Game: "Shadowgate"
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Other

Reviewer: Tanuki
Posted: 10/21/2010

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!

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 21st, 2010, 12:43 PM
I dunno, Uninvited relied too much on "Moon Logic" puzzles for my taste. The thing that costs it an extra pickle for me was that fucking butler; even if you figured out how to obtain the spider on your own, you had to randomly guess how to use it because nothing in the game suggests the butler is afraid of spiders. I love entertainment that encourages me to think, but I hate the stuff that punishes me for trying.

Shadowgate and Deja Vu were tricky, but I solved them both without a guide. If you did that with Uninvited, then congratulations: it must have been a lot of fun to work for ICOM Simulations.
Oct 21st, 2010, 11:24 PM
Now somebody review my favorite, Deja Vu.
Oct 22nd, 2010, 02:17 AM
After playing Shadowgate, I always wanted to try Deja Vu. Shadowgate frustrated me as a kid, because it came out back in the day when you could only get tips from either Nintento Power or the Nintendo Hotline. No fancy internet walkthroughs for us! Could be why I didn't beat the damn thing until I was in my 20's and I had a friend walk me through it in, like, half an hour. That was kind of amusing.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 22nd, 2010, 03:16 AM
Deja Vu may need to wait until after October, since it's not horror-themed. Try to get your hands on the Gameboy Color version of that game, since it's got Deja Vu II packed in.

Ooh, ooh! Speaking of graphic adventures, someone needs to review Waxworks! If no one else wants to, I'll gladly do it. What format do reviews need to be in and how do I submit one, Rog?
I hate this hacker crap!
Oct 22nd, 2010, 03:42 PM
This thread has the answers
Forum Virgin
Oct 23rd, 2010, 06:29 PM
I think if anybody does Waxworks, it needs to be a full article, not just a short review. There's lots to work with there and plenty of cool pictures to show.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 24th, 2010, 04:24 AM
As long as someone does something on it. Waxworks and both the Elvira games need more love. Actually, come to think of it, a mega-article on all three Horrorsoft titles would be awesome.
Oct 26th, 2010, 12:29 AM
Deja Vu is still my favorite.