ShiftOS is a 2015 freeware PC game about a fictional work-in-progress operating system also called ShiftOS. A hacker known as DevX "hijacks" your computer and installs the OS in a barely usable state, forcing you to use it because they needs beta testers, and you must bring your computer back to usability by enhancing the system's functionality by earning and spending "code points".
The game was under active development for several years by the original developer, but it was eventually discontinued. The source code has since switched hands, laying dormant for a while (across this period, a lot of the existing content for and surrounding the game disappeared from the Internet) before being abruptly revived in December of 2016. The game is a Spiritual Successor to Histacom from the same developer, who claimed that the previous game had encountered legal issues due to the heavy use of graphics and sound from Windows.
ShiftOS contains examples of:
- Author Avatar: The developer used the name DevX on the original forums.
- Bland-Name Product: Late into the lifecycle of the original version, "Bitnotes", obtained using "Bitnote Diggers", were introduced as a gameplay mechanic.
- Excuse Plot: The intro to the game features DevX explaining that they developed the OS and are forcing people to use it for the purpose of beta testing. This character never appears again and the rest of the game does not feature any storyline whatsoever.
- Hollywood Hacking: The "hijacking" intro features a lot of flashing lights and technobabble.
- Recycled Premise: Subverted. Judging by some of the things the original developer has said, it seems this game was originally meant to be similar to Histacom but without copyrighted content, using code points as a replacement for time travel. However, development stopped before any actual adventure could be added - the whole time, all that was worked on was the environment.
- Sensory Abuse: The "hijacking" consists of Epileptic Flashing Lights, and loud, annoying beeps.