Shadowgate Finally Returns Thanks to Kickstarter

Back in the '80s there was a series of point-and-click first-person puzzle adventures called MacVentures. Some of them got ported to the NES, but for the most part they were just fun little outings on early computers.

The best of these was Shadowgate. Oh the storyline wasn't anything to write home about. Your typical warrior enters a typical castle in order to fight his way to a typical evil wizard. Where it truly succeeded was the incredible atmosphere in the gameplay. You were instantly transported into the massive castle through its intricately detailed (For the time) scenery full of highly inventive traps and danger that you had to think hard to get past. It was Portal for the retro gaming generation.

And now the game is being reborn on PC, Mac, iOS and Android (With possible console versions to follow, oh please!) thanks to a Kickstarter from the people at Zojoi. They're recreating the classic title with amazing fantasy art and animation that puts anything ever done before in the world to shame. Now floating shades and crystalline waterfalls look less like pixelated caricatures and more like things that can actually kill you.

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The game feature more than 60 rooms, including brand new ones created for the game as well as more flushed out back story for the characters. New puzzles and updated old ones will help give the game a more modern feel. Best yet, the iconic and unforgettable score gets an upgrade, though you are still free to hear the evergreen 8-bit classic if that's your deal.

The mind behind it is Dave Marsh, who was responsible for the original Shadowgate in 1985 as well as games like Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, Aliens Online, Multiplayer Battletech: 3025, and Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. In early 2012 he decided to start his own independent company in Zojoi. Marsh contacted a friend who held the rights to many of the titles he had worked on in the '80s and '90s and asked if he could acquire them from him. These included all the MacVenture titles. The next stop was Kickstarter, where Zojoi sucessfully raised over $130,000 for the game.

"Retro adventure gaming has made a comeback as of late with companies like Double Fine and Replay games proving that folks still love them," said Marsh via email. "There are also a good number of adventure games or hidden object games on portable platforms that seem to be doing well so we're definitely hoping that players are hungry for story-driven adventures - and in our case, those of the first person variety!"

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner