Developer Martijn Wenting
Publisher Revival Studios
Release date 2011
Genre Puzzle
Mode Single player only
Media Cartridge


Shifted's gameplay is based on Pesky Marbles, a Java game developed by Martijn Wenting under the Karma Studios label in 2003 for cellular phones. In Shifted, the task is to combine three or more marbles of a specific colour next to each other to make them explode.

Shifted is an improved version of Pesky Marbles with enhanced gameplay in challenge mode and adapted for the Vectrex.


The player has to combine three or more gems of the same shape next to each other to make them disappear. For combining gems, the player rotates the centre row, selects a column, and shifts the selected column up or down.

The more gems are combined (3, 4, or 5 combo), the more points the player gets. The game ends when the playfield is filled with gems.

Two game modes are supported:

  • In Survival mode the player tries to withstand (survive) the faster and faster appearing gems as long as possible. Highscores achieved in Survival mode can be submitted online.
  • In Challenge mode targets like a specific score, or a specific number of combos have to be achieved to complete a challenge. There are handicaps which make the challenges even harder. Challenge mode has three difficulties: Easy (20 challenges), Medium (30 challenges), and Hard (40 challenges). 'Easy' is recommended for novice players to learn how to play the game, 'Medium' and 'Hard' offer interesting variety to the standard gameplay. When completing all challenges on a difficulty level the player is rewarded.


Controls while playing a game are:

  • Joystick left/right: Select column
  • Joystick up/down: Shift column
  • Buttons 1 & 2: Rotate centre row
  • Buttons 3 & 4: Shift column
  • Hold Button 4: Pause or even cancel a game


The more gems the player combines at a time (3, 4, or 5 combo), the more points the player gets for a combination.

  • 3 gems combined: 30 points
  • 4 gems combined: 80 points
  • 5 gems combined: 150 points
  • Chains of combinations will multiply the score, i.e. if after the player creates a combination, one more combination occurs automatically, then their score will be multiplied by 2.


  • Playfield size is 5 x 7 gems, making a maximum of 35 gems.
  • Shifted is Martijn Wenting's sixth released Vectrex game. Martijn knows how to program bitmap based games like Debris on the Vectrex, but this game is pure vector graphics. Main parts of Shifted were developed in 2008, this is why the copyright says 2008. Actually, Shifted was finished and released in 2011.
  • The standard version is provided on a slim card (PCB cart, no cartridge case) with booklet and box. There's a limited edition of 20 copies which includes an overlay.
  • VecVox is supported for improved sound effects.


This article was featured from November - December, 2016.

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