September 19, 2012
Shad’O is a tower defense game, but with a story. No mindlessly playing through levels to beat the game. The story is that of a little boy named William, who can’t remember anything. The fog of forgetfulness has consumed all his memories. However, with the help of his cute little British teddy bear he must protect and in-turn save his memories in order to remember.
Players start out with four different units (or companions as the game calls them): Collectors, Shooters, Punchers, Projectors. Collectors must be place next to the only of source of light and the number allowed is limited based on the level. These will give the player light which is needed to create companions. The other three companions will shoot, slow, and weaken the enemies respectively. As you progress, new types of companions will become available; each with a new purpose.
For every level you complete you will be allowed to either learn one new spell or one upgrade to a companion. If you pick an upgrade this doesn’t mean that the companion will now always be upgraded. You have to spend light in each level to upgrade each companion; and the upgrade costs just as much to create a companion of the same type. I felt that this was kind of pointless. Why would you spend double the light on one companion so it is a little stronger instead of just making two? They should have just made it default to the upgrade and just have it cost a little more.
As for spells, there are ten total that you can get; each will affect the whole level. These spells will do things like heal all your companions, increase the speed at which you Collectors gather light, or damage all enemies. However, to use a spell you must have pieces of shadow which you get by killing enemies.
There are also bonus levels marked by stars. These are a nice change of pace, because they have a different gameplay style. In one your companions are selected by choosing one from three random cards. You can only see two of the three cards, but the third unknown one could but an upgraded companion. However, it could be something bad too like a speed boost for only the enemy. In another bonus level companions are already all place, and you can only have one powered up at a time.
I did find the game to be pretty challenging. That combined with the story is what kept me playing. I tend to get bored with tower defense games so having a story really made this game fun for me.
Out Of 5
Graphics are clear and crisp. The fog of the forgetfulness was done very well. I liked how as shadows get closer to the edge of the fog they slow start to be visible, just like real fog.
There wasn't much special about either the music or the game sounds, but they fit well into each level.
The controls are good and easy to use. All you have to do is point and click where you want you place your companions. I would have liked to be able to zoom out to see the whole level in one view though, instead of having to always move the screen around.
Just the fact that there is a story to this tower defense really adds to the gameplay. Then you also have the bonus levels which change things up. As well as nightmare mode for all levels you win.
This game has a good degree of challenge, but isn't too bad. The storyline really helps to pull you into the game.