Ninjas are the new hotness again and Cyber Shadow is the latest to remind us that the shinobi mask/scarf combo never goes out of style, if you’re a ninja. I’ve been following the development of this one for a while. It’s developed by one-man studio Mechanical Head with some musical help from chiptune maestro Enrique ‘Pentadrangle‘ Martin. It’s a very Ninja Gaiden-ish (NES) platformer starring a high-tech ninja in a world overrun by robot monsters. I clearly wasn’t the only one impressed by the game so far, as Shovel Knight crew Yacht Club have stepped up to publish it. Below, the debut trailer.
Cyber Shadow sounds like it’s been a true labour of love so far. Developer Aarne “Mekaskull” Hunziker has been hammering away at the game for around a decade now, and Yacht Club have been overseeing this last year of development. While not directly related to Shovel Knight, it looks like the game shares an ‘8-bit without the limits’ design ethos, with big, chunky, smoothly animated sprites that consoles of the era would choke on. Plus, a nice widescreen field of view, which is well suited to horizontally scrolling, fast-moving games like this.
While the term ‘metroidvania’ is never used to describe the game, Cyber Shadow will allow players to explore and backtrack to earlier areas in search of upgrades and items, so maybe not an entirely linear game. It feels like we’re in the middle of a real ninja deluge right now, with Sekiro right now filling the AAA end of the spectrum and The Messenger due for new DLC soon. The upcoming Moonrider from Joymasher fills me with nostalgia (does it count if I replayed it just last year?) for Shinobi 3, and the upcoming Bushiden doesn’t look too shabby either. Go, ninjas, go!
While there’s no release date for Cyber Shadow yet, I’d expect it sooner than later, as Yacht Club are taking pre-orders on the game’s official page for £11.39/$14.99, with Steam keys included. You can see a lot of neat little animated GIFs of the game in development on the developer’s twitter feed.