In the world of gaming, there’s always excitement surrounding the release of a new title that promises a unique and thrilling experience. One such game that has caught the attention of gamers is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew. Developed by Mimimi Games, the same studio behind the critically acclaimed titles Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun and Desperados III, this stealth strategy game combines the allure of pirates with supernatural elements and strategic gameplay. With the demo now available on Steam, I couldn’t resist diving into the world of this cursed pirate crew and experiencing the magic for myself.
The demo of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew begins in the eerie and atmospheric Angler’s Grave, where players take control of Afia Manicato, an undead pirate on a quest to uncover the whereabouts of the legendary ghost ship, The Red Marley. As I embarked on this adventure, I was immediately struck by the stunning level of detail in the game’s graphics. The developers have managed to capture the essence of a pirate world, blending elements from Pirates of the Caribbean with the charm of the classic Monkey Island series.
As a stealth strategy game, Shadow Gambit excels in providing players with a range of options to navigate through the treacherous world of pirates and supernatural entities. The basic controls are easy to grasp, with left-click allowing players to move Afia along pathways, up ladders, and vines. Pressing the spacebar enables crouching, providing a semi-stealthed approach to avoid enemies’ line of sight. The game gradually unlocks new skills as the story progresses, adding depth and complexity to the gameplay.
Combat in Shadow Gambit is a highlight, as expected from the developers. It requires players to employ clever tactics and stealth to take down enemies. Right-clicking on enemy units reveals their field of vision, with a solid green section indicating their line of sight and a shaded section where players can crouch and move undetected. The introduction of the blink skill allows players to quickly traverse distances or eliminate enemies silently. This combination of stealth and strategy keeps players on their toes, encouraging them to think critically and plan their moves carefully.
One of the standout features of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is the ability to control a crew of cursed pirates, each with their own unique abilities and capabilities. In the demo, players have the opportunity to revive and recruit crew members using Black Pearls, which are a valuable resource. These crew members offer a range of skills and powers that can be strategically combined to overcome challenges and solve puzzles. For example, the ship doctor can provide additional cover with bush seeds and manipulate enemy movements with wander dust.
One aspect of Shadow Gambit that impressed me was the seamless integration of the story with the game’s mechanics. The developers have cleverly incorporated quick save and quick load functions into the narrative, making them an integral part of the gameplay experience. In one instance, Afia encounters a stronger enemy unit, and the only way to progress is to attack and be defeated by them.
This serves as a lesson in utilizing the quick save and quick load features, ensuring that players are aware of their importance in overcoming obstacles and advancing the story.
As the demo progresses, players are taken on a journey across the Lost Caribbean, encountering roaming enemies and formidable custode guards. The gameplay becomes more challenging, requiring players to employ their stealth and strategy skills to overcome these obstacles. Along the way, players will also have the opportunity to strike deals and form alliances with other characters, adding depth to the narrative and offering new avenues to explore.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew introduces a unique gameplay mechanic that reinforces the idea of learning from mistakes and exploring different approaches. Players have the ability to capture memories at any point in the game, essentially creating their own checkpoints. This mechanic encourages exploration and experimentation, as players can try out different strategies and solutions without the fear of losing progress. The game’s levels are designed as intricate puzzles, requiring players to utilize their crew’s abilities and think creatively to overcome challenges.
While strategy RPGs can be intimidating for new players, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew aims to be accessible and appealing to a wide audience. The game features a highlight button that outlines interactive items and areas, providing guidance when players feel stuck. Additionally, a location spotting feature allows players to mark areas and check if they are within an enemy’s line of sight. These features act as guiding hands, making the learning curve less steep and ensuring that players can fully enjoy the strategic gameplay experience.
Having spent several hours with the Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew demo, I am left eagerly anticipating the game’s full release. The combination of stealth, strategy, and captivating storytelling makes for an engaging and enjoyable experience. While some character quips during gameplay can become repetitive, the overall quality of the voice acting and dialogue is commendable. The visuals are stunning, capturing the essence of the pirate world and immersing players in a rich and vibrant environment.