Cyber Shadow: a Must-Have for Fans of Retro-Inspired Indies

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Cyber Shadow is a project developed by Mechanical Head Studios and published by Yacht Club Games, the fine folks behind Shovel Knight. This retro-inspired action platformer is a journey through the ruins of Mekacity, a futuristic city on a ruinous course thanks to the evil Dr. Progen and his vicious synthetic army. Play as Shadow, a blade-wielding ninja accompanied by a companion bot named L-Gion. As Makacity’s sole survivor, you’ll make your way through the metropolis and destroy anything in your path to rescue your clan and unlock their ancient secrets.

The story of Mekacity is one you won't soon forget.
The story of Mekacity is one you won’t soon forget.

At first glance, avid gamers will draw parallels to 2018’s The Messenger. But while both of these retro-inspired titles focus on a ninja, the similarities pretty much end there. Having reviewed both titles, we want to emphasize that Cyber Shadow is a completely different game with its own unique attributes.

Upgrade your arsenal as the game progresses!
Upgrade your arsenal as the game progresses!

Gameplay is focused on exploring various areas of Mekacity while using your blade to slash and dice your enemies. As you venture deeper into the city, you’ll acquire various upgrades like a shuriken, ninja-dashing, and wall jumping, just to name a few. The level design is all about platform action-adventure a la Shovel Knight: make your way through each section and use checkpoint stations to revive as needed. Boss fights follow each section, and each boss has its own set of patterns that can be studied and mastered. Learning boss patterns is challenging, but the difficulty is scaled perfectly as you progress through the game.

Learn boss patterns to master them.
Learn boss patterns to master them.

Cyber Shadow’s tight controls and impressive design are highly reminiscent of Shovel Knight, another game published by Yacht Club Games, and this is absolutely a good thing. Shovel Knight amiibo are also fully compatible with Cyber Shadow, and we had a blast scanning them in to check out what they offer. Shovel Knight Easter eggs definitely sweeten Cyber Shadow’s pot, and fans of Shovel Knight will not be disappointed.

Scanning our Spectre Knight amiibo transformed our garb and summoned an amiibo fairy (encircled in white on the right) to help during this boss fight.
Scanning our Spectre Knight amiibo transformed our garb and summoned an amiibo fairy (encircled in white on the right) to help during this boss fight.

Cyber Shadow’s visual presentation is a stunningly authentic 8-bit experience with handcrafted sprites and detailed pixel art. The chosen color palette perfectly suits the game in every way, and we love how the vividly colored enemies contrast against the gloomy backdrop of Mekacity. This retro aesthetic is only amplified by the phenomenal soundtrack and sound design, and you really couldn’t ask for anything better from a retro-inspired game in 2021.

We love the neon retro-inspired graphics in Cyber Shadow!
We love the neon retro-inspired graphics in Cyber Shadow!

Cyber Shadow is an incredible game and a must-have for fans of retro-inspired indies. From the pixel art and sound design to the storytelling and difficulty scaling, every aspect of this game is top-notch, making it an absolute blast to play. We loved exploring the world, backtracking for secrets, learning boss patterns, and taking advantage of the Shovel Knight amiibo functionality. We enjoyed every minute with Cyber Shadow, and if you’re a fan of the genre (or games like Shovel Knight), we think you’ll agree.

Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Developer – Mechanical Head Studios
Publisher – Yacht Club Games
Price –$19.99
Genre – Action, Platformer, Indie
Size – 200 MB

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