The Consuming Shadow is a procedural survival horror adventure in which you must explore the land, fight your way through randomly-generated dungeons and try to stay sane in your quest to save the world from the invading Ancients.
User reviews:
Very Positive (122 reviews) - 92% of the 122 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 20, 2015

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About This Game

The Consuming Shadow is a procedural survival horror adventure in which you must explore the land, fight your way through randomly-generated dungeons and try to stay sane in your quest to save the world from the invading Ancients. The new Insanity Edition for Steam introduces new modes and features for even more expanded gameplay.

- Roguelike perma-death gameplay

- 4 playable characters to find and unlock, each with a different play style

- 6 dungeon types, 10 mission types, and countless random encounters

- 20 different monsters to discover and fight

- Learn the 8 magic spells to gain the upper hand

- Complete the bestiary and gather collectibles to uncover the world's lore

- Insanity Edition adds special challenge modes, including Daily Challenges and 'The Descent' infinite dungeon

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 or up
    • Processor: Inter Core i3 or up
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel integrated graphics or up
    • Storage: 60 MB available space
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Very Positive (122 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Don't be fooled by the flash tier graphics.
A wonderfully lovecraftian rouge-lite with a genuinely disturbing atmosphere and loads of replayability.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
92 of 110 people (84%) found this review helpful
44 people found this review funny
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2015
Shoggoth's Scenic Driving Tour of England

Reviewer's Note: Over 50 Hours with Humble Bundle Copy

"It's late. At least, I think it's late. Keeping track of time isn't a priority - wherever I am now... like a purple nimbus cloud crackling with electricity. What's important is that I've saved the world, and no one will be any the wiser.

"Not that I did this for recognition, no! I'm not vainglorious or anything. This was all honestly just a happy byproduct of my pursuit of arcane knowledge, of the Eldritch Truth. I was laughed out of the academy, and the very men and women who found my research so amusing now owe me their insignificant lives. If they had seen what I've seen, fought what I've fought, learned what I've learned, they'd still be laughing - restrained in padded cells, or worse.

"Now to busy myself for eternity, and let's hope it's a brisk one because I'm quickly running out of reading material."

The Consuming Shadow is great fun. It isn't the deepest or most challenging procedural-type game I've ever played, but it is one of the most unique... like if FTL and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem finally hooked up and made an unholy union. You play as a nameless, silhouette-y scholar tasked with stopping an ancient alien god's invasion of England (in 60 hours no less) because, let's face it, anything fantastical or magical or evil is innately going to be drawn to England for its rich history, world-renowned cuisine, and year-round pleasant weather.

And it goes without saying you'll have to remain sane, tricky business considering the position you're in.

Sat in your car with a helpful sticky note attached to the rearview mirror (“Don't look back,” Yahtzee's nod to Daenerys Targaryen, one assumes), you must work your way southward towards Stonehenge (the aforementioned ancient god couldn't be ♥♥♥♥♥ to research a less obvious pagan site), stopping at all the quaint villages peppering the English countryside to take on jobs from the Ministry of Occultism, resupply, and generally pop in to make sure all the villagers haven't been replaced with horrible squid monsters and telemarketers.

That's the real pulsating meat of the game – you'll select a destination, drive a ways and encounter a particularly foggy town. Flavor text will inform you that everything isn't as it seems in Lil' Silent Hill, and you'll have to contend with a series of random dungeon scenarios – a hostage situation, sealing a rift, clearing an infestation... run of the mill English stuff, presumably. The dungeons are laid out in a random grid that you traverse like the 2D side-scrollin' badass you are.

Depending on what kind of a dungeon you find yourself in (there's quite a few), you'll get ammo, health, spells, sundry helpful items, and clues to suss out just what kind of an ancient alien god you're dealing with. Of course, you can't enjoy all that ammo, health, spells and so on without killing all the creeping, crawling, and flying horrors occupying the dungeon. The combat is, for me anyway, akin to combat in Silent Hill 2. Your firearm autoaims, and mele is an incredibly viable (read: powerful) option, but you're going to take hits and the combat isn't going to feel amazing... just acceptable. Which is fine! Again, Silent Hill 2-y. I feel like a Joe Shmo fighting unspeakable horror, and I shouldn't feel like his loud cousin Joey Kickass, frequent ruiner of children parties. And if you take too much damage, or dabble too often in the sexy dark arts, you'll encounter some clever little status and sanity effects... nothing quite as memorable as, say Eternal Darkness', but much more impactful on gameplay.

I mentioned that there are clues... see, part of the “stopping an ancient alien god's invasion” is knowing the proper incantation, which you aren't going to just know off the top of your head. Instead, you'll find helpful cultists have left various notes throughout dungeons providing contextual clues like, “the blue god is associated with raucous partying,” “Bytalia hates the ever-loving ♥♥♥♥ out of the god associated with the SMH rune,” and so on. Armed with a handy table, you can fill in pertinent information as you find it. This minor aspect of the game is what I found most fun, oddly enough. It felt like I was playing a boardgame. Once you have (or think you have) enough information you can brave Stonehenge itself for either a thrilling conclusion, a hilariously colossal cockup, or something in between.

With each subsequent playthrough you'll unlock new characters (three, each with a slightly different gameplay focus), constellations that let you focus on stats or abilities, and of course flavor text lore in the forms of a diary and bestiary.

The Consuming Shadow is going to have some complaints, and I'm sure a point of contention for some people will be the general aesthetic. While I initially found it less than easy on the eyes, The Consuming Shadow grew on me. There's something absolutely charming about it, I can't quite explain it. I felt immersed, like I was sitting in MY car, checking off a list, sleepily driving towards another cursed township (the otherworldly soundtrack helps a bunch in the ambiance department). My biggest qualm is that I wish there was MORE, which is asking a lot of a sole developer, I know. It's just that after a few playthroughs you'll encounter the same scenarios, same dungeons, same spook text messages, and same sanity effects. I would have loved more flavor text, more horrors, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the English setting I would have really liked some other maps... Australia perhaps, with the ancient god heading towards Uluru, or maybe the ancient god is in the continental United States in search of the first McDonald's.

But I digress. The Consuming Shadow is, as I said, great fun. It's cosmic horror-themed FTL when boiled down to its most basic concept, only instead of being chased by an ironically xenophobic intergalactic rebel fleet you're fleeing from pure, unadulterated EVIL™. The controls are tight and intuitive, the sound design is atmospheric, and... I don't know, it just feels good to play. Yahtzee took a bunch of great retro game mechanics and sensibilities and arranged them in such a way that it doesn't feel like another forced retro indie title.

This is one immersive, engaging, and well-written title. It's fulfilling to flesh out your diary and bestiary, it's thrilling when you finally win (and when you “win”), and it honestly makes for a fun little party game. My friends and I sat around for hours exploring dungeons, filling out the table, and dying.

We died a lot.

And you will too.

I've seen it in the stars.

INSANITY EDIT: the Steam edition includes lots of challenges to keep you coming back for more, PLUS I've noticed a few new denizens occupying the dungeons... definitely a fan of the creepy skitterish guy with more head than can be reasonably explained by natural selection.
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52 of 58 people (90%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2015
Note: Played the non-steam version to roughly 99% completion

The art's not amazing in this game. Right. Now forget that, because it doesn't detract from the game at all.

Basically, it's a Lovecraftian roguelite similar to FTL. You hop from town to town for supplies, quests, and most importantly, "dungeons" to explore. To win, you need to find four parts of a ritual spell, and deduce the identity of the invading god based on various clues offered throughout. The final level can be attempted at any time, allowing you to go in even with just an educated guess. Sometimes, your only choice is to make a guess, because you've got just 60 hours to work out an answer.

Most importantly for this kind of game, there's plenty of replayability. There are multiple endings, characters, and lore to be unlocked, plus the challenge modes new in the Steam version.

Lastly, to address the RNG, the game is a random by nature, but never so much that it can kill you or deny you items unfairly. I have yet to find myself in an unwinnable situation, unless I caused it myself (by not stocking up on health for example).

Oh, and it's not wiki-reliant. Big plus for me personally.

Anyway, it's well worth the $10, but sale or no, definitely consider picking this up.

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42 of 46 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
+High replayability
+Authentic Lovecraftian experience where violence can only solve low level problems
+Investigation oriented gameplay
+Abundance of items balanced by shortness of storage and funding creates a game where you never know what the RNG will give you yet you will never lose because the game refused to let you play

-RNG can still delay you or speed you along in arbitrary ways
-Spamming all your levelling up into sanity or health makes you OP
-Most of the abilities you can put your levels into have little value, thus forcing you to become overpowered.

It's definitely a must purchase for anyone who wants a Lovecraftian game that actually feels Lovecraftian
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Don't be quick to judge The Consuming Shadow by the cover graphics. Sure, they certainly lack in production value, but not in impact. Twitchy sihoulettes of enemies, roadsigns and houses covered in heavy fog, special effects of unholy spells and crawling insanity - they're all simple, but they create a suprisingly strong sense of immersion once you familiarize yourself with the gameplay.

That would be easy, because, unlike most games of this kind, there are not that many aspects and resources to manage. You only have health and sanity as your stats, ammo, medical supplies and drugs as resources, and some buffing items which you may find as you explore the shadow-infested Britain, helping civilians and completing simple tasks while trying to avert the invasion of a malevolent god.

This doesn't mean it's easy to reach any of the good endings. You will die a lot, sometimes by your own hand, i.e. hitting 'Kill yourself' button which plagues your interface at low sanity. The combat system of this game takes some mastery and experimentation, however simple it may seem on the first glance. Carefully observing monster patterns and utilizing this knowledge will keep your health and sanity at tolerable levels. The combat and overall playstyle are also dependent on the character you play, which there're four.

The game, while being text-reliant, manages to avoid being text-heavy. The necessary information, describing the immediately concerning events and encounters, is written in condensed and atmospheric sentences. And, if you want, there's a whole lot more to read in the diary and enemy files which you collect across your playthroughs.

The sound and music also contribute greatly to the overall atmosphere. Calm and depressing piano pieces combined with eerie ambient noises really hit the spot. There's a practical component too - you can determine which kind of enemy you encounter even without seeing it. This is very important in the game when you can't see most of the room you're in.

For 10 bucks, The Consuming Shadow is a good deal - there's enough content for about 15-20 hours of gameplay, and the game is balanced to be challenging, but not frustrating.

As of today, this game has sold about 6.5 thousand copies on Steam. For more awesome hidden gems, follow the CRIMINALLY Low Sales curator.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
Lovecraftian horror written by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw presented as an interesting mix of multiple choice elements and 2D sections. Calling this a 'roguelike' would be missing the point, but it does borrow a few mechanics from that genre. The graphics are minimal, but suit the atmosphere of the game very well. The music is creepy enough to create goosebumps in the right moments. Of course the best bits are Yathzee's story fragments and the way that random encounters are implemented. After playing it twice I can see that the game offers a lot of things to discover.

A well made game that has a lot to offer especially if you like Lovecraft and/or Yahtzee, but I would really recommend it to anyone that likes well made horror games.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
I know this ooks like a standard terrible flash game, but this is genuinely terrifying. Its not jump scares or freaking out in VR, it's that tingling down your spine feeling that causes me to take breaks between failed runs while my heart races and I take deep breaths. BUY THIS NOW
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2015
Lets start off with the negative
1. The gameplay is somewhat clunky.
2. The visuals are not the best.
And now lets get to the good things.
1. The writing is great.
2. The atmosphere is great.
3. The investigative part is great
4. The replay value is great.
So in conclusion if you want a lovecraftian roguelike then look no further because this is probably the best one.
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60 of 101 people (59%) found this review helpful
165 people found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2015
I just wanted to go into space/10
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37 of 59 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
It was a close call, but in the end--not quite good enough. Definately not ten dollars good enough.

In many ways, the game succeeds. It does evoke a feeling of despair and urgency. Traveling from town to town and managing resources, health, and sanity is pretty fun and moody. The proceedurally generated "mystery" is pretty fun to solve, but isn't challenging enough once you get the hang of it. There are only three "suspect" Gods in each mystery, and its very easy to narrow it down to two gods--which gives you a 50/50 shot at closing the "portal" with a simple guess.

Where the game really fails, though, is in the "dungeons". You spend a large portion of the game exploring these urban dungeons looking for clues, and the gameplay here is an unfortunate, flash-based arcade sequence that doesn't fit well with the rest of the game and just plays poorly. I didn't want to spend the bulk of this game playing an arcade sequence--and it isn't even a good arcade sequence. The combat is very clunky and not very fun.

I wish instead of including these arcade dungeon runs, more time and effort would have been applied to further developing the proceedural mystery and the resource management aspects of the game. The dungeon runs would have been handled better as turn based combat rather than the weak arcade combat.

Would like to see this developer take another crack at a similar game. There is a lot to like here, and it is very evocative at times--it just doesn't quite make the cut for a thumbs up at ten bucks.
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Recently Posted
3.4 hrs
Posted: September 26
I liked it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hagith Roanoke
14.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
A roguelite influenced somewhat by FTL and the Arkham Horror board games with an odd dash of survival horror feel and mechanics.

+ Fairly easy roguelite to pick up.
+ Good horror atmosphere and setting.

- Graphics are a bit rough and reminiscent of old flash games.
- By comparison to other roguelikes and roguelites, a little simplistic in terms of mechanics and difficulty.

My general rating: 8.5/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.1 hrs
Posted: September 22
"I just wanted to go into space!"
RIP Let's Drown Out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
32.9 hrs
Posted: September 16
Very fun game with good writing and good atomsphere. If you like survival horror and lovecraftian mythos, you'll really dig this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
21.0 hrs
Posted: September 11
FTL and Arkham Horror's lovechild. Can play as Mr "Double kicks women because you thought they were a slenderman precursor" Trilby. Gabriel gets a credit. ithurtsithurtsithurtsithurts
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.0 hrs
Posted: September 7
Oregon Trail meets Binding of Isaac meets Cluedo in a Lovecrafian setting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.4 hrs
Posted: August 31
This is one of my favorite rouge-lites. Yes it looks like ♥♥♥♥. Yes it controls a bit wonky.

But it has a great theme, excellent (if rather purple) prose and a lot of replay value. The biggest asset however is the actual detective work. Finding clues and figuring out which ancient is the invader never fails to get old especially when time is short and clues a sparse.

If you can look past the awful
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 24
lovely game, reminds me of the good old times. goes to show that immersion has nothing to do with ultra graphics setting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
6.9 hrs
Posted: August 21
I love this game. It just really gets my heart racing every time I play. I love the inquisitve, logic-puzzle-y aspects of it, I actually really like the combat for as simple as it is, and I love the writing. My only real gripe with this is that I wish there was a separate page in the notebook to put down possibilites. If I find a yellow rune, I'd like to record it without putting it in my clue table and forgetting that those are only possibilities, not facts.
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