Shadowgate: MacVenture Series (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 25.02.2015

Review for Shadowgate: MacVenture Series on PC

Shadowgate is the fourth game of the MacVenture series of games that have been rereleased as a Mac emulator in their original format back in the late 80s. This game is touted as the best one of the collection, but the unapproachable gameplay and lack of guidance make it hard to recommend.

Shadowgate is nearly the same type of game as the other MacVenture titles, where the play advances across screens, as players try to figure out what to click in what combo to advance the story. It is like a book mixed with a puzzle/adventure game. Compared to the others, it is much longer - probably at least double the length - but the major problem is it falls into the same trap the rest of the MacVenture games had, and that is that every puzzle has next to zero clues and only by trying every permutation can the player advance.

Screenshot for Shadowgate: MacVenture Series on PC

One issue, among others, is that there is a countdown of sorts in the form of torches burning out, and when they run out the game is over. In a puzzle game the player needs to investigate everything, but investigation here will actually lead to a Game Over.

Consider two puzzles encountered. Throughout the game there is likely about 50 or more items that can be picked up, but at least half are useless. There is a book with unknown language on it, and the only way past a certain part is to 'use' the book on it, but unless the player first equipped glasses to now be able to read the language, they would die. There is no clue the glasses give any sort of translation power. In another puzzle, two bridges are happened upon; one of them causes players to instantly die when trying to cross. Much later in the game, players can suddenly cross this bridge if they empty their inventory, but there is no clue to any of this, and it is absolutely necessary to finish the game. Beyond some sort of nostalgia, there is little here most gamers would like.

Screenshot for Shadowgate: MacVenture Series on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Shadowgate has all the same flaws as the rest of the series, without any of the pluses. There is a strict timer, puzzles are incomprehensible, and the entire game demands a near-perfect playthrough, which, like nearly every puzzle, can only be accomplished by pure repetition, not any actually figuring or solving puzzles. To put things into perspective, good NES games were out at the same time as this not-recommended game.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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