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Shadowgate (2014) Review

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This review originally published on The B-Team Podcast site.  An agreement with that site and GH101 allows the reviews to run in both locations.


If you were around for the point-and-click adventure boom on computers in the 80s and early 90s, then you’re probably already aware of Shadowgate.  While Sierra and LucasArts battled it out for the number one position – Sierra always won, by the way, even if it didn’t have the better games – there were a handful of developers that released lesser known adventure titles.  Of those, one of the more prominent were known as “MacVenture” titles, which were menu driven point-and-click adventure games specifically for the Macintosh and created by ICOM.  These games were so popular they ended up getting ported to microcomputers, received color, and eventually even made it onto the NES.  Shadowgate was one of those MacVenture games and when I played it on my NES as a youngster I couldn’t believe the amount of horror, death, and adult themes that appeared on a console riddled with childlike concepts.  Much like other adventure titles I had to try everything on everything, but unlike those other titles I would die all the time and merely be sent back to the scene just before my death.  This meant that if I was patient and persistent enough, I could overcome the challenges and complete the game.  The idea that I couldn’t get stuck and barely got penalized for being experimental was the key drawing point of Shadowgate and its peers with the enchanting story being the icing on the cake.  Now, almost 30 years later, Shadowgate has been re-imagined and somewhat brought it into the modern times resulting in a title that is unapologetically retro and yet refreshing for veterans all the same.

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Posted in PC/Mac, Reviews

Tagged with , ,