When I first started playing Shadowgate, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew about it was it was a point-and-click game from the late ’80s and this was a modernized version of it. I never played the original and wasn’t sure what to expect. I will admit that I am on the fence with point-and-click games; some I really enjoy while others bore me to tears.
Players take on the role of Jair Cuthegar, the last of a family of kings. He is exploring the living castle known as Shadowgate. Within Shadowgate, Jair is trying to stop a Warlock from raising a demon. You must conquer what is inside to stop him and save the world.
The dark and somewhat eerie atmosphere portrays the castle as a creepy, spooky place. Shortly after entering you’ll notice bones and corpses scattered within the walls, showing that not many have survived very long. Searching further reveals even more.
Players will want to familiarize themselves with the action wheel as it will be used to combine items, cast spells and, above all else, interact with the puzzles or deactivate traps. For example, being able to equip a shield quickly to defend against a dragon’s flame breath. You’ll also want to become familiar with torches, which light the way and keep you alive.
Visually and audibly, no corners were cut. Each part of the castle is really well illustrated with dark but beautiful illustrations that fit the tone of the game. Cutscenes are just as well illustrated and fully voiced. The score of the game is great and fits the thrill of the game accordingly. Load times are quick and there is no visual lag when switching between sections of the action wheel. In the options screen, you can choose between the retro audio, text, and transitions.
The difficulty is adjusted into Normal and Classic. Normal is for players new to the adventure genre. In this mode, torches never run out. Classic mode focuses more on players who are familiar with Shadowgate and first-person style games. In this play, style torches burn out. Torches are limited finds throughout the game and keeping them lit is key to staying alive; if they burn out, then it’s game over. The limit on the torches as well as keeping them lit adds difficulty to the game because it puts everything on a timer.
Depending on your level of experience with the point-and-click genre, the difficulty may vary. Shadowgate itself is already known for the difficulty and at times it feels like it doesn’t let up. There are clues and hints to the game but at times didn’t feel like enough.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Shadowgate. I found myself frustrated from time to time but still really immersed in the game. As admitted above I am not always the fondest of this genre however fans of the adventure point-and-click games may find more enjoyment. If you are a fan of the genre or just want to give the style a try Shadowgate certainly is a good starting point. The story is compelling and the music and graphics are great.
Review: Shadowgate (Nintendo Switch)
Overall I enjoyed my time with Shadowgate. I found myself frustrated from time to time but still really immersed in the game. As admitted above I am not always the fondest of this genre however fans of the adventure point-and-click games may find more enjoyment. If you are a fan of the genre or just want to give the style a try Shadowagate certainly is a good starting point. The story is compelling and the music and graphics are great.