Video Game Review – Shadowgate

Release Date: August 21st, 2014
Developer / Publisher: Zojoi
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 6 hours

Disclaimer: I have never played the original game and played though this one mostly on easy settings.

Major Pros:

  • Great art
  • Interesting puzzles of fair difficulty level
  • Well planned storyline makes sure players never get too far unintentionally ill prepared
  • New user interaction methods are fast and easy
  • No clicking around randomly on every room to find everything (clear markers show all visible interactable objects while secrets are hinted at in gameplay and Yorick can help you if you’re stuck)
  • Clever usage of items to solve puzzles

Minor Pros:

  • An easy access log is kept of everything the game tells you
  • Harder modes encourage smart game play with interesting ways to die while easier modes protect inexperienced players
  • Hints (for those that use them) are helpful without directly telling you what to do

Major Cons:

  • Can’t use the map to “port” to places you’ve already been (walking can take a while, especially toward the end of the game)
  • Message pop up on certain rooms that you have to click on to dismiss or you can’t keep walking even if you’ve seen them before

Minor Cons:

  • Spell descriptions are rather vague and result in you trying the spells on everything a lot to figure out what they do
  • There are some annoying goblins that randomly attack you for no apparent reason, but defeating them is the same every time
  • More could’ve been done to flesh out the story

Even on the easier modes I found the game very enjoyable. The art was nice and the puzzles appropriate and complex. Nothing felt forced in the game and I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything by not playing the original game. There wasn’t anything that particularly stood out about this game above others in the genre, but I felt it was very solid and enjoyable. The only real annoyance was the time it took to get anywhere which could be a little bit of a problem later in the game when the puzzles spanned more space or were more complex to solve.

Find this game at the publisher’s webstite or on Steam.

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