Shadowlands (video game)

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Shadowlands
Shadowlands cover.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s)Teque London
Publisher(s)Domark
Designer(s)Dean Lester
Artist(s)Mark Anthony
Composer(s)Matt Furniss
Platform(s)Amiga, Atari ST, DOS
Release1992
Genre(s)Role playing game
Mode(s)Single-player

Shadowlands is a video game developed by Domark in 1992 for DOS, Amiga, and Atari ST.

Plot[edit]

Shadowlands is a fantasy role-playing game in which the player has four game characters, that the player can operate either as a squad or as independents during the course of the adventure.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The player controls a party of four adventurers, each of which may be controlled individually; this is sometimes required for puzzlesolving. Characters in Shadowlands are governed by four statistics: Combat, Magik, Strength, and Health.[2][3] Characters are aligned to one of four roles: Magician, Warrior, Orc, and Priest. Characters must eat and drink, or they may die.[2][3] An important aspect in Shadowlands is light: in dark areas torches are needed for characters to see, and they burn out over time.[2][3] Small creatures, such as rats, follow the player and drain characters' health gradually each turn, and they cannot be killed. Scorpions act similarly, but do not follow the player and instead must be avoided.[2][3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
The One93% (Amiga)[2]
Dragon4/5 stars (DOS)[1]

Computer Gaming World gave the game a positive review, stating that "Shadowlands .... doesn't exactly break new ground, but it does have an approach that is unique and features that set it apart from the rest". The magazine liked the flexible approach to questing with one party or multiple parties, and the use of light and shadow to affect gameplay.[4] The game was reviewed in 1993 in Dragon #192 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars.[1]

The One gave the Amiga version of Shadowlands an overall score of 93%, calling it "one of the best dungeon-delving role-playing games to come along since Eye of the Beholder." The One praises Shadowlands' design and gameplay, stating that "It's obvious right from the start that an awful lot of thought has gone into the game's design, from the easy-to-use controls to the use of light as more than just a graphical effect ... The real beauty of Shadowlands is that combat takes a back seat to the environment, but still manages to feature strongly enough to add excitement to the proceedings." The One praises Shadowlands' uniqueness, expressing that "The very fact that each of the four characters can be controlled independently of each other sets it apart from the likes of Cadaver, Dungeon Master, et al, and allows you to come up with all manner of strategies in fights and solutions to puzzles."[2]

The One particularly praises Shadowlands' unique approach to items, stating that "Every object, no matter how small or insignificant, can be utilized effectively ... Apples are more than just food, you can drain them of their 'psychic energies', use them to set off hidden pressure plates or even throw them at monsters." The One however criticises the presence of 'small monsters' such as rats and scorpions, which follow around the player characters and slowly drain their health, a feature they call 'questionable', and expresses that they find the need to eat and drink to "[detract] from the fun of the game" but notes the latter as a matter of personal opinion. The One calls Shadowlands "a glorious fantasy romp, mixing exactly the right amount of action with thought and wrapping it all up with a completely absorbing atmosphere."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (April 1993). "The Role of Computers" (PDF). Dragon. No. 192. p. 60. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Presley, Paul (March 1992). "Shadowlands Review". The One. No. 42. emap Images. p. 66-68.
  3. ^ a b c d "Shadowlands Tips". The One. No. 44. emap Images. May 1992. p. 10-13.
  4. ^ Matthews, Robin (February 1993). "A Detailed Look At Domark's Role-Playing Release". Computer Gaming World. p. 106. Retrieved 6 July 2014.

External links[edit]