Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shadowgate (1989)


Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Developer: ICOM Simulations Inc.

In this Kemco point and click adventure the player finds themselves abruptly thrown into a high-fantasy yarn where the goal is to stop a nefarious wizard from summoning the ultimate beast: the mighty behemoth! Isn’t there a million of those running around in the Final Fantasy universe? Oh well, this one is special, I guess~

Thankfully, I was never actively mislead or berated by this game and I had a relatively pain free experience as a result. I did have a few conversations about it with a friend who also played these games years ago, however, and I’d recommend you to do much the same. You don’t need to be so specifically fortunate, though, since you can always try to convince someone else to take these journeys with you right now. Checking a FAQ will usually feel like cheating but playing concurrently with someone else is a shared experience, in my opinion.

Returning to the specifics of gameplay, Shadowgate’s defining feature is its torch system. This game revels in its hyper-specific causes of instant death, so never let your torches go out. There are quite a few available but I would still recommend save scumming like a boss. Do something significant? Save. Work your way through as usual and as soon as you figure something else out, reset and do it again as fast as you possible can. Rinse and repeat. It should be noted that the cursor even moves at a speedier clip to accommodate this de facto time limit.

There are also a number of respawning instances that require resources of limited quantity. Scumming helps in this regard as well, cutting down on backtracking which could get you stranded if you do it too many times. I never did come across a place to pare down my inventory like in the other games, but I didn’t have too much trouble without it, to be honest.

Ultimately, alongside Uninvited, Shadowgate is very much worth your time if you can get behind the genre and setting and have the patience befitting.

Buyer’s Guide: Available on Apple IIGS, Mac, Atari ST, Amiga, DOS, NES, Windows (Pocket PC), Palm OS, and Game Boy Color.

4 Deadly Renaissance Faires out of 5

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