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Shade

shade01.png
Andrew Plotkin 2000
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Freeware
System: Interpreter

It's the night before you're leaving for your vacation. You can't sleep, so you think you might as well get the things on your todo list done before your taxi arrives. Not that your single room apartment allows for much varied action. A futon, a desk with a computer, a kitchen-like corner, a shower, a sink, a toilet - that's it. However, things are starting to shift, change and everything generally gets weird soon enough.


Shadow Caster

shadow_caster01.png
Raven Software / Origin 1993
Genre: RPG, Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

On a stormy night, your grandfather reveals to you you're actually from a race of shapeshifters from another dimension and that you've got a higher purpose in the fate of the world. Before he can explain the details, a stone Gargoyle located at the outside of the building comes alive and kidnaps him. You're on your own.


Shadow Fighter

ShadowFighter01.png
Gremlin 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 4/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

The Shadow Fighter is some rotting zombie bloke. For some reason, a number of other fighters have some beef with him. So they first beat each other up, then face Robert Patrick from Terminator 2 and then go for the titular antagonist. I may have made fun of other genre plots and their illustration in silly still pictures between fights in the past, but after playing this game, I take it all back. This one has exactly nothing. It feels like there is something missing.


Shadow of the Comet

comet01.png
Infogrames 1993
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The village of Illsmouth. A town hall, a post office, a tiny harbour and a few houses. Nothing special really, it's like the epitome of a comfortable hood, none of the modern-world related problems occur here.


Shadow Warrior

sw_001.png
3D Realms 1997
Genre: Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

3D Realms, hot on heels of their recent success with Duke Nukem 3D a year earlier, released Shadow Warrior during the Spring of 1997. Shadow Warrior bears many resemblances with its predecessor Duke Nukem 3D, it shares the same but slightly improved build engine as well as sporting the adult themes that made Duke Nukem 3D so successful. In Shadow Warrior, you play as the protagonist Lo Wang as he battles against his former employer, now enemy, Master Zilla, leader of Zilla Enterprise. Lo Wang decides to quit his former group due to Master Zilla's nefarious plan to take over Japan using evil demons and monsters.


Shadowgate

shadowgate01.png
Icom Simulations 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

It seems there is no fantasy world in which people can live happily and undisturbed by huge threats. This one is no exception. An evil Warlock is trying to summon a mystical monster - the Behemoth. You impersonate the good hero who has to stop him.


Shadowrun

shadowrun_00000.png
Dataeast 1993
Genre: RPG, Action
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: SNES

He wakes up in the mortuary. He doesn't know where he is. He doesn't know who he is. The only clue is a small, torn piece of paper in his pockets, telling him the address of a bar...
Well, that's the interesting beginning of an uncommon game. Shadowrun is one of the few adventures which are really unique concerning their feeling. During the game, you are drawn into the atmosphere of this gloomy piece of fiction. A world of powerful companies and powerless countries. You are right in the middle of it. Without identity. Everywhere you are threatened by violent mercenaries, but you don't know why they chase you.


Shannara

shannara001.png
Legend Entertainment 1995
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 3/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Legend followed up their excellent Death Gate with a game which is quite similar on the surface. It uses the same game engine, graphics are similar and it is - again - based on a popular branch of fantasy novels: Shannara. The game isn't a direct 'port' of any book, but it takes place between the first two. Some evil warlock called Brona, whom the father of the game's protagonist Jak apparantely killed in the first book, is back. He can only be defeated with the 'Sword of Shannara' which in turn can only be used by offsprings of the Shannara family - namely you and your father.


Shaq Fu

ShaqFu01.png
Delphine / Ocean 1995
Genre: Action
Rating: 1/6
Licence: Commercial
System: Amiga

Strolling down the streets before a charity basketball game, Shaqueille O'Neil meets a cliché wise old man who tasks him to find a missing boy kidnapped in another dimension. Like, you know, it just happens when you are a modern-day hero! So "Shaq" enters a mysterious portal and finds himself in a strange world where he has to beat the information about the boy's whereabouts out of the monstrous inhabitants.


Shard of Inovar

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Bulldog Software 1987
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: C64
Simple games often also use simple graphics lead by practical means. The game is then carried by the solid gameplay foundation or – in the adventure genre – by a good plot. Shard of Inovar's plot, in any case, isn't a tired one at all. Just like the controls. Small pictograms on the sides of the screen trigger certain actions. Judged by the number of icons, the game is actually rather short and some symbols, like for example "swim", are never required to solve the game. Invoke, on the other hand, conjuring up a magic spell or following through a ritual, is used quite frequently. Yes, you guessed right: this takes place in the fantasy genre. Authors Les Hogarth and Clive Wilson were leading figures at Mastertronic at the time and they published this text adventure as part of a trilogy together with VENOM and KOBYASHI NARU also on other platforms than the C64. My quality expectations are somewhat high as I first dive in.


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