Shifts can look a little daunting when you load it up for the first time. The assignment screen doesn’t make immediate sense, and the help screen throws a whole bunch of text at you. It can all seem a little intimidating.
For that, I’d like to apologize.
Once you get going, you’ll assign some officers, move your ship around, explore some planets, and then most likely die in the cold vacuum of space.
For that, I won’t apologize at all.
We designed Shifts to be tough. When you play, you spend a lot of time trying to persevere in dire, hopeless situations. We didn’t want starting your first game to be dire and hopeless as well! Here are a few tips for new players to get started:
1) Play in casual mode. Shifts can be punishing, so familiarize yourself with the way things work in casual before you venture onto the higher difficulties. You must learn to walk before you can run. (or something like that… you must learn to die in deep space before you can die in deep space? hmmm, needs work…)
2) Tap on the crisis icons to familiarize yourself with the effects you’ll be suffering. Make sure to keep note of the damage bar in the lower left corner of your map, so you know what kind of horrible mutilation your ship will be taking at the end of the turn.
3) Try to get a feel for what each of your officers can do. There are only 5 of them, and knowing their abilities goes a long way.
4) Scan. I’ve heard tell of people saying that scanning is a waste of an action, but it’s the best way to plot a path across the galaxy. Knowing where to go is the key to planning effective and efficient turns.
5) Pay attention to your Reactor Power and Hull Integrity. If you know how far you can make it with the crises you have in your queue, you can set out the officers you need and have that engineer ready for the maintenance she needs to do!
6) Don’t forget your BRObots. Even if you don’t have an officer working to resolve a crisis, you can still toss some BRObots on it to push it towards completion. (note, that if your BRObots will resolve a crisis without an officer assigned, it’ll be resolved at the end of the turn, instead of during that officer’s shift.)
The learning curve is still a little steep, but hopefully that’ll help out some folks!
Now get out there and save humanity!