What makes this strategy game so excellent, ironically enough, is what also makes it so frustrating: its sadistic difficulty level. Although you can opt for an easier mode in Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, if you don't know what you're doing, you'll almost instantly cause a "game over." But gameplay isn't really unfair, because you have to fail, constantly, before you finally succeed. Unlike in other games where saving and loading is something you do occasionally or at pivotal moments, Shadow Tactics has an unspoken expectation that you're going to save and try again almost every few seconds. One of the main things that makes this game so hard and so great is its refusal to give you a way to pause the action and issue commands, which is an expected standard in the tactical role-playing game genre. Here, you have to monitor the world around you at all times, make sure you stay out of sight lines, and make sure you have a plan of escape before trying to do anything. If you don't, you will fail. It's that simple.
That likely will be a huge turnoff for a lot of players. Similarly, the main way to play this game, if you're at all intrigued, is on a PC. Although console ports have recently been released, the biggest snag on PlayStation or Xbox One is how much detail is on-screen, which can completely hide your characters. Since your monitor size is likely to be smaller than your TV, playing on a computer helps considerably. Otherwise, you're in for extra complications that are unfair (like hiding your characters in front of a bush instead of behind it), since gameplay hinges completely on your ability to avoid conflicts and discover solutions on the fly. But overall, if you're new to the strategy genre or simply looking for something you won't be able to blaze through in an afternoon, give this a whirl.