A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
You're fighting to save the world, but the story is threadbare, and the focus is mostly on defeating enemies.
Positive Role Models
The protagonist is a force for good, battling an evil warlock lord who summons demons. But he does kill or destroy everything in his path.
Ease of Play
The game, like its predecessor on the Nintendo Entertainment System, is brutally hard. Players die early and often. Victory is something few players will achieve -- even on the easiest of the difficulty modes.
Violence & Scariness
Although the descriptions of death from the hero's mistakes can be somewhat detailed, no real violence is depicted. Players who skim the visual cues will know they've died by the screen tinting red and going dark.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shadowgate is a downloadable action/adventure game for the Nintendo Switch and Windows PCs. The game is a modern remake of a classic action/adventure game found on Macintoshes and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Like its predecessor, this downloadable game is extremely difficult -- to the point that it will frustrate even the most dedicated player. There's copious violence, but because the game sticks with its point-and-click roots, the violence isn't graphically represented. When players die (which happens frequently), they see the Grim Reaper rather than their own blood.
Is It Any Good?
This remake of a challenging classic adventure game isn't for the easily frustrated. In fact, Shadowgate may not even be a game for the focused player. It revels in its difficulty and takes great joy in killing off players. It also has a horribly dated user interface that slows things down tremendously, has too many similar choices, and feels incredibly clunky. Plus, the newly added levels don't add much except additional chances to watch the death screens again ... and again ... and again.
So why would anyone consider playing? Shadowgate is beloved by old-school gamers precisely for its difficulty. The original was hard even when the standard for difficulty was a lot higher -- and the remake doesn't water down its source material. What it does do is add some stunning static art backgrounds that are a joy to behold. There may be no better game to test your mettle if you consider yourself a hardcore gamer. But if you lack that sense of challenge or nostalgia, there's little reason to pick this up.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.