Shadow Blade is a popular game that is available for Android and IOS, and now. developer Dead Mage has decided to bring it over to the PC. Currently, it is open for early access on Steam. So keep in mind that this preview represents the current unfinished build, as the developers are still working on it as we speak.
You play as Kuro, a young ninja on a quest to become the next Shadow Blade. You will have to guide him through challenging levels full of enemies, traps, and lots of ninja style platforming, in hopes of obtaining the teachings of the previous ninja master. You will have to think like a ninja if you want to survive.
Shadow Blade Reload has many great things going for it. The amazing art style, the fast paced platforming, the simple, yet satisfying combat, a great selection of soundtracks, and so much more. The gameplay is all about precision, speed, and agility. You have two main attacks. One of which is a classic slash of your sword. The other is the ability to throw shurikens, (for long ranged encounters). The number of shurikens is usually limited to 3 per level, but you can get more by taking down enemies. Along with these two main attacks, you can also dash for a short distance. Dashing can be very useful, especially if you are playing on a harder difficulty. The overall level design is fantastic. Each level doesn’t feel to short or too long. The game features a few different types of enemies. Some can be taken down with one shuriken, while others require more than just a few slashes of your sword. There is also a variety of different traps. In the beginning, these traps can be simple. However, as you make our way to the later levels of the game, they will become increasingly difficult to get past. Besides traps and enemies, each level also contains orbs, and Kanji. Collecting orbs will earn some points while collecting Kanji will earn you even more. This game also has a lot of replay value, as perfecting your score on each level requires a lot of time and skill.
The use of colors and lighting combined with the nice soundtracks and sound effects make each and every level a joy to play. Speaking of the levels, there are currently around 60 of them. There are three different difficulties. Changing the difficulty will make each level feel very different. This makes it feel like there is a lot more than 60. The fun doesn’t stop there. There are also two other modes. One of which is a race mode which allows you and up to 3 friends to complete levels together locally. As if this wasn’t enough, the developers have also included a “Dojo Editor” mode, which allows you to create your own levels. Entering this mode can feel intimidating at first, but after playing around with a few of the tools that are provided, it can be very fun to test and tweak your very own level. They have recently also added the ability to share your levels with people all around the world.
Overall, Shadow Blade Reload has great potential. The game looks very promising, even though it is still being developed. At only $10, it is definitely worth every penny. The game is accessible, yet hard to master. This makes it enjoyable for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many other games in the same genre, such as Super Meat Boy, and Strider. In order to stick out from the rest, Shadow Blade Reload needs to differentiate itself by continuing to innovate. The Dojo Editor is a step in this direction.