Black Shades

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Black Shades
Developer(s) Wolfire Games
Publisher(s) Wolfire Games
Platform(s) Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iPhone and iPod Touch
Release 2002 (Computer)
February 25, 2009 (iPhone)
Genre(s) First person shooter, Stealth game
Mode(s) single player

Black Shades is an open source video game developed by Wolfire Games. Originally released for PC, it was later ported to many other platforms due to the source code availability. The player controls a psychic bodyguard who is tasked with protecting a VIP from a horde of zombies, snipers and other assorted would-be assassins.[1]



The game's developer David Rosen (founder of Wolfire Games) aimed for Black Shades a much simpler graphical style than in GLFighters and Lugaru.[2] He did this in order to complete the game within the deadline for the uDevGame 2002 game contest.[3] The source code is hosted on under the "UDEVGAME LICENSE".[4][5]


Black Shades was first released in 2002 for PC with Mac OS 9, Mac OS X,[6] and Windows.

A Linux port was created by Zachary Slater.[7] In 2009 the game was also ported to the Apple Inc. iPhone[8] and iPod Touch. In 2013 the game was ported to the ARM based OpenPandora handheld.[9]


The object of the game is to defend the VIP from assassins and zombies for a set amount of time. Once that time is met, the player progresses to another level. Each new level will present a randomly generated city, and a new weapon for the player. The levels get progressively harder. Aiming their weapon, the player is not presented with an aiming reticule as is common in most first-person shooter games, but allows the player to use the ironsight of their weapon.


The player has two psychic abilities, the first one being "Slow-mo". This ability allows the player to slow down time, for the purpose of having more time to aim, kill possible assailants. The second ability is the "soul fly", which allows the player to fly around the city without the body of the bodyguard, allowing them to find enemies.


The game was noted for its use of procedural generated content.[10] The game was one of the winners of the UDevGame 2002 contest, out of about 40 contestants.[3] Eurogamer's Jim Rossignol named Black Shades number 2 in a top 20 list of Summer of PC Freeware games.[11] Joe Martin from recommended the game even in 2009 with "Black Shades isn’t a new game, it’s just a free game that I really like. It’s basically the opposite of Hitman, but reduced down to twitch shooter basics and presented in a typically indie way.".[10]


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