Thrust into the role of "The Seed of Prophecy," players travel deep into the living castle, in hopes of defeating the evil that dwells within – the dreaded Warlock Lord.
User reviews: Very Positive (225 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 21, 2014

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"Leans a little more toward the fantasy than the horror you might remember from your childhood. Still a good nostalgia trip with nice and creepy art."

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January 26

Shadowgate (2014) 75% OFF! MacVenture Series Launches Today!

In celebrations of the launch of the original MacVenture Series, you can pick up Shadowgate (2014) now for only $4.99!

Shadowgate is the completely reimagined and updated version of the beloved classic. Now you can play the original Shadowgate in all of it's glory along with three other groundbreaking games: Deja Vu, Deja Vu II and Uninvited:

Deja Vu:
Deja Vu II:

Check out the entire package here:

3 comments Read more

December 2, 2014

Retro 2 Pack Promotion will end 12/5

Hey Fans!

We just want to let you know that the Retro 2 Pack promotion that includes Original Shadowgate and Deja Vu for MAC/IIgs will end 12/5/2014 at 9:59 am PST so hurry up and grab the game before this opportunity ends!

- Jake

10 comments Read more


“If you are a fan of the genre, looking for something difficult to tackle, or wondering why you haven’t played Shadowgate in 30 years, absolutely pick this up.”
8/10 – GameZone

“Shadowgate will offer you a journey into darkness, and an adventure unlike anything you have experienced in a long time.”
8/10 –

“This new Shadowgate is a superlative remake that should stand as a great example of how to take a cult classic and update it for both new and nostalgic audiences.”
9/10 –

What does the Special Edition include?

NES Ringtones Available!

About This Game

Shadowgate is one of the most well-known and beloved point-and-click adventure titles in gaming history. As one of the original titles in the popular MacVenture series that went on to be celebrated on the NES, GBC, and Nintendo 64, Shadowgate quickly endeared players with its fantastic atmospheric soundtrack, perilous locations to progress through, countless puzzles to solve, and more ways to gruesomely die than gamers previously thought possible. Thrust into the role of "The Seed of Prophecy," players travel deep into the living castle, in hopes of defeating the evil that dwells within – the dreaded Warlock Lord.

Now, nearly 30 years after the original version haunted Mac and NES gamers, the original development team behind that timeless classic is back with a full re-imagining of the original Shadowgate. Much more than a port, the team at Zojoi has painstakingly redesigned the game from the ground up, adding in tons of new mind-bending puzzles, lots of new rooms with stunning hand-painted 2D graphical detail, and more objects to interact with and help you along your quest.

Decide how YOU want to play this new, re-imagined Shadowgate! Want the modern adventure experience? Use the wheel-based icon command system. Want the retro experience? Employ the Classic command system and turn on the retro graphics, soundtrack, text box, and room transitions. Want a more cinematic experience? Switch to Immersive mode by auto-hiding the UI and using customizable hotkeys to explore the castle. Or mix and match the options to satisfy your play style. In Shadowgate, there are plenty of new features and fun throwbacks to the original version to satisfy veteran adventurers and newcomers alike!

Key Features

  • Customized UI: Play the way you want! Use modern wheel-based icon commands, classic on-screen commands, or jump into Immersive mode to auto-hide the UI elements. Create key binds, lock commands and keys, and more.
  • The Dread Pumpkin Quest: A new mini-quest, find and free the Dread Pumpkin!
  • First Person Adventuring: Utilize your inventory, mapping system, and intuitive UI to complete your quest.
  • Dangerous Dungeons: Tons of beautifully illustrated rooms featuring both new and familiar locations, offering a new gameplay experiences.
  • Mind-bending Puzzles: Lots of new and updated puzzles that seamlessly expand on the original game.
  • Difficulty Levels: Four different difficulty levels (from the novice to expert) that actually change the gameplay experience and puzzle structure. For the ultimate challenge, try Ironman mode that disables saves and requires players to finish the game in one try.
  • Retro Mode: Play the game like it’s 1989! Toggle on pixelated graphics, listen to Hiroyuki Masuno’s original NES chip tunes, move between rooms with NES transitions, and enjoy the text in retro format.
  • Storytelling: Shadowgate features dramatic cut-scenes and all the same great storytelling you expect from the original creators.
  • Cinematic Score: A digitally-orchestrated, dynamic soundtrack that changes with gameplay by composer Rich Douglas.
  • Soundscapes: A complete atmospheric and puzzle-based sound design featuring hundreds of sound effects.

Also check out the original MAC and IIgs version of Shadowgate available now!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.4GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB Dedicated Video Memory
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.6+
    • Processor: 2.4GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB Dedicated Video Memory
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
114 of 129 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 20, 2014
A classic reborn. If you loved the computer and NES origins of this game, you absolutely have to pick this up. The puzzles and music are classig enough to bring every bit of emotional response you want in nostalgia and so much updating and redesign that it feels current and new again.

Some classic puzzles are still there, some classic puzzles are not what you thought they would be, and tons of nods to classic scenarios that have been removed. The new puzzles are fresh, complex and satisfying to solve.

Being able to toggle retro music was a blast. Some of my favorite video game music was from this and Rich Douglas did a magnificent job translating those songs to current times. The sounds and music were perfectly done to match all the new visuals and puzzles.

If you have never played Shadowgate before, and you love point and click adventure titles, or puzzle solving adventures a la Myst, 11th Hour, 7th Guest, etc... you would have a blast with this. Can't wait to see them redo Uninvited and Deja Vu!
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86 of 95 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
There was a time in my life where the original Shadowgate on NES consumed all of my attention. Friends and I would sit in Biology class drawing maps and comparing notes, then spending the evenings on the phone doing the same. This lasted until the end of the game; it was pretty great.

Naturally, when I heard that there was a remake of Shadowgate coming to Steam, my curiosity was piqued immediately. It was easy to worry though that my fondness of the game only existed in the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Thankfully, once I got my hands on the remake, I discovered that Shadowgate was in fact a great game and the remake was pretty great in its own right.

I've never been one much for modern adventure games, but Shadowgate seems to be a shining example of the genre. Its packed with some great graphics updates and a great score. The game play proves to be fun too. I was worried that a point and click style adventure game wouldn't hold my attention. Since this game has a good story that gets unveiled the further you journey with hints and clues scattered about the castle, it manages to be pretty engrossing. It's common finding myself coming back to the game sooner than expected just to find out more story. This is a strong trait for a strong adventure game!

If my words don't convince you, check out my ongoing Let's Play series of the game over on my youtube channel!
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51 of 55 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
Shadowgate is a re-imagining of the point-and-click adventure game released almost three decades ago, under the same name, on NES and Mac. Given these origins, your motivations for venturing into Castle Shadowgate are about what you would expect: you are a hero who must defeat an evil warlock. The graphics, music and the majority of puzzles have been reworked; new, voice-acted cutscenes and story elements have been peppered throughout; while the mysterious atmosphere and memorable locations of the original remain intact, along with the option to use the retro soundtrack.

While most of the information needed to reach puzzle solutions does lie somewhere within the game, it is not explicit in its detail: clues are often cryptic, making experimentation necessary—experimentation that results in death just as often as a satisfying solution. Shadowgate is a game in which the reaper is literally waiting around every corner for you to make your next mistake. The only difference is that, this time, it’s almost as if you’re collecting the various deaths since you’re rewarded with achievements for experiencing them and special cutscenes for discovering the hidden ones.

On Master difficulty, the puzzles are as challenging as the name implies but often in a manner just as obtuse as in the original Shadowgate; fortunately, the developers included two lesser difficulties that make the game more approachable and groom you for your playthrough of Master—if you’re still interested by then. An optional tutorial and a talking skull companion that gives hints upon request, the equivalent of the “hint” command from the original, also help to alleviate the difficulty.

Dependent upon how you like your point-and-clicks, Shadowgate is potentially flawed: Turns are limited because the torches that keep you alive are limited in both number and duration, complicated by the fact that you’re unavoidably afflicted with a curse very early on, which will kill you if not cured in time. This is fairly forgiving on lower difficulty settings but, on Master, it’s very easy to waste enough time searching for the cure that you damn yourself in the process and must either go back to an earlier save or restart the entire game. The facts that many items aren’t necessary to progress and anything that isn’t a simple inspection of your surroundings will consume a turn, combined with the experimentation-based puzzle solving, where items must frequently be combined with each other or the environment, could make this adventure an exercise in frustration for some.

If you enjoyed the original Shadowgate, this is a no-brainer. If you hated the original Shadowgate, this isn’t likely to change your mind, though the lesser difficulties will undoubtedly be less offensive. For those who haven’t played the game, nostalgia aside and despite its difficulty, it is a very memorable game that is full of mystery and your enjoyment will largely depend on how much trial and error you are willing to endure in an adventure game.
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51 of 58 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
First playthrough time: 6 hours

Disclaimer: I have never played the original game and played though this one mostly on easy settings.

Major Pros:
Great art
Interesting puzzles of fair difficulty level
Well planned storyline makes sure players never get too far unintentionally ill prepared
New user interaction methods are fast and easy
No clicking around randomly on every room to find everything (clear markers show all visible interactable objects while secrets are hinted at in gameplay and Yorick can help you if you're stuck)
Clever usage of items to solve puzzles

Minor Pros:
An easy access log is kept of everything the game tells you
Harder modes encourage smart game play with interesting ways to die while easier modes protect inexperienced players
Hints (for those that use them) are helpful without directly telling you what to do

Major Cons:
Can't use the map to "port" to places you've already been (walking can take a while, especially toward the end of the game)
Message pop up on certain rooms that you have to click on to dismiss or you can't keep walking even if you've seen them before

Minor Cons:
Spell descriptions are rather vague and result in you trying the spells on everything a lot to figure out what they do
There are some annoying goblins that randomly attack you for no apparent reason, but defeating them is the same every time
More could've been done to flesh out the story

Even on the easier modes I found the game very enjoyable. The art was nice and the puzzles appropriate and complex. Nothing felt forced in the game and I didn't feel like I'd missed anything by not playing the original game. There wasn't anything that particularly stood out about this game above others in the genre, but I felt it was very solid and enjoyable. The only real annoyance was the time it took to get anywhere which could be a little bit of a problem later in the game when the puzzles spanned more space or were more complex to solve.
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41 of 49 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
All the nostalgia you'd expect -- All the new trials and challenge you wouldn't.

For the fence sitters of this reimagining of Shadowgate: To shrug this offering of the Shadowgate franchise as simply a remake does the efforts of the development team no justice.

For those who have played any of the previous versions of the game across its many iterations, you will indeed feel as though you have returned to the same castle, and the same aura of the game remains surprisingly intact and pervades each and every room.

But be warned, the familiarity is both friend and foe as you begin to traverse the new puzzles and challenges. Old riddles may not always be what they seem and familiarity can lend itself to misdirection. It will take a fresh perspective from the player to prepare for the fresh traps, trials, and tribulations of this new castle shaped the guise of the old.

I must admit I had a skeptical approach to the title myself before being part of its testing; but have been pleasantly surprised by the respect to the original and the careful balance of nostalgia vs new content paid by the development team.

If you enjoyed the previous generations of the Living Castle, Shadowgate, then you will most certainly find quite a lot to love about its newest incarnation. And if you are new to this genre of gameplay or this franchise, then Shadowgate is an apt place to start.

So if you're still interested: grab a torch, a weapon of choice, and pluck up a touch of courage and take on the new challenge of the newest Castle Shadowgate -- the Reaper is waiting to see just where your adventure may chance to end...and he can wait far longer than you can.
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50 of 65 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
A remake of the original game from the Nes, Shadowgate is a click and point adventures that follows the original retro style redone with voice acting, animated graphics, and the complicated puzzles changed up to blow your mind in fustration but full of satisfactory when solved. Fans of the original Shadowgate will love the remake of this game and the feeling of retro nostalgia.

The game starts with an animated opening accompanied by a great soundtrack and voice narration that will give you the immersion and overhwelming feeling of epicness to your adventure to conquer the castle and stop an evil warlock.

Though not everything is voiced in the game except for major plotline cutscenes for the story. The game still does a great job with the text dialogue. The graphics will remind you of a really well done animated graphic novel if you've ever experienced any of those. The gameplay itself a click adventure puzzle game and might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Upon playing the game and starting off your adventure you'll be greeted with 3 different difficulty mode to the game, each of which changes up the solution to the puzzles to the game and stop players from thinking they know the puzzles after playing the first time. Along with starting the adventure you'll be given a well detailed tutorial that explains how the mechanics, and how the game works. This isn't your usual point and click adventure but a retro gameplay style with the player having to use hotkeys and clicking on top for buttons to execute commands such as use, speak, or even to open doors and move forward etc. So an example is in order to get in through a door to the next area to progress you'll have to first open the door or you'll run headlfirst into it.

The game will feature puzzles that are pretty complex and feels VERY satisfying when you actually solve it. The game does give you hints hidden in well written riddles and text on spells, items, and scroll you find in order to progress. Upon being stuck however, players do have the ability to talk to your only sidekick skull partner Yorick who at times talk alot but does give you hints also in riddles but unless you paid attention to certain surrondings and the riddles, you'll be stuck at certain areas for quite a bit.
The way to solve certain situations sometimes is trial and error sometimes and be warned however that making a mistake at certain locations and it's death for you in many ways. There are creatures in this castle to stop you along the way such as krakens and dragons. Luckily the game does offer saving and quicksave to keep on playing. To add on to this the game has a mechanic that everything you do is considered a move except for looking. So each time you are using a move your torch is slowly diminishing. If you run out of torches you'll have no choice but to restart a previous save becuase leaving will make you fall in the dark and break your neck. Along with the torch there will be another element later in the game that will be more brutal on you forcing you to quicken your pace a bit.

The one thing about the game is when you do die you'll die in a gruesome way. Along with death flying along and giving you a speech about your misery sometimes in a humorous manner. So try not to die and do your best at the puzzles, Read, look, and tread carefully in this castle of doom.

+ Animated graphics
+ Well written dialogue
+ Voice over and cutscenes are nicely done
+ Immersive Music
+ Complex puzzle with 3 different difficulty and change up
+ includes retro voice, music, and audio from the nes version that you can switch to

- When you get stuck its pretty brutal don't give up
- The retrostyle interface might not be everyones thing
- The only downside is once you know the solutions then thats pretty much it for the game.
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28 of 36 people (78%) found this review helpful
47.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2014
Like other gamers, I am sometimes hesitant in seeing a remake of a wonderful classic especially one that stuck to me as a child. Ever since I played this game on a NES system a few decades ago, I recall all the frustration I had when going through some tedious puzzles, yet the joy when solving a problem made it more the worthwhile.

Those who have played the game will likely recall a skull ornament door at the very start of the game. Once inside, the warlock lord makes his first appearance (his eyes anyway) dismissing your quest to stop him and confidently remarks about your imminent death. Alas your journey and the puzzles start immediately. At times you attempt to methodically evaluate and make sense of a problem ahead. In other times, you may resort to trying random actions. Actions which may cause you to progress, cause your death – or even witty remarks to things you wouldn’t do in real life!

Its 2014, a remake of Shadowgate arrives. I really didn’t know what to anticipate until the game started. Unlike the previous game, this remake has three different modes with master being the most difficult. After choosing a difficulty mode, I was met with a familiar setting to the original classic. There was an air of nostalgia in the opening sequence, yet it was original and fresh - the design was fabulous. The background music was nicely adapted from the classic Shadowgate. A nice feature of the game is to switch the soundtracks to the original MIDI composition! A major difference at the start is you are met with a companion named Yorick, who not only guides you through your quest, but throws a few jokes and remarks to put you at ease in some frustrating situations. This was all before I entered the door - from here on I just knew this was going to be a master piece of a game. Boy was I right! The art work for the cut scenes later on were simply fantastic and suited well the nature of this point-and-click adventure game. The puzzles were similar to the classic though with more mind-boggling twist. They were that much better to solve. I couldn’t put the game down and even today, decades later, with the similarities from the previous game, the frustrations still arose. There are also a variety of side ‘missions’ for further achievements. With this in mind, this game is repayable, addicting and fun.

Zojoi takes the great problem solving of the original game to a whole new level.

A superb game 5/5
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29 of 39 people (74%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
Simply put: if you played this as a child back in the 80's, you owe it to yourself to purchase this remake. It's an excellent, and challenging, standalone point-and-click adventure game, perfectly seasoned with nostalgia to make you smile.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
142.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
Journey once more into the castle Shadowgate

Do you remember having a favorite video game that it seemed not many other people fully appreciated? One that you were completely obsessed with, spent tons of time with played over and over again, gathered every bit of information on it that you could? For some people, the games that they find themselves so devoted to end up becoming big series, with numerous sequels. For others, those games get periodic sequels and live on. And for yet others those games just sort of fade away, becoming forgotten in time.

For a while, it seemed that Shadowgate would be one of those games in that last group. Certainly, it was much-loved by a number of people who experienced the original adventure on NES, Macintosh, and PC. And, the series did get some sequels - a side-scrolling adventure game for the TurboDuo, and a 3D exploration game for N64, as well as a port of the original game to the Gameboy Color. But, the series never seemed to receive quite the appreciation that it deserved, and, after those N64 and GBC versions in 1999, the series seemed to slip away. While the series, or mentions of the series, would pop up occasionally, it was never anything significant. And, after a while, it seemed all hope was gone, and the legend of Shadowgate would be lost to the passage of time.

Sometimes, however, all it takes is a few dedicated people to make something happen. And fortunately for the Shadowgate series, it had two extremely dedicated people - Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs - who had been with the series since the beginning, who still maintained that love for the series after all those years, who wanted to see the series live and thrive again. They surrounded themselves with a great group of talented people at Zojoi, acquired the rights to the Shadowgate franchise, and set out to find if there was still a desire to see Shadowgate live again. And, through the relatively new (especially at the time in 2012) format of Kickstarter, soon found out that there were nearly 3500 people were still passionate about Shadowgate, and wanted to see it brought back to life. And, after over a year and a half of work, that dream finally become a reality, with the new Shadowgate game!

The first thing that should be clarified/emphasized with regards to the new Shadowgate game is that it is not simply a port/remake of the original Shadowgate. While it is based off of the original Shadowgate, and shares similarities with it, there is a significant amount of new content - rooms, items, descriptions, everything that goes into making the game. So, anyone who has played the original who is expecting to simply blow through this game in short order is in for a big surprise.

That said, the new Shadowgate shares much in common with the original, where it is a near certainty that anyone who enjoyed the original will enjoy the new Shadowgate as well. All of the core aspects of a good Adventure game are here. In your journey through the castle Shadowgate and surrounding areas, you will be exploring through a wide variety of locations, gathering hints, clues and information, discovering items and putting them to use, solving puzzles, uncovering mysteries, all while working toward your end goal. The challenge and adventure of Shadowgate is alive and well, and fans of the series will be thrilled to see all of this brought into a new game so well.

For people who are new to the series, or to the genre entirely, the new Shadowgate also provides as an excellent entry point. There are three different difficulties - allowing one to experience the adventure while working through different amounts of puzzles, different challenges, and more forgiving circumstances. There is also an optional hint system in place, where one can make use of a companion to receive information about situations and guidance toward solutions. So, one can start on a level where one is comfortable, and work up through the difficulties and help with those difficulties, until one is a master of the castle.

In bringing Shadowgate to a new generation, new expectations, and new groups of fans, Zojoi have brought the game up-to-speed not only with regards to the puzzles and adventure, but in the graphics and music as well. Each area - old and new - is beautifully illustrated, to make each room come alive. In addition, a wonderful soundtrack has been created for this game, each piece of which which perfectly fits and sets the mood for the rooms and the entire game.

For those with a fondness for the original soundtrack and style of the original game, however, there are a set of options - for audio, text, and transitions - which can be toggled on or off individually, to provide for a more "retro" style of play. The audio allows one to experience either the new soundtrack, or the NES one. The text option causes text to appear letter by letter, drawn by a quill. And, the transition option causes the more blocky style of moving from room to room, as opposed to more blurred option of the newer version. Each of these, depending on one's preference, can either provide for a more "retro" feel on a newer adventure, or allow one to experience an entirely new adventure altogether.

Between the different difficulties, different challenges, new things to explore and discover and overcome on each difficulty, new details to notice, and an intricate story to uncover, as well as the various options for display and experience of the game, there are many reasons to play through Shadowgate multiple times. While it's easy enough to do a quick playthrough of the game on the easiest difficulty with hints, it's a very rewarding experience to play through at the hardest difficulty without any hints. That may be a bit much to tackle the first time through the game, however, even for seasoned Shadowgate veterans, and so going through the game multiple times on different difficulties to uncover increasingly more of the game is highly recommended. Even beyond that, however, the world of Shadowgate is so rich and rewarding that it will continually draw one back into its world, to explore and experience it time and again.

The new Shadowgate game takes as a starting point the original Shadowgate, and builds off of it to bring forth a game which is similar in style, while still modern and up-to-date; a game which has a similar feel, yet doesn't feel archaic; a game which stays true to the roots of the original, while providing a significantly new experience; and which takes a franchise that at one time, and for so long, had seemed lost to the ages and tales of the past, and brings it once more to the forefront of gaming. The new Shadowgate is not meant to merely be a one-off thing either. Having seen the passion and love that still exist for the franchise, Zojoi have plans to bring Shadowgate as a franchise back to life, continuing to combine old and new as old adventures are revived, forgotten tales are brought to the fore, hidden information is revealed, and bright future is once more in sight.

It's not very often that a game like the new Shadowgate comes along. A beautiful blend of old and new, a game which will appeal to fans of the series, fans of the genre, and people new to both of them. A game in a series which for so long had seemed lost and without hope, brought back to life, not in just a simple port or in a cheap use of the name, but in a lovingly-crafted game, both a tribute to what has come before, and a promise of what is to come. Dave Marsh, Karl Roelofs, and everyone at Zojoi, have created a masterpiece with Shadowgate. The series is once more in good hands, and the future is brighter than it has ever been.

Journey once more into the castle Shadowgate!
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27 of 39 people (69%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 21, 2014
I've been waiting for this remake my entire adult life. I spent many an evening with a group of friends doing speed runs of the NES version for shots, those were the times.

I'm loving what I've played thus far. The art and music presentation are top notch. I was a little on the fence about the UI based on production stills during development but it's fluid and classic. The retro options are a nice touch to give us some nostalgia.

If you've mastered any of the previous versions do yourself a favor and jump right in on the hardest difficulty. Things may seem familiar, but you'll bare witness to the Reaper far more than you thought you would.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
If you like puzzles and thinking and potentially being insanely frustrated (in a good way) by the puzzle this is a great game.
Let's say you don't like that last part that's okay because they are difficulties, and hints (in all difficulties) to help you!
The original was on amiga, Apple2, and NES, but it's not a port, if you played the originals it's a blessing and a curse. (cause your memory works against you in some puzzles but gives you some idea of what to do in others. there are also a lot more puzzles and updates (Think DLC level content) happening all the time) in October a whole new quest is being added included as an update, it's worth the investment to be sure!

PS Hopefully your adventures won't end too soon that'd be sad.....
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20 of 28 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
I was excited to see yet another old game I played on NES had been remade and released on Steam (the other being Gauntlet)! The original was released in 1989 on the NES, and was a lot of fun (though very difficult) when I played it as a kid.

The new one is just as tough, and has a new and very beautiful art style. A nice soundtrack was made for this as well, though after exploring the options menu I saw there were options to make this game feel more like the original, "retro" Shadowgate. One of those options was to have the old soundtrack play instead! There's other options as well to make it feel more like the old version. They did good there.

So what is this game...well it's an old school point-and-click adventure game. Extremely heavy puzzle elements that will get you killed and/or confused. A lot. There are ways for you to fail this game, without you even knowing it right away too. You'll be unlocking new areas, as well as a fair amount of backtracking. There are also a lot of items to be had, you'll want to get most of them because you never know when they might be of use.

They've introduced some different difficulty settings, and the ability to either play the game with no saves or with the ability to save. Unless you have the hints option on, there's really not much in the way of handholding. And even with the hints, it doesn't really tell you much.

Great game, and worth checking out if you like games that really make you think and pay attention to details.

"It's a sad thing that your adventures have ended here." Get used to reading that.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
Gameplay: Shadowgate is not reinventing any wheels here - it plays exactly like its predecessor and exactly like any other point-and-click adventure game, a set of pre-defined commands used to interact with the world and solve hella puzzles. The game deftly avoids making you actually pixel-hunt, most interactable items fairly easy to spot.

The game is an adventure of the old-school, with red herrings everywhere and huge amount of items you can grab that you will never actually use. Nearly every puzzle has good, if sometimes somewhat obtuse hints, with very little ♥♥♥-pull adventure logic. The difficulty levels are also very serious, massively simplifying things on the easiest level as compared to the hardest. You /can/, on all difficulties, screw yourself into an unwinnable position - the game will allow you to destroy necessary items (though not casually) and it's extremely possible to just run out of time (though not very likely).

The biggest flaw in the gameplay is some UI related clumsiness, as using items on the environment can get very clunky very quickly when you're experimenting on a puzzle. Items can be bound to number keys for things you use a lot, but I don't think that ended up particularly useful near the end.

Story: Shadowgate has never, on its own, had a particularly deep mythology. The Shadowgate remake drops a lot more lore on you, completely resetting the world and freely changing some very major details. It does some interesting things once you get to the end.

I did personally find it to largely suffer from being written by 50-year old men whose greatest influences are clearly in the Lord of the Rings vein, naming conventions clearly suffering from a lack of... I want to say modern creativity. It's all a bit out of date.

Art: Here's where Shadowgate really shines - which is important, since the game is little more than a series of paintings you flail at with a mouse. Shadowgate is not a colorful place, with most scenes generally only having two or three different colors at any time, and Chris Cold does an excellent job making a dreary Shadowgate that seriously looks like it wants to kill you.

Jair in particular is excellently rendered - the classic portrayal of the game's protagonist was a standard square-jawed manly hero in full armor and a beautiful head of hair. New Shadowgate portrays Jair as a man dragged out of his life and sent on a journey without ever really being allowed to understand why - his hair is long and filthy, his cloak is tattered, and his shadowed face imparts the idea that Shadowgate is destroying him even as he triumphs over it.

Perhaps most importantly, the art is /clear./ Despite everything being dirty, dull, and cracked, mostly in greys and browns, nothing looks maddeningly ambiguous. An item on the ground is clearly an item on the ground, a doorway is clearly a doorway, and if you at any point get fooled it's because the game is actively trying to fool you.

Music: I have a clear bias here - New Shadowgate's score is an orchestral treatment of the original music, the old songs appearing as almost etherial strains inside some deeply atmospheric stuff. Compared to the original, this score is much darker, much more ominous, and much more effective (which shouldn't be too difficult, considering the original was on an 8-bit system). There is an appreciated option to set the music to the classic beeply bops.

Shadowgate: Yeah, it's Shadowgate. You can die on almost every screen, you watch your torches steadily dwindle down, and the Warlock Lord pops in from time to time just to talk ♥♥♥♥. Most sadistically, the game is explicitly /not/ the previous Shadowgate. Very few puzzles are solved the same way, and the game will often directly punish you for having the unmitigated gall to underestimate it in this fashion. Much like the original, the game (on Master difficulty) is not here to be your friend. It is here to laugh at you as you stare blankly at its legitimately hard puzzles and then brutally kill you for blinking.


All told, I give the game high marks. The UI's clunkiness just takes a little getting used to, and if you enjoy adventure games that kind of slap you around, you can't get much more slappy than this. If you're a fan of the original and you haven't picked this up yet, you should absolutely do so.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Did you grow up on Shadowgate? Then this is for you. Refreshing time capsule/solo rpg experience where figuring out a solution to your current problem is so rewarding. New verison adds great difficulty options, new rooms, more story, voice acting, great art, and a few retro options. Older gamers will be in heaven.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014

+A remake of the classic 1987 Shadowgate, but doesn't feel phoned in or a simple cash grab. The game is faithful to the original, but expands greatly upon it.
+Fans of the original (and later re-releases, including the popular NES version) will absolutely love the option to choose either the new transitions and music or the original 1987 music and transitions.
+The new music pieces are not simply remixes of the original pieces, but rather hauntingly-beautiful retellings.
+Game difficulty determines how hard and how long the game is. A puzzle that requires backtracking or multiple steps on Hard will either be simplified or outright removed on Easy.
+The game's many causes of death reinforces the idea that you don't need your hand held to have fun.


-Whoever thought of the idea for retro graphics mode needs to be fired. The "retro" option simply places a filter over the screen, pixelating everything. Imagine playing a game that runs at a native 1920x1080, then changing the resolution to 320x200. That's how bad it is. Unlike the transitions and the music, it is in no way faithful to the original game.
-Unlike the original, the game gives you no indication that your torch is about to go out, leading to an untimely and unexpected death. The NES version had its own music piece to warn you when your torch was about to go out.
-Newcomers to the game may be put off by all the trial-and-error they will have to do, as many of the puzzle solutions seem counter-intuitive.

Full disclosure: I backed this game on Kickstarter.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
you die..... a LOT..... just like I remember.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
For those fans that loved the old "click and move" games that appeared on the NES; Shadowgate, and the lesser known "Uninvited" title, they should definitely give this one a whirl. Although I feel that this title is not worth 19.99, if its on sale, I would pick it up. The music is completly redone, as well as the graphics, and gives you a more dreaded feel that you are exploring a castle.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
79.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
As a HUGE fan of the NES port, THIS REMAKE IS AMAZING. Puzzles have changed, so don't think that having the original or NES games memorized will help you. There are tutorials for beginners, new rooms, more challenges in harder modes. Some puzzles in Master mode are already solved for you in Apprentice mode. I've found myself utterly stuck in some places, and in other places it's just "man, use everything on everything else and see what sticks."

If you liked the feel of the original, there's so much more. New things just everywhere. New places to explore. New ways to solve old puzzles, some that still harken back to their original solutions while managing to be different. (You'll see what I mean when you have to freeze the lake.) For those interested in the lore, MAN has that EVER been expanded. You will interact with Lakmir. You will learn about the Circle Of Twelve. There is so much more depth and richness to this reimagining.

If you don't like point-and-click, exploration-type games, well, this isn't for you. For those of us with fond memories of the original and want more depth to it, then it's a grand thing that your adventures have begun here. ;)
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
Shadowgate was one of those kind of games growing up that expanded my tastes as a gamer back in the NES days, at the time I played it there was very little like it other than the Sierra games like kings quest etc. The game was a puzzle to unravel and navigate and while you would get stumped sometimes, no answer ever felt like it was total off in left field logic answer.

The Redux has plenty to offer a player new and old, but far more for the old. Only people who have played the original get to fully enjoy some of the nods in the redux. How you proceed in the remake has changed greatly from the original and infact what were solutions to problems in the original now kill you in somewhat humorous ways and even offer secret death endings which I greatly enjoyed.

"point and click adventure" is a name that has been slightly tarnished with games that have you find 10 objects on a still screen while a timer ticks down (you know what I am talking about) but shadowgate tells a story and makes you think. Also if you want to just want to enjoy a story theres always guides, so you never feel stuck if you want to just enjoy a tale. I hope to see more of these classic games revived like Deja Vu.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
This game enthralled me long enough to finish it on normal mode and I purchased it at a discount, so I'll be fair and give it a "thumbs up". There are quiet a few things you should consider if you plan to buy this, though:

- It's not an RPG in any way regarding skilling, equipping or upgrading your character. You don't have skills, attributes or whatsoever you could manage or upgrade. You can't buy or sell items and all items you find in the game are basically "use item x for adventure element y (e.g. use the only arrow you'll find in the whole game against precisely one specific enemy).
- There are no fights in the classical sense. You don't aim or use skills or the like against enemies. You use item x, which is specifically designed to be used in this "fight" on the enemy or another item to win the fight.
- There are some clues about what to do, but like in most adventures, you'll end up several times with spamming item x or ability y on everything you can to see if it has any effect. I felt really lost during the late game when I was just running around and trying to figure out where's the chance to progress with the game.
- There are NO, I repeat, NO possibilities for alternative ways to get around a challenge. You either stick to the scripted plan of using item a on element b in situation c after you've accomplished event d or you are srewed. That's actually the reason why adventures died out some time ago.
- I needed 6 hours to finish the game. That's a pretty short time to play through a game. You can choose to play the game on different difficulties, and I've read that some puzzles are different then. Nonetheless, I consider the replay value of this game to be like the reeat value of a pizza.

If you've played the original Shadowgate (and liked it) or if you're a huge fan of fantasy adventures, you may give this game a try. All others should really think about if they really want to play this game.
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