Cyber Shadow

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Cyber Shadow Game Poster Image
Retro-inspired action appeals to those up for a challenge.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Shadow's mission is to use his sword and jumping skills to save his clan from the evil Dr. Progen, who is trying to steal their energy.

Positive Role Models

The hero is risking his life to save his friends and co-workers from someone who means to do them harm.

Ease of Play

While the controls are easy to learn, the game itself isn't easy to play.


Players use a sword to kill enemies and destroy hazards. Enemies use their teeth to kill the player. Hazards include energy weapons, steam, spinning blades, and falling from great heights. But old-school and pixelated graphics mean the bloodshed is cartoony; no gore.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cyber Shadow is a retro-themed arcade game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. In it, players use a katana to kill enemies and destroy hazards, and enemies and hazards threaten the player with their teeth, energy weapons, spinning blades, and steam. But because the graphics are pixelated, the blood is just cartoony, while the gore is nonexistent. Although there's a challenge to the gameplay, which won't make this accessible to everyone, there's also no cursing, sex, drinking, or other questionable content.

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What's it about?

In CYBER SHADOW, a ninja named Shadow is caught in an explosion and placed in a large tank to heal. But before he can fully recover, he's revived and told that Dr. Progen has taken the members of his clan hostage and is draining their energy. It's up to Shadow and his sword to save the day -- which he does by running and jumping his way through a side-scrolling obstacle course, while hacking and slashing various enemies and hazards.

Is it any good?

While some might not enjoy this game's old-school look and gameplay, or its toughness, fans of vintage arcade games will have fun on this nostalgia trip. In Cyber Shadow, you play as a ninja named Shadow who's badly injured in an explosion. But before you can fully heal and complete your physical therapy, you're pulled out and set on a mission to save the members of your clan from the greedy Dr. Progen. To do so, you have to run and jump through a hazard-filled, side-scrolling world full of steam vents, high jumps, turrets, and creepy crawlies. Good thing Shadow has his trusty sword for hacking and slashing, as well as his equally trusty leg muscles for running and jumping.

Now, if you're not a fan of old-school arcade games from the '80s and '90s -- like, fittingly, the original Ninja Gaiden -- you won't enjoy this game's pixilated look or simple hack-and-slash, run-and-jump gameplay. The same if you're not into super-hard games, ones where you have to jump at just the right spot and where enemies have an endless supply of ammo and know just where to stand to make it really hard (though not impossible) for you to get past them without getting shot. But if you like a challenge and are either old enough to remember the era of the original NES and Sega Genesis or just have a fondness for 30-year-old arcade games, you'll appreciate this game's aesthetic and arcade gameplay. Doubly so since this isn't a new version of an old game; it's all new, and one that gets creative, though never in a break-the-genre kind of way. Which is why fans of old-school games, especially those who are old themselves, will appreciate the fast ninja action of Cyber Shadow.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about helping others. In Cyber Shadow, you have to risk your life to save the other members of your clan. Why is it important to think of others, not just yourself?

  • Cyber Shadow is intentionally hard, but not impossible. How do you know when you should keep trying, and when to accept your limitations?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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