Solar Shifter EX | Review

About Solar Shifter EX

Warp into action with  Solar Shifter EX. Man your ship and dive into fierce combat situations in space and over beautiful and distant planetary surfaces. Solar Shifter EX is a sci-fi shoot ’em up with the unique ability to ‘shift’ (teleport) into and out of dangerous situations.

Your only weapon is your ship: The Phase Shifter has been outfitted with a one-of-a-kind jump drive that lets you warp out of tough situations at will, a technique which will challenge you of the utmost when surviving the bullet hell coming at you from all sides.

With an epic storyline evolving over numerous worlds, you’ll encounter massive enemy fleets and gorgeous landscapes until you reach your goal: To leave a dying solar system behind at all costs before its extinction!


• Unique ‘shifting’ mechanic to bring a completely new level of depth into a shmup
• 18 tough missions
• 8 beautiful environments
• Over 40 enemy types encountered throughout the game
• Upgrade your ship
• 4 controllable ships: One main ship and three alien ships. Control all-powerful alien vessels that decimate allied forces with ease.



I wanted to like this game, I really did. I have fond memories of the ‘Bullet Hell’ genre………Galaga, Raiden, 1943-Battle of Midway and R-Type  to name a few that I’ve enjoyed over the years.

Let me start with what I found good and then progress from there. The game looks and sounds brilliant, crisp clear well defined graphics set to an upbeat soundtrack, all good so far right ?  Well I’m afraid that’s where the good (for me at least) ends.

I won’t go into the outline of the game as it’s pretty much all explained in the blurb at the top of this review.

You start the game with a basic laser cannon fitted to the ship that you control, which is seemingly made of tissue paper and can take very little damage before being completely destroyed, and the first few waves are relatively straightforward to mop up. The enemies that you take down leave behind little blue square thingies, which you collect by steering through them and these are credits that you can use to upgrade your weapons when you reach the hangar at the end of some levels.

Solar Shifter EX (2)

The levels are very busy, too much so at times. There are things on the screen that are firing weapons but they are below your height and not there for you to shoot, they’re there for window dressing. The problem with this is that there is so much happening on the screen at some points, that you find it difficult to distinguish between the enemies that are there for you to shoot and the enemies that are there for show. This lead to many deaths for me, I’ve played the game for almost 4 hours and died 202 times(not a good ratio). You do have at your disposal a tool to get you out of sticky situations though, the ship has the ability to phase (shift) from one place to another at the flick of the right analogue switch or by holding X and choosing one of the 4 locations that show up. More often than not though, utilising this mechanic only resulted me ‘shifting’ directly into either enemy fire or into their path to be ripped apart.

Every time you die (only get 1 life) you are presented with a loading screen that lasts 15-30 seconds before you can get back into the action. So get used to this sight —

Solar Shifter EX (3)

unless you have the reflexes of a ninja and the luck of the Irish, then you’ll be seeing this ALOT.

I’m not even halfway through the game and I’ve reached a point where it was either walk away from the controller or contemplate buying a new TV. I’m an older gamer and Solar Shifter EX has added enough years to me for me to be able to draw my pension. Like I said at the beginning, I really wanted to like this but I’m sad to say that I was disappointed. So much potential and with a tweak to the difficulty and maybe a stronger hull to your ship and it would be a joy to play. I can’t see myself playing this again though unless I’m going through a masochistic phase of life.

So with a heavy heart I give Solar Shifter EX a 4/10.


Code kindly provided by Headup Games

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