Shadow Switcher, released by Dr. Wuro Industries, for the Commodore 64 pays homage to the classic arcade gaming era of 1984, where game design was critical to the success of any title released.
The basic premise to Shadow Switcher is that you go around collecting rings across 40 single screen levels all while trying to avoid evil robot zombies, navigating electric fields and unlocking gates. When you have collected all the rings on screen, exit doors open taking you to the next level. Sounds straight forward right? Well the twist within the game is that you are able to switch places with your shadow, thus adding an interesting strategy element to the overall platform game style.
Switching places with your shadow is a key part to completing many of the levels. As the zombie robots cannot not detect shadows, switching across to your shadow character will automatically change the zombie robots focus across to the newly enabled character, alleviating the immediate danger you face. The switching mechanism is very useful for drawing enemies away from the main character you intend to use to collect the rings, providing you with valuable breathing space.
Shadow Switcher adopts a very 1984 style graphical approach and the
movement of your character is very fluid and responsive allowing you to zip around the screen at will. The music soundtrack is very good and spurs you on during your game play with its
Lazy Jones inspired electro-pop sound.
Sadly, the game is missing a password word system that would have been helpful with avoiding the need to replay earlier levels over and over again to progress to later stages of this challenging game.
Another nice little feature is that ability to play in co-op mode. This would certainly make for some interesting game play among friends as each must be on their toes to take control when the action switches across to them.
Shadow Switcher also features a built-in level editor for you to construct your own devious level designs. It is a nice feature but it can feel somewhat cumbersome to use via keyboard or joystick.
Fluid controls, neat little switching gimmick, great music, and adaptive enemy AI all come together very well to provide a great flashback to the golden era of C64 gaming. Shadow Switcher exceeded my expectations on what the game had to offer and kudos to the developer who has provided an engaging gaming experience. A great surprise release for 2018
Shadow Switcher is available as a free digital download or you can purchase a physical disk directly from Dr. Wuro.
Shadow Switcher delivers the best quality old school arcade gaming experience with a clever twist that will hook you in from the very start.
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Contributes to RetroGamerNation YouTube channel, RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Reset 64 Magazine, The 8-Bit Annual and various other publications.