Votes: 39
Reviews: 4

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Reviewer: joyride Date: Jun 3, 2003
To put it in a current context, Shadowgate is about the blue pill-- free your mind.

I'm sure that a lot of the reason I love Shadowgate is nostalgia. Even so, this is one of the few games that challenges your imagination. With games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale et al., the graphics and sound are developed to the point where the player is relegated to the role of observer more often than not; click and slash is only fun to a certain degree.

Games like Shadowgate are more like suggestions-- it's as if the game engine is saying, "This is what the room *might* look like; check it out for yourself." I'm tempted to give the game all 10's, but read further why I didn't...

Graphics: 9
One of the things you have to get used to to is that animation is virtually non-existent in this game. Occasionally when you complete a quest (right or wrong) you get a simple animation, but for the most part it's stills. That said, the images of the cyclops, sphinx and the observatory showed that 16-color graphics can be used effectively.

As I said, it's a hint. The artists did an incredible job of *suggesting* what a room/bad guy/item might look like.

Sound: 8
I hate giving 10's, for good reason. A 10 says that no one has done better. Shadowgate was not the best, and (similar to the animations) the sound effects are basically non-existent. The music, however, is almost as haunting as Ravel's Bolero (sorry to you non-classical music fans); what sound effects there are are effective.

The "ha ha ha" in the first room is cliche and cheeseball: but ask yourself, "Could anything they had done been better?" The answer: a resounding "NO!" Again, imagination is key. A cliche "ha ha ha" says more to me than a big speech about "I will rip out your guts and eat your brains." Leave that to my imagination.

Gameplay: 10
This is where the game shines. So many games have attempted to capitalize on the "point at the rope, then point at the hole" idea, but Shadowgate whomped 'em all. The interface is simple, the spells and items are easy to use. No, I don't want to have to pick WHO the spell effects, or worry about whether or not I'm at a high enough level to cast Insanity on the Mad Warlock King or somesuch silliness. Cast the damn EPOR spell, and the rope goes up.

Some people call that "lame," but I say that those are the people who never figures out the EPOR spell. Hosers.

Overall: 10
Can't beat it. If Black Isle came out with a game that mixed good AD&D (e.g. Baldur's Gate 2) with the absolute fun & imagination of Shadowgate, I would pay double retail for it.



Reviewer: Molitor Date: Apr 26, 2003
Shadowgate was one of the very first NES games I played, and remains one that I continue to play. I feel that it did a great deal to establish a still-uncharted territory in the RPG/Strategy genre. Absolutely awesome.

Graphics: 8
To have come from 1989, the graphics are pretty good. Obviously, it looks lame since it came from an 8-bit system. However, a lot of the stuff is very detailed (i.e., death scenes, the ferryman, the fire beast, the sphinx, the wyvern). Even the items are well detailed. The stages look awesome as well.

Sound: 10
The music from Shadowgate is second to none in my opinion, there are no real "sound effects," it's mainly music. The choice of music, however, makes the game well worth playing, and adds a very medieval aspect to the game not normally found in other RPGs.

Gameplay: 10
Absolutely awesome gameplay. From start to finish, if you haven't ever played this before, it will rack your brain. I went back to play it after an 8 year absence from the NES at school, and I found that I didn't remember anything, and it took me nearly a week to figure everything out again. If you're a first time player, you definitely have to pay CLOSE attention to intricate details, and make sure you look at everything. The spectrum of things you have to do to advance in the game makes it well worth playing, and was YEARS ahead of its time in the gameplay department. Absolutely flawless.

Overall: 10
Shadowgate is probably my #2 most favorite game behind Final Fantasy I for nostalgia purposes, but the gameplay and everything about it make Shadowgate a must-have for your library.



Reviewer: nick Date: Jul 25, 2001
undoubtedly the greatest game of all time, on any console, any platform yada yada yada. this game is just unbeatable. the N64 version doesn't even come close to capturing this one's power. incredible plot, great puzzles, and even a great ending (which we all know is hard to find in games) a must download for any RPG fan or NES fan alike.


Reviewer: gamerX Date: Jul 9, 2001
One of the few video games that I've actually found to be intellectually stimulating (imagine that!) However, for those of you who don't like to use that lump three feet above your a**, don't worry it's a great game anyway, with an amazing storyline and some pretty cool events. The text of the game really sets it apart though, absoulutely fantastic.