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:
Recent:
Very Positive (11 reviews) - 100% of the 11 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (148 reviews) - 95% of the 148 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 20, 2015

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Recent updates View all (1)

January 6

Update

With the most recent update to the game, the game has been rebuilt in the newest version of Game Maker Studio to hopefully alleviate compatability issues with Windows 10 users.

In the process, some changes had to be made to the workings of the Steam stats, and you may now find that your progress on certain stat-based achievements have been reset. This was unavoidable. Any stat-based achievement that you already had unlocked should stay unlocked, however.

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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

    Minimum:
    • 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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (11 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (148 reviews)
Recently Posted
Rawbeard
( 19.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
A fairly recent horror game without jump scares? How can this be?!

The Consuming Shadow is a fine blend of Lovecraftian horror, a handful random events (Hello, FTL fans!) and a rune system inspired by Eternal Darkness.

You start as a meagerly equipped scholar working for The Ministry of Occultism and it's your duty to learn about the evil ancient that is about to to invade our realm, hopefully banishing it in the process. There is no shame in failing though as there are plenty of dimensions to hone your demon fighting abilities. The choice is yours: will you be the mindless to-death-clubber, the cunning intellectual who turns the dark magick (Yes, the serious ck kind of magick!) against its creators or will the game force you to take choices against your will?

Stay sane and try not to die in vain!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MasterLambda
( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
This game is fantastic. I've already spent 12.3 hours on it in the past 3 days. Challenge modes are exactly what you would expect, Challenging, and with the level up system, playing certian charecters over and over again is benificial. The story is fantastic, and engaging, just be sure to collect all the diary pages, because the diary fills in alot of the blanks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Byrnvif
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
The Consuming Shadow is a post Brexit England simulator where you play one of four people trying to stop the invading army (Which is obviously an allegory for the migrant crisis) from taking over the UK. Man, Yahtzee was way ahead of his time with the plot on this one.
On a side note, never trust Chzo.
In all seriousness, a very fun game to play, would reccomend. The rouge like elements are fun and the mystery aspect plays like Clue on steroids.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nameless Gamer
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
I'm too much of a ♥♥♥♥♥ to play
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bizarre Adventurer
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
>1 SAN left
>freak out and get an urge to kill myself
>manage to fight it off
>[GAINED SANITY]

10/10 would try killing myself again to save my mind


The Consuming Shadow is a very minimalistic, Lovecraftian survival horror-adventure with randomized elements (no, not roguelike elements). An Old One and his m8 are about to enact Dark Souls PvP in real life by invading our planet and realm while another Old One gets salty at them. Are you a bad enough dude to battle unspeakable abominations and save humanity?

GOOD STUFF
  • Neat investigation system: A little chart helps you track down various properties of the 3 Old Ones such as their name, colour and rune. Not only can you fill this up by finding notes that give you direct details, but you can also make educated guesses by, for example, observing the various runes you find in "dungeons", or even certain enemies. This detective work is much better than some similar examples that have been provided in high profile games, such as in the second game of a very popular RPG series about an old guy that hunts monsters.
  • Survival: Your resources, whether they are bullets, drugs or money, are actually quite limited on average. Advancing in a straight line, liberating towns tainted by the Old Ones' corruption and laying the smackdown to the big guy himself and getting back home in time for breakfast is a fantasy. Often you'll have to backtrack or sidetrack, trying to scavenge or buy new resources or equipment even if it's just to increase your odds of survival a little bit. Sometimes you might even be forced to let towns fall to the Shadow, or abandon a quest to save your life. Money can buy you weapons and health, but not sanity. And between unexpected encounters in dungeons or on the road, you may lose more of these than you expected. Planning ahead and not taking chances blindly is an important part of the game.
  • Horror: "Return of the Old Ones" kind of stories are overdone, yet in games they remain a good blueprint to use provided you can surprise the player from time to time. Thankfully there are some surprises here! Also while the game itself is actually not what I would call scary, it has very nice atmosphere and certain dungeon events manage to instill tension. The creatures encountered in the game are all suitably grotesque in appearance and sound, and there are quite a few of them to encounter over multiple playthroughs. Diary entries for each of them are available, the more you... spend time with them the more text you unlock in the entries. As customary in many Lovecraftian games, sanity loss induces hallucinations, loss of control or an urge to blow one's brains out. The latter is especially amusing as a low-sanity character's menu choices can suddenly turn into "Kill myself" and the player will have to stop his character from doing it. Also, the music and sounds are really nice as well.
  • Randomization and persistence: Each new game has of course 3 different Old Ones with differing characteristics, but also different cities that are already corrupted or that are safe, as well as different incantations for spells. In every playthrough you will also encounter randomized events while on the road and receive random quests. As stated above there are bestiary entries to fill out, as well as a the 30-something pages of the diary of a certain character to find. There are actually 2 more characters to unlock, and each of these gain levels as you succeed or fail your games. Leveling up enables you to assign a number of 'birth stars' that give you all kinds of bonuses, using charts that also change with each new game. There are a number of different endings to get. Last, there are challenge modes to unlock for each character as well as an infinite dungeon mode. These are add quite a bit of replayability to the game.

OK STUFF
  • Combat: The game is played with KBM, and your characters have guns, but you can't aim them. Most of the time the auto-aim mechanics are fine, but sometimes it makes you waste your precious bullets for nothing. Pistol whipping enemies works fine, but perhaps there could be more animations when hitting enemies above or below your waist line.
  • Sanity gain and loss: Sanity is very fragile in this game, as it should be. However, it doesn't always get depleted in a logical manner, and recovering it is completely up to chance (unless you want to use DRUGS...) For example even leaving a room where an enemy is present reduces your sanity quite a bit, but doing things like killing a lot of monsters, dispelling magic, saving and helping civilians and the like does nothing to restore it. At least for sanity loss upon escaping there could be a condition such as not losing any sanity if you were in the room for less than 2 seconds. Or recovering a couple points upon successful dungeon completion. As it stands the most reliable way to gain some sanity is clicking the 'kill myself' button and not killing youself.
  • Art style: The super-simple graphics work really well for the game, but it's no INFRA ARCANA (a game you must play if the combination of Lovecraftian horror, true roguelike mechanics and horrible difficulty sounds appealing) when it comes to its presentation.
  • Inventory: Your resources are limited in general, but they're a little artificially limited. For example your briefcase can hold tons of items like body armor and gas mask, but not more than one magazine for one bullet type for your pistol, and your car apparently doesn't have enough space for more than one medkit. Maybe a more realistic way of dealing with these could be found.

BAD STUFF
  • Lore: Too little lore is uncovered within a session. Even when the identities of the Old Ones are uncovered, nothing substantial about them is known (at best you get some notes talking about spooky children's rhymes or elementals of ancient myths). Somehow making this deeper would have been good.
  • Binary choices: Too often random events present you choices that are too simplistic. For example, if you encounter a man that seems to be either possessed or in the throes of an illness, your options are to help him or to wait and see. Now in reality faced with such a situation you can choose the latter option and wait a little while to see if anything changes, but in the game choosing that option will make your character turn stone cold and just stare at the person until he dies (if that's the event you stumbled upon of course). Too often the choices in random events equate simply to coin flips. There is no reason why something like diving into a house on fire to look for a survivor has the same probability of a bad outcome as an event like described above, where you are in control.
  • Writing: Writing errors pop up now and then. Ben pls.

All in all, this is a very neat little horror game. It's fun to play, with progression that feels satisfying and fair difficulty. I definitely recommend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LibelousCone
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
Positives:

>The game is gives of a scary ominous feeling that scared the heck out of me for a while.
>Rogue-like mechanics to help you on additional playthoughs
-Such as the Birthstars and the Random Encounters on the road
-With rogue-like features comes replayability
>Unlock a couple of different characters that have different playstyles
>Something for the 100%'rs to fill a file bit-by-bit on monsters everytime you encounter them (like what Yahtzee said)
>A nice "fill your own" table in the game to match clues and information about the gods
>Can be unforgiving at times
>Additional challenge modes that provide an interesting way to play the game in a couple of different ways
>Constant time that makes you juggle between choosing destinations wisely and clearing a dungeon quickly
>The author plays his own game and shows how brutal it can be

Negatives:

Yahtzee is known to focus on gameplay and story over graphics and visual, this doesn't really bother me because to me a game is about its gameplay first and visuals second
>But some aren't willing to look past the old flash-like graphics
>A bit clunky controls when switching equipment and selection objects when in the car

Verdict:
4.5/5 Stars, ya gotta get this game. Its worth it!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tequila the Hun
( 11.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
Could certainly benefit from some smoothing out, but the gameplay and atmosphere is simply superb.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Citano
( 12.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
yes. lots of replayability. you will fail at first, but playing through again makes you stronger
Helpful? Yes No Funny
xXx_BillyBlazeit_xXx
( 3.1 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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Visceral Apprehender
( 32.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 6
only issue is some keys have double uses causing people to waste ammo, lock picks and whatnot. asside from that the game is activly trying to make you blow your brains out so it gets a + from me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Could certainly benefit from some smoothing out, but the gameplay and atmosphere is simply superb.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Positives:

>The game is gives of a scary ominous feeling that scared the heck out of me for a while.
>Rogue-like mechanics to help you on additional playthoughs
-Such as the Birthstars and the Random Encounters on the road
-With rogue-like features comes replayability
>Unlock a couple of different characters that have different playstyles
>Something for the 100%'rs to fill a file bit-by-bit on monsters everytime you encounter them (like what Yahtzee said)
>A nice "fill your own" table in the game to match clues and information about the gods
>Can be unforgiving at times
>Additional challenge modes that provide an interesting way to play the game in a couple of different ways
>Constant time that makes you juggle between choosing destinations wisely and clearing a dungeon quickly
>The author plays his own game and shows how brutal it can be

Negatives:

Yahtzee is known to focus on gameplay and story over graphics and visual, this doesn't really bother me because to me a game is about its gameplay first and visuals second
>But some aren't willing to look past the old flash-like graphics
>A bit clunky controls when switching equipment and selection objects when in the car

Verdict:
4.5/5 Stars, ya gotta get this game. Its worth it!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
only issue is some keys have double uses causing people to waste ammo, lock picks and whatnot. asside from that the game is activly trying to make you blow your brains out so it gets a + from me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
yes. lots of replayability. you will fail at first, but playing through again makes you stronger
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
This game is fantastic. I've already spent 12.3 hours on it in the past 3 days. Challenge modes are exactly what you would expect, Challenging, and with the level up system, playing certian charecters over and over again is benificial. The story is fantastic, and engaging, just be sure to collect all the diary pages, because the diary fills in alot of the blanks.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
The Consuming Shadow is a post Brexit England simulator where you play one of four people trying to stop the invading army (Which is obviously an allegory for the migrant crisis) from taking over the UK. Man, Yahtzee was way ahead of his time with the plot on this one.
On a side note, never trust Chzo.
In all seriousness, a very fun game to play, would reccomend. The rouge like elements are fun and the mystery aspect plays like Clue on steroids.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
118 of 133 people (89%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
Recommended
48.6 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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46 of 52 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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118 of 169 people (70%) found this review helpful
143 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2015
I just wanted to go into space/10
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