Friday, June 12, 2015

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep21: Path of Shadows

Manipulate the darkness as a ninja brought back from the dead in the stealth adventure Path of Shadows!

This game is really good. The cell-shaded art style makes you feel as if you're inside an anime title. There's no UI overlay and the only important information is cleverly attached to your character in a non-intrusive way. You're free to explore the levels as you wish (though they are rather small) and you can summon a raven to lead you in the right direction instead of having a map or waypoint system (which is a great design choice). 

You're given a number of special shadow abilities, allowing you to sneak around undetected, locate enemies behind obstacles, teleport, assassinate and hide your victims. You can even distract guards by jingling bells. Your character has a couple of weaknesses - light sources deplete your power and you can't fight if detected - which makes for some interesting scenarios.

Sadly, Path of Shadows is really short with only three levels before the game is over. I understand that the developers have made a spiritual sequel to the game, with Path of Shadows serving as a way to introduce people to it. Giving out a cool game for free and then promoting a jam-packed sequel is a pretty common practice these days and I think it's a brilliant tactic (You Have To Win The Game and Treasure Adventure Game being two positive examples). Path of Shadows is more of a working demo than a full game, however. The third level ends with a "this is just the beginning" statement, then disappointingly cuts to the credits.

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