If you were a fan of point-and-click adventure games back in the 1980s, there is a good chance that you have played the original Shadowgate. Released in 1987 for Mac, it was subsequently ported to over ten different platforms, including a home console release on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. While this style of game was very common, Shadowgate stood out because of it’s depth, puzzle-solving elements and enchanting fantasy setting. Two sequels and a few ports were released up until the mid-90’s, however this IP has been lying dormant since then. Gone but not forgotten it seems, since the Zojoi, LLC, a development company founded by the series creators, have officially announced a Kickstarter project for a remake of the original game. If you fondly remember Shadowgate and would like to see it return, now is your chance to get behind it.
The premise of Shadowgate is fairly simply by today’s standards, however many elements of it still hold up well. You are an adventurer who must traverse the castle belonging to the Warlock Lord, an evil sorcerer who plans to unleash the deadly titan, known as the Behemoth, onto the world. Your objective is to make it through the various rooms in the labyrinth-like castle, collect the artifacts that will create the Staff of Ages, and then use said staff to banish the Warlock Lord into oblivion. The story of the original Shadowgate will remain intact, however many elements have been added to both modernize and expand the gameplay. Zojoi insists that this will not be a port, but rather a “re-imagining” that builds on the strengths of the source material. The same first-person perspective will remain, however there will be new rooms, new puzzles and a re-designed graphics engine. A new menu system and cinematic score round out the package, however the original NES score is also included for those who want that nostalgic feeling.
One crucial element of Kickstarter is the perks that are offered, with the bonuses you receive depending on the amount you donate. The minimum pledge is $10, which will get you a digital, DRM-free version of the completed game. Extra digital content is given to those who pledge more, with a physical collector’s box being offered at the $95 level. It goes on from there, with card games, art books, a chance to have your name listed in the credits and even a real Staff of Ages being included at various tiers. For the hardcore Shadowgate fans with money to spare, the $7,500 level is supreme. You get all of the perks of the lower tiers, plus you’ll get flown out to Virginia to spend a weekend with creators Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs. You’ll be able to partake in brainstorming sessions on future game content, plus enjoy some board games and whatever else they have planned.
The funding goal of the Shadowgate Kickstarter project, which ends on November 25, is $120,000. As of this writing, they have raised almost $59,000 from over 1,850 individual backers. As with all crowd-funding projects, successfully reaching the fundraising goal does not guarantee that he completed game will come to fruition. Accordingly, you do take a financial risk when backing, however the rewards that come with the investment often justify the risk. For more information, including game details, screenshots and the pledge perks, head over to their Kickstarter page and support if you see fit. To check check out the official Shadowgate launch video, see the link below.