Tag Archives: Shadwen

Indie Wonderland: Shadwen

A flash reveal out of nowhere, Shadwen leapt into my games awareness much in the same way an acrobatic rooftop assassin would onto their target du jour. And with about equal chances of me resisting their intent, too. A 3D free-movement grappling-hook-based assassination simulator, by none other than Frozenbyte? This game was always going to draw my major attention — though not necessarily for the positive reasons you might be thinking of.

If the name ‘Frozenbyte’ doesn’t ring any immediate bells, that’s fine — but you should know they’re the studio behind the Trine series of games. I’ve played all three games cooperatively with a friend. As expected, we had a blast with the first two — if you haven’t played Trine 1 or Trine 2 yet, you know, blanket recommendation right here to get on that. But Trine 3 was… a different beast. The move to 3D has poor results for a game series known for carefully crafted 2D platforming experiences. Particularly the rope-swing physics, a strong point of both former Trine games, was wonky, glitchy, and unreliable. We wondered aloud at the time why Frozenbyte would have made this move: surely, we figured, they couldn’t have thought that this would make for a better Trine game?

And then Shadwen came along. A 3D-movement game based almost entirely on rope physics. And all of a sudden, we saw Trine 3 for what it likely was: an extended technology proof of concept, evidence that Frozenbyte could make ‘functional’ 3D movement worlds, stapled onto a beloved brand name.

So what I’m saying is, I really want to see if Shadwen was worth this.

(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low-medium. Mechanical, medium.)

(Game source: Bought it myself.)

After the break: Shadwen. I promise I won’t hold Trine 3’s broken promises against this game. Much.

Ranwen Pre-Alpha – Ranneko Plays Shadwen Pre-Apha

YouTube Link

I got this as part of the December Humble Monthly Bundle, the pre-alpha to a game that was literally announced at about the same time as the bundle came out. A stealth game that gives you complete control over time, making it much less time consuming to find openings and never be seen.

Being in a pre-alpha stage it is very limited, it has enough features that you can play around with the core concept, time only moves when you are pressing a key, grappling hook lets you easily navigate, etc. I can definitely see the potential here but right now the very basic movement doesn’t feel good.

It is really jarring for the player character to go from full speed to frozen in an instant, absolutely nothing in the real world does that, it is why you tend to see other visual effects layered over the top of a time freeze in most other games. Shadwen needs something to covers the unnatural transition and world state, but it needs to not be too obnoxious, because a lot of play time will be spent in that state.

I think the moment I enjoyed most was swinging between the beams in the open great hall. It felt very spiderman, I wonder how many of those moments will be in the larger game.