Hot off the heels of reporting that Crescent Moon GamesShadow Blade would be launching relatively soon, we were given the opportunity to check out a near-finished version of Dead Mage’s platform runner. Suffice to say, I really like what I see and fans of old-school ninja action should take note.

IMG_1979

Launching the game for the first time brings an introductory cutscene setting the stage for your ninja hero’s introductory quest: return to your sensei with news of a rogue clan’s return to power. After this brief exercise in narration the game dives deep into its action-packed gameplay, which is where the game shines.

A platform runner with swordplay mixed in, Shadow Blade is level-based with three objectives for each stage. Objectives don’t seem to change across levels and players are awarded a golden shuriken for each goal attained. Shadow Blade doesn’t have a life system either; die and you restart the level (or from a checkpoint) with the timer still running. The swordplay also feels rhythmic in nature, as timing your attacks lead to quicker kills (letting you get past sections faster). Thus, it’s a game that focuses more on speed and precision rather than caution.

IMG_1980

Thankfully, Shadow Blade seems to offer all the tools necessary to prepare players for that style of play. The game’s gesture-based controls feel smooth and spot-on and I was wall-jumping and dispatching enemy ninjas with ease after a few stages. This probably had to do with the tutorial, which is well done and offers simple instructions showcasing all the various gesture-based moves. Complementing the excellent controls is a colorful art style that makes it feel like you’re controlling a cartoon. I’m also digging the subtle music as well.

Even after playing only the first few levels, I’m digging what Shadow Blade has to offer. If you’d like to see the game in action, I recommend checking out the trailer above. Otherwise, look for Shadow Blade to be released sometime this month.

  • squarezero0

    It should be made clear that Shadow Blade is not a "runner" at all. It's an action platformer with full directional control of the character.

    • bigrand1

      Glad you added that! As I read (above), I was thinking hmmm.. I dunno. Now I'm definitely excited to check this one out!

    • Wizard_Mike

      Thanks for mentioning that. I was about to comment with, "So it's like a ninja themed rayman jungle run type of game?" Because that's the impression I was getting from the terminology used in the article.

    • SumoSplash

      A sign of the times when such clarification is necessary, with all the runner pollution out there. Let's hope the IAP Monster doesn't show its ugly face and ruin this experience.

  • CapitainHarlock

    Instant for me. Can't wait for this beautiful exciting game.

  • Based Xatu

    No gameplay video? TA you're slacking.

    • Dueler

      Hands-on often lack video as some are done at the developers or brought by them. Possibly even just access to test builds that they are legally obliged not to show footage from. That's just how it is.
      So no, TA aren't slacking its an industry thing.

  • MrKershaEsq

    Depends on the entry price point and if it'll be infected with the IAP cancer.

    • Based Xatu

      The publisher has stated on their forum topic, that there are no IAP.

      • B30

        Woohoo, hooray!

  • koryc

    It would be nice for it to be 1.99,with no iap,

  • lancheta

    Where is gameplay video?

  • ZarieoZ

    Will the sometime-this-month come already!!

  • SerapisB

    Image.1979 and image.1980 are nice. Blank and white

  • copaeci

    Will be out on January 16 based from cm twitter