The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.
User reviews:
Very Positive (45 reviews) - 88% of the 45 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (7,121 reviews) - 89% of the 7,121 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 25, 2013

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Includes: Shadowrun Returns + Anthology + Soundtrack

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“Diehard GameFAN: 2013 Game of the Year/Best PC Game/Best Digital-Downloadable Game/Best Tactical RPG, Softpedia: Best RPG 2013, Hardcoregamer: Nominated Best Strategy Game 2013, Gamezebo: Best Games of 2013, Gamasutra: Top Games of the 2013”
Best of 2013 Awards

“Shadowrun Returns drops players headfirst into this richly realized fiction, combining classic role-playing storytelling with modern tactical battles . . . running the shadows has never been more fun.”
8.5/10 – Game Informer

“This is one of the most satisfying and complete tactical roleplaying experiences to come out of 2013 and realistically the last few years.”
4.5/5 – HardcoreGamer

About This Game

MAN MEETS MAGIC & MACHINE. The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary.

In the urban sprawl of the Seattle metroplex, the search for a mysterious killer sets you on a trail that leads from the darkest slums to the city’s most powerful megacorps. You will need to tread carefully, enlist the aid of other runners, and master powerful forces of technology and magic in order to emerge from the shadows of Seattle unscathed.

The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.

Key Features

  • Gripping Tactical Combat: When you’re running the shadows, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely - move to better cover, charge into melee, or lob a fireball into a crowd of enemies. With the variety of weapons and spells at your disposal, every turn is filled with meaningful choices. A successful run requires commanding a team of runners with the right balance of combat, tech, and magical abilities.
  • Skill-Based Character Progression: Choose a starting character archetype and build from there! Street Samurai and Physical Adepts use advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, Shamans and Mages summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, while Riggers and Deckers provide critical technological support, projecting their consciousness directly into drones and computer systems. Shadowrun Returns’ classless skill system allows you to grow your character in any direction you choose. Want to start summoning spirits as an ork Shaman and evolve into a cybered-up weapon specialist? Do it!
  • Engaging 2D/3D Art Style: Shadowrun Returns mixes dynamic 3D characters and lighting with a vibrant, hand-painted environment. Illustrated character portraits bring every conversation to life. Explore a world filled with detail, from the slums of the Redmond Barrens to the extravagant offices of powerful corporations.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX compatible 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • OS: OSX 10.6
    • Processor: Intel-based Macs only (x86-compatible, 1.4GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard disk space: 2 GB HD space
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (45 reviews)
Very Positive (7,121 reviews)
Recently Posted
8.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
Very short, good story. Very good customization options. Other installments of the franchise are better and more rewarding, but this still deserves a playthrough.
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5.3 hrs
Posted: August 31
Harebrained Schemes got themselves a true winner. This series is here to stay. Get on the cyberpunk board!
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20.3 hrs
Posted: August 30
Very good game, with awesome story, and amazing atmosphere. Also has a large amount of community made content. If you have yet to delve into the Shadowrun games, or have played the newer ones, then this is a great starting point.
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13.4 hrs
Posted: August 30
Great game for old school shadowrunners! Gameplay is good, price is good, story was great...
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15.5 hrs
Posted: August 30
Before a week or two ago I'd never heard of Shadowrun, played DragonFall and wanted more. Shadowrun returns is great too!
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9.4 hrs
Posted: August 28
Good flow and storyline
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43.0 hrs
Posted: August 28
It's unfortunate that the game didn't get as much user-generated content as the developers expected it would, but the game is still worth its salt.

The game stays true to its strategy-RPG roots, and it pays off. The main game is about your character's rise from a has-been Shadowrunner to the hero of Seattle. The characters are complex individuals with connections (and chains) to various factions that have serious beef with each other. Magic is back, and with it comes the horrors of witchcraft that the old world feared and persecuted. But that hasn't stopped the megacorporations from mastering the art and making a bloody profit off it.

Your character can play one of five different roles, each with their own unique abilities and playsets. Street Samurai use swords and guns, and must rely on precision and speed stun and disable their opponents before they bring the hurt. Deckers tag their prey and can hack into the virtual reality of cyberspace to convert enemy synthetics to their cause (mostly turret systems). Riggers use their brains and cyberlink themselves to killer robots that are tough to kill and tougher to survive against. Mages buff and heal their teammates with surgeon-like effectiveness. Physical Adepts can buff themselves until their fists become living chainsaws. Shamans can convince powerful, nigh-unkillable spirits to lend a hand.

The plot is quite harrowing, the setting is dark and gritty, the gameplay is your everyday strategy shooter, and the choices you make can become the difference between life and death for a few pitiful souls.

And as for user-created content? I HIGHLY recommend Nightmare Harvest, it's a standalone game of its own.
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0.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
Good action game!
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16.3 hrs
Posted: August 27
A single-player turn-based RPG with a large degree of character customization and no explicit classes.

Pros: Atmospheric Shadowrun setting and trappings ...

Cons: ... you have to hire your party for runs. Hired party members disappointingly don't open up all the options that would be available if you had the skills yourself.
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316.3 hrs
Posted: August 26
Arguably I love anything shadowrun related, but this game is just as much fun to a game with similar mechanics, XCOM if you enjoy turn based strategy
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
181.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
All SR:R titles have been overall positive experiences, though the first here certainly feels like Harebrained Schemes just cautiously dipping their collective toes into the franchise, being very "contained", and very "safe", with little that really stands out.

By now with its deep price cut, it's plenty worth the price, and prep for the swansong that is Dragonfall: Director's Cut.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
As a fan of the Shadowrun tabletop RPG setting since way before playing the videogames, I can say this game is a dream.

Shadowrun Returns is based on a setting that I know and love for a long time. The main campaign has great writing and it feels like it was made for old time fans. But the best idea is the editor. This tool was a dream for people like me, that spent hours creating shadowrun adventures that where never played to the end.

The world of Shadowrun takes some time to understand. It is a cyberpunk future where magic has returned, elves, dwarfs, orcs and trolls, dragons and magical swords get along with high-tech cyberware modifications, virtual realities that you access directly in your brain and self-conscious AIs. The gameplay of Shadowrun Returns is turn-based combat and text dialogues, no voice-acting. Still, the story is worth reading.

Great game, offers a lot, but it is just a first step. The sequels are now a much better option.

Positive points
* Very faithful adaptation of a tabletop RPG
* Easy to play, also on Android

Negative points
* Limited combat and character options
* The editor engine is not optimized, you have to buy the sequels to have access to better options.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
The character creation feels so hollow... I wanted to love all of these games, but i just get bored after a few hours. I want to be able to feel the impact of my choices on my characters development.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
I've been almost desperately looking for something to fill the hole, pause, left by Fallout 2. (I'm waiting for the sales to buy Wasteland 2...) In any case, played for a couple of hours and it was enough to realise it wasn't what I was looking for. It's a nice "normal" RPG, the graphics are beautiful - kind of a Sin City feel - but biggest issue is the lack of control over your character and just the world in general. You can only do what you're set to do, and then within it you have your "normal" RPG choices to make.
Oh well, just writing this review as I'd loved to read something like this before I purchased the game. There should be kind of a comprehensive table comparing these sort of games (maybe it already exists and I just don't know...).
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
167.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
No experience with the previous NES title or the tabletop game but this game (& the awesome community mods) made me adore the system. Baldur's Gate meets X-Com. 11/10. Janitor respeck.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
552 of 562 people (98%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2015
Now I've never played a Shadowrun game before, however I'm not exactly new to turn based/strategy RPG games, having played games in a similar vein like the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor series and Fire Emblem. However, I'll be the first to admit I'm far from a veteran in the genre.

One of the key things I think Returns did right, is the tricky task of drawing me into the story immediately. It's pretty simple: your friend is dead, he's left you a "dead man's switch" - a recorded message promising a hefty reward if you can find the killer. OK. I'm in.

As for the ease of playing the game... as someone who's often daunted by complex RPG interfaces with endless choices, decisions, and items to equip, I thought Shadowrun's interface is a breeze. It clearly shows you your weapon slots, inventory slots, and which body parts you can equip on armor or modifications. As for playing the game itself, you can simply click on your HUD to switch between weapons or end turns, but there are hotkeys for the more practiced player, too.

You encounter many characters on your way to solve your friend's murder, and you get to pick and choose your own team of Shadowrunners to go on every mission with you. Each has their own specialty - summoning mechs, specializing in "decking" (hacking), melee combat, guns, magic, and so on, and I had a great time testing out all the different classes.

All of the characters have their own specialties, but the game is forgiving, and you could probably get by just using guns on everyone. I realized one of my runners had a healing ability 3/4 of the way through the game, and had been getting by just fine without knowing that. So if you're worried about difficulty or complexity, don't be.

Another positive for me is the game is heavily text based. There is a lot more discovery and reading than combat. You can also save anywhere except an NPC turn in combat, or in conversation. So I could get up to answer the door or grab some food without bothering to pause, or quit at a moment's notice if my friends asked me to play a multiplayer game.

I know I'm writing a review no one will ever read, for a two year old game, but it gets an easy recommendation from me, especially if you're a busy person who can only enjoy games in bits and pieces before you're on the go again.
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362 of 414 people (87%) found this review helpful
27 people found this review funny
18.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
First all, let me tell you about my background - 39, working professional, married with kids. Was looking for an RPG game that I can really sink my teeth into without getting bored, and coming from a gamer background myself, not many games can catch my attention.

Then saw a recommended game review somewhere about this Shadowrun, so being the typical gamer that I am since I dont like to pay for something I haven't tried I *cough*cough* got a copy of the game to try.....

...and then I closed the game, went to the Steam website, and purchased a legitimate copy. Let me tell you why :-

a) this is an RPG - story, story, story - this is what's it all about
b) the interface and game - slick, modern XCOM style combat, with that turn based system thats good for my pace and strategy.
c) the real world/cyber world - the transitions are nice, a good break from the routine.
d) Story - did I mention story? I like how I have to slow down to read, even the freaking Splash screens got something to really read

So I parted with my cash to show support to this developer. Keep up the good work and I look forward to purchase Dragonfall and any more of DLC of this kind :)
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196 of 223 people (88%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 21, 2014
The Shadowrun short story simulator, that is what this is - and it's glorious. Gameplay may be somewhat shallow and linear, but excellent writing in the official campaigns (Deadman's Switch and Dragonfall) make up for that. Particularly Dragonfall is a MUST PLAY for any Shadowrun fan. The neo-anarchist Berlin provides an excellent backdrop for a genuinely exciting story with lots of memorable characters (each with an interesting backstory that you slowly uncover over the course of the campaign) and some excellent twists and turns til you reach the epic conclusion. I should note however, that Dragonfall is a separate DLC that you need to buy on top of Shadowrun returns (Thanks to pruwyben for pointing this out in the comments - it is a bit unfortunate that I cannot write a single review just for the DLC.)

Make no mistake, this is basically a text adventure, lots of reading, most of the "roleplaying" is happening in big blocks of text and the general storyline can't be changed in major ways. The XCOM-ish battles are a nice intermission between the big chunks of text, but they are not particularly deep or varied for the most part. Every now and then the game mixes it up a bit with a few events that I do not want to spoil, but for the most part this is an interactive novel with excellent music running in the background while you read what is going on.

Personally, I love it - graphics may be super-awesome these days, but small details and nuances still can't be done with the same ease as plain old text does it. And the superb writing brings the world of Shadowrun to life like no multi-billion dollar production could have done in my honest opinion, the atmosphere and flair Harebrained Schemes achieved with these simple means is just amazing.

If you enjoy good writing in your videogames, don't mind somewhat limited gameplay and/or are a Shadowrun-nut you need to check out Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall - do it! Deadman's Switch + Dragonfall + the editor to make your own stories a reality, one hell of a deal!
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407 of 501 people (81%) found this review helpful
31.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2013
Strongest point of Shadowrun Returns is its writing. In best tradition of older RPGs, game describes what you character sees in flowery language. Character introductions, location descriptions and dialogues are smart and charming. The setting of Shadowrun is a blend of cyberpunk and urban fantasy - don't think I knew something like this exists before. I wouldn't mind experiencing Shadowrun Returns in book or graphical novel form.

As a game, however, it is not so magnificent.

SR was made by relatively inexperienced developers on tight budget using Unity and it shows. Graphics are mixed bag - wonderful character portraits, bright and detailed, if somewhat cartoony 2D backgrounds, but awful character models and awkward animations. Sound direction feels cheap overall - music are fine, but forgettable and there is absolutely no voice acting. Combat mechanics ripped straight off X-COM: Enemy Unknown.

The biggest flaw of SR is its linearity. I just didn't have the opportunity to explore the world of Shadowrun - game kept railroading me on one story after another, with brief breaks in same small hub. All two side missions are one chance affairs - go on them right now or miss it forever. While writing itself is great, spending points to improve charisma and get new dialogue options felt like total waste - game is too short and there is almost no opportunity to use your mad speech skills - I think I used each etiquette only once or twice in whole game. Story starts as a noir-like murder mystery, but after halfway point abruptly turns into "save the world" scenario and ends with series of boring battles against bugs. Absolutely unnecessary twist, in my opinion.

My final impression: SR is an enjoyable short RPG; not without flaws but if you are able to overlook them, you will have a great time playing it.
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149 of 164 people (91%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 24, 2015
SHADOWRUN RETURNS - Cyberpunk adventure/rpg with a compelling story

|| 8 ||
Score Comment
Graphics 7 The game has top down isometric type view, graphics are very well done: the lighting, effects and areas feel very fitting and atmospheric. At points, however, it feels like it would be nice to have a little bit more variety to the areas, some of them feel quite samey. Character creation and portraits are ok but you can't go into the level of detail of some other RGPs.
Audio 7 Music and sound effects are good, there is however quite a bit of reading to do in this game, do not expect voice acting for all of the story / dialogue.
Gameplay 8 I really enjoyed playing this game, its a nice mixture of adventure / mystery and rpg with turn based strategic combat (think xcom). You control a small team of characters (you collect them as the story progresses) who follow you as you play through the story completing various missions and solving mysteries. There are some good puzzles to solve as the story develops and you can choose to upgrade various skills as your character advances in levels. A really nice feature is the "hacking" that the decker class can perform, this takes a form similar to combat in the game but its you and your constructs against the computer systems defences.
Story 8 Shadowrun Returns is set in cyberpunk-esque world where magic meets machine. You can play different stories in the form of campaigns, the official ones are complemented by community created ones via the steam workshop. The campaigns are extremely well done and have a very noir feel to them. There's a lot of background and detail to the world (and a lot of reading to be done) and the story had enough intrigue and action to keep me interested right to the end. The nature of the game (your characters acting out the story) basically means that play feels quite linear and that sometimes the decisions you make don't really have lasting effects but this didn't effect my enjoyment too much.
Replayability 5 As much of the main campaign is story based, once you have completed the game there isn't that much to draw you back in. Having said that there is an excellent DLC (dragonfall) and there are community created campaigns and an editor which should add quite a few hours of playability
8 Excellent game for anyone who loves this style of gameplay or the setting. The community content really adds a whole new aspect and lease of life to the game, just be prepared to do a lots of reading.

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