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Title: Mr. Shadow
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie
Release Date: 17 Nov, 2016
Great game! Similiar to Samarost 3. Loved it! :). Super weird and creepy, which is what I loved so much about it. The puzzles were unique and I found myself with a "are you serious?!?!" every time I'd figure one out. You definitely need to think outside the box to play this!. This is a delightful-looking point-and-click puzzle-adventure with clever puzzles and good music, and I'm still not recommending it. Short version: Awesome appearance, poor implementation: too many hit-this-pixel and timed coordinated actions to be pleasant.
Good thematic music
Frustrating puzzles that make no sense
Intro screens take too long to load, esp when returning to game
Moving around is slow
Some puzzles require exact pixel hits
Timing is difficult in spots
Save is by "scene," and some of the scenes are annoyingly long to get through
No hint function
The big "no" feature for me: In several puzzles, I couldn't tell what I was doing. I clicked on things; I could see something happening... but I couldn't tell if it was doing anything useful. Click, click, click... hey, that thing over there is turning purple; is that good? or a an irrelevant bit of "mood lighting?" Ok, it moves something, which is almost certainly a puzzly thing, but is that "what to do next" or just "something I'll need at some point during this scene?"
Combine that with the need to slowly go back and forth across the screen (hoping that you're moving to the next step and not just moving around because you can, which takes an annoying amount of time), and... by the time I figured out the Next Thing to move the scene to the Next Stage, it wasn't a moment of "aha! so that's<\/i> how it works!" but rather, "oh. finally. good thing I clicked on that little bit over there," or even, "huh. I guess one of those clicks was the right thing to do?"
It involves a lot of random clicking around in space, hoping you'll find something that reacts. Some parts are much easier to do if you zoom in with the mouse wheel (read: almost impossible to do at the default zoom). Some parts require precise timing - which means you have to keep trying with everything, because you can't tell if this is something that will be different if you move That Other Little Piece first.
If you don't mind taking a long time to work through things, this is enjoyable. If, however, the best part for you (like me) is figuring out the puzzles, not timing your actions and hitting the right spot at the righ moment, Mr. Shadow is likely to be more frustrating than fun.
It's pretty enough that the nuisance is almost worth it. I picked it up on sale; I don't think my money is wasted - but I won't be replaying it to see the storyline play out smoothly as I do with most puzzle-adventures; the slow movement and back-and-forth requirements are just too much.
Even the movement isn't fun - it's often not clear when and where you can move, because the click zone for moving is too small; if you mouse over it, you won't realize you can walk. (You'll figure it out eventually because you can't do anything else.) Still, though... this is just barely a thumbs-down review, not recommended because of the frustration factor. The setting is charming, and puzzles themselves would great if there some kind of in-game clue for figuring out what to do next, whether a "give you a hint" system that many games have, or a "talk to NPC" system where they nudge you at the next puzzle bit.. I was surprisingly satisfied. I truly enjoyed playing this game. Challenging but not too hard. Loved the art work, colors, setting, and sounds. Worth the price although I bought it for 50% off. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys a point\/click\/drag puzzle style game.. Beautiful little game that reminds me of Amanita Design approach to storytelling.
Unfortunately, the puzzles in the second half of the game have significantly affected my experience.
Sometimes you are expected to Zoom-In to see hidden interactive elements of the scene, which are invisible, while Zoomed-Out. I have only learned about the Zoom functionality from the walkthrough...
This could have been a must-have adventure game if not the puzzles and the absence of visual clues.
Looking forward to see more from bycomb, they have good potential.
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