comments everyone. :)

I'm working on a "bugfix" to allow you to choose from a number of different keyboard configurations in an effort to stamp out the control issues people have been having once and for all. I'll post the update once it's ready, but if you want to be notified just follow me on Twitter @grayhaze.

LeReveur says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:28pm

For the first game I tried on this session, it was a wise choice : I liked it, simple to understand and play, effective, good looking... Nice job. :)

01010111 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:55pm

Really loved this :D The keys felt kinda funny, but I can imagine the ghosting was tough to work around! Great work!

esayitch says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:40am

Hiya! I really liked the concept and it reminded me of Japanese game shows for some reason xD

SFX were on point, and visuals are cool as well.

I sometimes ran into a problem where I needed to press all 4 buttons, and I did, but the thing would only shape some of its limbs :( I think it's a keyboard issue though.

Good luck in the compo!

pythong says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:55pm

for anyone on a german keyboard: it's Q A P Ö

grayhaze says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:35pm

I've now uploaded the final bugfix version which includes multiple keyboard configurations to choose from. Hopefully this fixes the keyboard issues for everyone now. Have fun! :)

El Cabaro says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:44pm

Good game. Too bad we had to play it on easy mode, because I could easily see it being quite the challenge. The graphics were pretty cool and the mood fit thanks to the menacing whoosh sound effects.

RafaSKB says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:46pm

nice shape shifting effect, however I found the gameplay a bit slow.

Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:05am

Neat game, but my keyboard doesn't like holding 4 buttons at once :s

ragnta says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:26am

It's a simple idea with good implement. Good job! :)

grayhaze says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:59am

@WeaverDeveloper: Did none of the alternative keyboard layouts work for you? I would expect at least one to do so for all keyboards now.

Pietdagamer says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:08pm

I liked playing this

Avant-Marde says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 3:37pm

Unfortunately my keyboard/OS/browser/whatever couldn't register more than two keys at once, so I couldn't play it properly, but I get the idea!

I like it, tho I dunno how much this concept could evolve difficulty-wise and so on. Does the game speed up after a while? Again, I couldn't determine, since I was unable to play the game properly. :c

Anyway, nice graphics! Very polished. And good input selection screen tho it's a bit confusing to know what to do with before you actually know how the game works, but you've got the tutorial as well, so it's fine, I guess.

No music, but sound effects at least. I see you unchecked audio ratings, tho, so no point in me dwelling on that. c:

Good concept in general. Nicely scoped and packaged.

RealityCheck says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:56pm

Is there a way to change the controls? I couldn't get the semi-colon to work on my keyboard, so it was kinda hard to get anywhere. Nice idea though - and I liked the sound. Good take on the theme.

grayhaze says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:11pm

@RealityCheck: The first screen you see when you start the game gives you instructions on how to change the controls. Not sure I can make it any clearer. :)

jonnopon3000 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 4:10pm

I enjoyed myself; got to level 52 first try and 26 second.

jakass says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 2:06am

Wow! More one great game! This game was very challenger for me. I was curious to see what will happen if the level is 0. My high score was -9! LOL Btw, I loved the game! Very good!

Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:12am

Fun little addictive game. Couldn't stop playing and was able to make it to level -6. Had a similar idea for my entry which I'm now glad I didn't go with cause it wouldn't have been done as well as this one.

Would be interesting if instead of being the ball you were actually fully extended and had to struggle to bring your limbs in to make it through the walls. Also you couldn't hold them in for long so that would explain why you would need to make the exact shape to get through.

markusfisch says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 12:26pm

Very cool idea! Would have played it even more but it seems, at least on my computer, using the flash version, the game's only recognizing up to two keys at a time.

jordgubben says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 12:34pm

I can see this getting popular on smart phones.
(And I please don't take that as an insult ;D, it's a great little game)

grayhaze says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 12:35pm

Thanks for all the nice comments! I'm disappointed that even after adding additional control schemes people are still having issues with the controls, but I'm not sure if this is down to hardware, browsers or just the fact that the control setup screen still isn't clear enough for some people. Looking forward to the next LD, where I'll more than likely create a one-button game. ;)

eott says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 2:53pm

Nice idea, solid execution. I like how it gets faster and faster so the last stretch is also the hardest. Keeps the player coming back for another round ;)

dj_pale says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 5:33pm

Nice game - really got the hang of it. Would be nice with some additional variations in addition to speed. Maybe some bonus pickups between "floors"?

Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:47pm

Cool game, I saw yours when looking for haxe's games but I wasn't able to before the bugfixes, thank you. Oh, and I learned fun fact about keyboards ! :)

Llucile says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 11:46pm

The game itself is really fun to play and the gameplay idea is a really good one ! Graphics are polished and funny. I liked the fact that you took the time to make a tutorial. I didn't really enjoyed the wind sound.
And thank you for the azerty controls ! First keyboard controled game that didn't required me to switch language on my computer! :D

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:43pm

Nice idea, the shapeshifting works really well. Really liked it.

Rock Eaters says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 8:56pm

fun games and good graphics but the keyboard i use dont allow me to press 3 keys at the same time, will try on another computer later

Rscar says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 4:10pm

UGHHHH missed the last one, score of 1. Solid entry, simple but very enjoyable, difficulty scale felt right.

APantaloni says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 9:56pm

I love the main character, the little eyes are very expressive. Fun game, maybe it takes a little too long to get challenging. A very nice entry overall!

Xanjos says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 10:13pm

This was pretty fun and addictive to play plus I loved how progressively harder it got the further you fall down.

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