We we’re given a complimentary review copy of Shadow Archer for the Wii U. You can purchase this game on the Wii U eShop.
Shadow Archer provides the Wii U with another retro-inspired indie game, fitting into the survival/button mashing genre of games. As the player, you’ll attempt to survive hordes of enemies with a limited crossbow. Think of one of those top-down zombie survival games and you’ll get the main concept of Shadow Archer.
The main goal is to survive as long as possible on the game’s one big screen. Enemies continue to generate while coming from every direction. Enemies will drop hearts, arrows & super arrows at randomly after being defeated. At first the only enemies I came across we’re these green monsters, who we’re pretty easy to kill. After a while my score got high enough that the game started throwing stronger enemies at me. These stronger enemies took additional arrows and patience to destroy. Every enemy type is worth different points, making it easier to get a bigger score the longer you survive.
Shadow Archer does throw new/different enemies into the mix, along with incentives like better arrows. Most enemies can be defeated by the standard arrows that are frequently dropped, but some require different arrow types. For instance, one of the enemies (a mean looking circle guy) could only be defeated by acquiring a special arrow type. It took me a while to figure out how to defeat these enemies, which are worth 500 points. The game continues to unfold the longer you last, adding even more enemy types, power-ups and subtle changes in the music!
The graphics in Shadow Archer are inspired by the NES 8-bit era. While not the most colorful presentation of pixel art, Shadow Archer does capture the spirit of a simpler age of graphics. Areas like the Wii U splash loader and the front menu are especially well designed, and really feel like they we’re created back during the 8-bit golden age of the 80’s.
The music in Shadow Archer is actually pretty good. The music consists of chip-tune versions of classical music, which fits the gothic/Castlevania tone of Shadow Archer. There are several different tunes in the game, each fitting the game perfectly.
Many of the indie games we’ve played display glitches or bugs at some point. Shadow Archer was one of the first indie games for the Wii U that didn’t display any signs of glitches or bugs. It should also be noted that the game is rather simple in design, having only one main area/stage that the player plays in. The simplicity of Shadow Archer makes for a dependable & professional indie title for the Wii U.
The replay value in Shadow Archer is fairly low. After getting & beating my own high-score I found little reason to continue playing. I do think the game could’ve used some additional features or modes, like extra levels or a 2-player multiplayer feature. But considering the game’s $2.99 price I think the developer Ultra Dolphin Revolution provided enough content for the price.
In conclusion, Shadow Archer is a fine game for the Wii U. While not pioneering anything special, Shadow Archer provides the Wii U with one of its best original retro inspired games.
Shadow Archer Review Score
- Gameplay : 7.5 / 10
- Graphics : 7 / 10
- Music & Sound : 8 / 10
- Replay Value : 6.75 / 10
- Final Review Score : 7.3 / 10