Inspired by “shmups” and shadows, Shmadow is a modern twin-stick side-scroller that nods to retro arcade gameplay. Use your light to blast through your enemies, unlock new powers, and defeat bosses before the darkness extinguishes you.
User reviews:
Very Positive (133 reviews) - 81% of the 133 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 3, 2015

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About This Game

Inspired by “shmups" and shadows, Shmadow is a modern twin-stick side-scroller that nods to retro arcade gameplay. Use your light to blast through hidden enemies, unlock new powers, and rack up a high score before the darkness takes over. Upon destruction, bosses drop power-ups that correspond to their defenses. These power-ups, used in combination with your customized starting ability, will help you fight the next threat that comes your way. Destroying bosses, dodging bullets, and the element of darkness create an action-packed experience that will put your speed, skill, and strategic thinking to the test!


  • Infinite gameplay: Fight your way through endless streams of deadlier enemies
  • 4 player local co-op: Recruit friends to help you beat back the darkness
  • 12 special weapons and power-ups
  • Leaderboards: crush your friends’ scores and beat players from around the globe
  • Original adaptive soundtrack
  • Full controller support: enjoy the game with controller of your choice
  • Three difficulty modes: play in casual, normal, or if you dare, nightmare mode

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP+
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 7600 GT/ATI Radeon X1600 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (133 reviews)
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61 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
56 of 65 people (86%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2015
One night I was sitting in my chat room and got a message from a friend.. He said:" Wany!! there is this new developer made his first new game! Try it out!!" I was like.. what the heck... any games that increase my game collection count would be fine! So I did just that.

One week later the review count for this game was still kinda low but the rating of the game stayed 90% postive after 32 people reviewed...

Well.. I better play and try this...

First impression.. What is this!!.. you are a white dot travel in black space and shoot black dots hidden in shadow? At least music is great!!

Second impression.. Hmm this is a bit harder then i throught.. Being a TouHou veteren it's nothing that i couldn't handle...

Third impression ...Wow.. speed is increasing.. and enemy is going getting more massive... Hmm beat all boss achievements already? Well.. at least it's still keep getting harder....

Fourth impression.. okkiee.. this is getting much more insane and crazy to stay alive... Darn it I died and lost all my power.. Darn it again.. IT's like impossible to recover at this stage without my power.. And I am dead again!! And Again!! Grr... Last life!.. Bosss? no.. Dead...

Thus end my first try at this game..
Rank 28 on Normal .. beats all my friends that tried this.. CatzZz rank 45, dkny rank 182.... Cool...

Since I unlocked a few new weapon.. Let's try this again!!!

Simple Indie Game and i would call it great success!! Keep up the great work!

8.5/10 Recommend for everyone to try.. and Beat my score my friends!
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
"Shrinking dot in darkness"
Does shmadow mean "mad shadow"? However this game is a simplistic space shooter and bullet hell. You fly through dark space and only your shots can light it up. Black bubbles everwhere. Then appear the bosses in a row. Like rotating red and yellow bullet spreading twisters, rotating lasers or bubble spaceworms. One is changing gravity so that all background bubbles come from one side. Tho the game is flat 2D and the powerups are not very useful or there isn't even a decent tutorial the game makes fun for a short while. If you get hit your dot shrinks down to a minimum dot. A nice game mechanic. Achievements just count from normal difficulty up to nightmare. Local coop included, steam leaderboards and a techno loop soundtrack. Nothing special but quite enjoyable.
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23 of 30 people (77%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2015
Shmadow is a fun little twin-stick shmup game with tough bosses and power-ups to help you through the game. One of the special things about this game is that it features 4 player LOCAL co-op(Xbox and Playstation controller fully supported and required for co-op), something that is not often done in video games these days. You can play this game with your buddys on the coach while drinking root beer and eating Oreo's.

But on to the actual substance of the game.
You are a ball of light navigating through the dark with the help of your bullets to light the way and destroy all that goes against you (which is pretty much everything on the screen except for the background). You can get power ups after defeating bosses you encounter. These bosses can be very brutal, from slowing down and speeding up time, to bombarding you with lazers and drowning you with bullets. All while trying to avoid or destroy black blobs that damages/kills you opon touch.

There are three difficulties: Casual, Normal and Nightmare. These names don't lie. Casual is fairly easy with some practice, Normal is what you would expect and Nightmare is for those who enjoy getting pwned (I know I still say pwn, I'm stuck in 2007). The game also features a leaderboard for each difficulty.

And the music in this game is fairly decent. Goes well with the game.

For the core price of 2$, I personally think this game is worth a checkout.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2015
Personal Rating: I like my game sessions short
Classic Rating: ★★★☆☆

Shmadow is a simple game under every aspect but yet entertaining, if you don't mind short/casual game sessions.

It's a twin-stick shooter in a 2D environment: you are a light "bulb" (or something along the way) and there's plenty of dark enemies coming your way.. if you leave auto-fire on, left stick moves the bulb, right stick aims and then dodge and shoot is what you'll do, as long as you can, before death comes.

Electronic Soundtrack is also very good, keeps the pace on; if you ever played "Really Big Sky" and you liked it like I did, you'll enjoy Shmadow without any doubt. I haven't been able to play local-coop yet, but it's a thing I'll have to try, sooner or later.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
A very shadowish bullet hell. 1 hour full of fun with light and shadow.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2015
amazing game great to kill time with it has AMAZING soundtracks i reccomend buying it !
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
Shmadow is truely a great game, from the unique graphics to the amazing sound track it really blew me away. I have never been a huge fan of shoot em ups but with the production quality of Shmadow I really enjoyed myself. It would be a shame to not get this game for such a good price.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2015
A highly addictive game with music that will definately put you into a trance.
This is a good game to pass by time and to collect the achievements.

Nice music
Reminds me of certain old school side scrolling shooters
Upgrade system

Lose everything when you die
Starts to get really repetative after playing a hour or so

It's a fun game and worth it c:

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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
A pretty nice game. After 20 minutes of play my head went shwoooo...
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
If I had to describe Shmadow in a few words I'd have to say it's as if bullet hells, endless runners, and sidescrollers had a child. There isn't very much to say about this game but let's talk about it anyway. You're a ball of light who shoots other balls of various colors. Your character and your bullets produce light allowing you to see through the darkness. The more damage you take the less light you produce making it harder to survive. You get get an attack that recharges over a short cooldown and you pickup powerups which can also be used to assist you. You fight bosses and your objective is to make it as far as you can without losing. That's pretty much all there is to say about Shmadow.

The Good
  • One of the easiest achievement hunts you'll ever see.
  • You can play through the entire game and refund it if you don't enjoy it due to the game being so short.
  • You don't need a controller to do well (I got every achievement using keyboard and mouse).
  • Due to trading cards existing you'll make a large portion of what you spent on the game (if you bought it on sale) back from selling them.
  • Very short soundtrack although it's a very fitting song that doesn't get annoying.
  • Regardless of how much playtime you get it's still only 2 USD.
  • Several difficulties/modes.
  • Really cool bosses.

The Bad
  • Super short playtime (15 ish minutes if you're playing normally and 30-90 minutes if you're achievement hunting depending on how good you are at Shmadow). One playthrough of the game is enough for a player to see every boss along with the majority of the content.
  • I like the graphics although I cannot deny that there was very little effort put into them.
  • There's no tutorial although there's a controls section on the main menu.
  • You have to use the powerup to know what it does (they have no titles, just icons) and for a game this short I doubt you want to memorize all of them.

If you're poor (and I mean very poor) this game isn't a good choice for you considering the lack of playtime you'll get out of it. If you aren't poor you've got nothing to lose no matter how much playtime you get out of it.
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Recently Posted
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 2
Not a bad little time waster. Very atmospheric and pretty.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 30

shoulda coulda woulda been good, lacking depth ...massive brainless repetition.... other than that i usually like these sorta kicks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Omega Deicide
29.6 hrs
Posted: August 20
In this White Supremacy simulator we play as Bitler, taking on the Million Man March.

Occasionally the Commie state shows up, but we hit it with steady white propaganda and fell the ranadom red beast.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: August 12
How to play with friend, i don wan to play this alone
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 10
For the price, this game is great! I got it for $0.49 and have absolutely loved it. I got all achievements in exactly an hour (the dying one took a big chunk of farming lel)

9/10 I love the concept and execution. Only thing I want is a mode that's a time survival where it spawns (only) bosses that don't despawn and you can't shoot. You just have to dodge for as long as you can. Great game :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.8 hrs
Posted: July 16
please add intel HD graphics support
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.8 hrs
Posted: July 3
How to play:
Hold mouse and wiggle mouse until red dot appears and aim mouse at red dot until red dot dies.
Sell cards
Helpful? Yes No Funny
✪ bluephAnt0m
0.2 hrs
Posted: July 1
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Posted: June 15
Wow. I don't think I've seen a gimmick backfire so badly.

-Multiple powers

-The Light Mechanic. This idea isn't good for twitched based action games. I'll Admit it's an interesting Idea, but It needs to be handle better.
-Glitched Graphics for Windows users, THAT DON'T HAVE A GRAPHICS CARD. Which is ridiculous since this game looks and runs like a flash game. What's more insulting is that with the same set up on MAC and LINUX, This game runs fine. HOW DID YOU MESS UP SO BADLY!
-Graphics look bland
-Uninspired enemies
-Unfair difficulty. Enemies and Bullets come out of nowhere.

I don't care what price this game is. A bad game does not deserve a high recommendation. Though to be fair to the Devs. This is a hard game to pull off.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: June 13
A simple core concept, well executed. The dynamic music is fantastic too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny