Shadowgate

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Genre: RPG, Adventure, Puzzle

Developer: Kemco

Total time played: 5 hours over 3 weeks

Short review: A point and click adventure game that places you inside a medieval castle full of traps and monsters.  A very slow placed game with no moving images on screen.  The game could be classified as a puzzle game as well as RPG or Adventure.  Some of the puzzles are almost impossible to solve without help.


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The first non-NES game that comes to mind when trying to describe Shadowgate is the old 100% text based Hitchiker’s Guide to the Universe game for PC.  I spent hours of my early childhood trying to figure out that game but was never successful.  I never did go back to play it after I read the book, I should do that at some point. The game gave free reign to interact with the world however you chose.  However, the game was very limited in what you could actually do making it near impossible to play.

Shadowgate is the same type of game but there is a static image to accompany the text and a menu of ways to interact with your environment. I vividly remember playing this game late at night with my brother and my mom trying to figure out where to go next.  We never did beat the game as a family but I was able to beat it in middle school while staying the night with my friend Brandon.

While playing through this time I tried my best to stay away from online sources when I got stuck, but a couple of times I had to use the internet.  I could only walk around in a circle so many times before I started to go crazy.  My options were turn the game off and never play again or look up the next move online and continue. Most of the time I would look up a clue online it was something I wouldn’t have figured out on my own. All frustration aside this is a great game that actually has a coherent story and a dark mood that is intensified with the great soundtrack.  This isn’t a game you will want to play over and over as once you know what to do and where to go the game can be beaten easily in under 20 minutes.

There was a remake/sequel on the Nintendo 64 that I was very excited to play in the last 1990s.  Unfortunately it didn’t have the same charm as the original and I never finished the game.

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