Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Just when it seems like it’s time to give up on a repetitive mobile gaming template, a game like Shadow Escaper comes along and makes up for the next months’ worth of uninspired clones. It’s not a reinvention of the endless runner by any means. However, it is such a beautiful, well-executed take on the genre that players will remember why it keeps sticking around.
At the beginning of the Shadow Escaper players pick a creature of the night, either a boy werewolf or girl demon, and then have to guide them through daytime chases from fascist angels and other heavenly beings. Using the silky smooth controls, they’ll seamlessly go from sliding under gates to jumping over falling barrels to running down twisting town roads to even gliding over bodies of water thanks to the occasional power-ups. Players are also encouraged to gather energy during each run because once the sun goes down the characters change into their powerful night forms and unleash whatever energy they have back at the enemy.
Having characters temporarily turn into Final Fantasy summons isn’t the only RPG touch here either. Players level up with multiple successful runs and can allocate experience points to different attributes to like stamina and the power to attract cash. Once players gain the ability to start days at higher levels, these extra powers will be quite useful for the fast and frenetic challenges ahead.
They’ll want to keep coming back though because above all else, Shadow Escaper is just a gorgeous game. Developer CyberConnect2 is known for their visual prowess and skill at bringing anime to life in 3D and that carries over to iOS, at least on newer devices it seems. The gothic fantasy characters and landscapes are bursting with technical detail and charming creativity. The swooping, dynamic camera movements add loads of excitement to each run and watching the glorious spectacles that are the night attacks will always get players ready for another go. Also, the dainty harpsichord music is the perfect fit.