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Casting Level 8 Resurrection: Shadowgate

I am dragon deprived. This is almost an insta-buy on this alone. Help me.

You can’t keep an old game down, not in this day and age. Kickstarter is our miracle cure, magically reanimating long-dead but fondly-remembered past games and genres. They skip towards us as we squeal in delight, trapped in a group hug between wave upon wave of adventure games and the vast hulks of space-sims. Hark! Another rises, this one gone since before my birth: the ancient golem of Shadowgate, last seen upon these lands in 1987. A bit too old to have had final judgement brought upon it by the juggernauts of RPS, though the slumbering Walker did offer this insight: “Gosh, I must have played it, but don’t remember.” Sound wisdom indeed. See it in its glorious new form below.

While my young eyes see a striking resemblance to Legend of Grimrock, Shadowgate is a straight up point and click adventure game that just happens to be played in the first person. I’m informed it’s stunningly lethal, often unfairly so in that uniquely pre-90s way where you don’t see it coming and can only avoid it by knowing beforehand. Along with the massive visual upgrade and adding more puzzles, difficulty levels are one of the remake’s big changes now that the idea of finishing a game isn’t totally laughable.

I don’t go in for a lot of this nostalgia (the only games released before 2008 worth paying attention to are Brood War and Unreal Tournament 2004), but this has gorgeous art (albeit animated dodgily),  and looks mechanically unique in the modern era. I want to see how game design from nearly 30 years ago has been adapted by its original creators, now with that much more experience under their belts. If you’re the same, or are somehow old enough to remember this from the first time round – probably impossible, I know – it’s out on August 21st on Steam.

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Ben Barrett

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