System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Published by: Other
Review: Shortly after finishing my review of Uninvited, I decided to immediately get started on Shadowgate. Shadowgate has proven itself as another decent game following the MACVenture formula with a linear storyline and many, many deaths that are unexpected, and sometimes humorous.
The storyline is this: You're the last from a line of kings, the chosen one, etc. — essentially, you're a Gary Stu (the male equivalent of a Mary Sue), sent by a wizard named Lakmir to kill an unnamed evil warlock lord in his own territory — the castle Shadowgate. Naturally, the castle is filled with tricks, traps and monsters—and a furry (Oh, excuse me, a "sphinx").
The game follows the same formula as the other MACVenture games: explore rooms, pick up items, solve riddles, and MacGyver your way out of trouble. There's only one main difference that many players of the MACVenture trio have come to abhor — goddamn torches. With every action you take, if you're just "wasting time" (read: exploring thoroughly), you're wasting your torches, and you must re-light at least one so you don't die by falling over in pitch black. Yes, I said you die by falling in darkness. No monster, no crazed killer. You die by falling. It's ridiculous, and one of the many deaths. The torches were a source of anxiety for me the entire time — time limits in a game make me very nervous. But that's just me.
The graphics don't let down; it's definitely a castle filled with all sorts of monsters; one of which gave me a near heart attack when I saw it for the first time. But I felt kind of gypped that I could only use the sword once. I'm a super-powerful chosen one; you'd think I would even have a sword WITH me... but I had to get one at the castle. Also, one mistake could result in you either backtracking or making the game impossible to win.
Shadowgate is certainly a must-play for anyone into the "Choose Your Own Adventure" genres, despite its need to be really anal about opening and using things, must like Uninvited was. Better music than Uninvited, though. But in my opinion, Uninvited was the superior game. Not completely dissing this one, though!
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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