What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lost in Shadow is an action platformer that has some animated violence and implied blood (shadowy smoke might leave the creature's body when slain). The main character is a boy who is fighting for his life by trying to reunite his brutally severed shadow with his imprisoned body. But he must destroy evil in his path throughout the adventure. Because the action takes place between shadows, it's clearly fantasy-based and the violence isn't excessive or graphic. However, violence is very much a part of gameplay of this"E-10+"-rated game.
What's it about?
Now here's a twist: The latest video game for the Nintendo Wii doesn't have you play as the lead character. Rather, you're in control of his shadow, attempting to get back to his imprisoned body. This is the principle behind LOST IN SHADOW, a new adventure from Hudson Entertainment. The single-player game begins with a young boy tied up on top of a huge tower. A malevolent-looking knight of sorts attacks the helpless child, causing his shadow to separate from his body, which is then thrown over the edge. Your goal, throughout the game's 60-odd levels, is to make your way toward (and up) the tower so you can be reunited with your body.
Is it any good?
Lost in Shadow is a unique game. Not only are you a shadow, but you can only climb onto shadows in this world. You'll hop from one shadowy platform to another, climb onto ledges and across chasms, crawl through corridors, and battle foes using various weapons. Things get more interesting when you call on the assistance of Spangle, a winged sylph that follows you wherever you go, and helps you manipulate objects in this medieval environment so that they can cast a new shadow that you can traverse. You'll point the Wii Remote toward the TV screen and press the trigger ("B") button to have Spangle move these physical objects for you. There are also "Shadow Corridor" areas found throughout the tower that let you alter the terrain itself, such as rotating the world, in order to bypass the varied obstacles and traps. Visually speaking, the game has an interesting, minimalist art style. The moody music is also a good fit for the story. While the game isn't very difficult, the concept is inventive and should hold your interest as you climb up to the top of the tower.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how some video game publishers take a chance on unique game mechanics like this. That is, instead of other platformer games for the Nintendo Wii, this one is different, not unlike the fresh Drawn to Life series.
But will they do as well commercially as they do critically? Would that deter a game designer from taking a gamble in the future? How is success measured?