Dungeon Crawler Games
21 March 2023


ShadowCaster gameplay screenshot.
Shadowcaster is an action RPG with a twist.

Platform/OS: MS-DOS, PC-98
Game developer: Raven Software
Game genre: First-person, RPG, 3D
Release: 1993

ShadowCaster Rating

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Shadowcaster is an action RPG with a twist. The story is shown by the intro as your grandfather tells you about your heritage. He talks of a war between shapeshifters and shapestealers long ago and although the ultimate battle was won by the shapeshifters the war almost decimated the population. Now many years later the evil has once again risen but now your grandfather and you are the only ones remaining of the shapeshifter race. Startled by this revelation your grandfather is attacked by a demon and with his dying breath teleports you away to do battle with the demons.

You start the game as Kurt and directly you are attack by a foul beast, you can easily dispatch him with either you hands or feet. Shortly afterwards when you touch a totem you are given the power to transform in to a maorin, a four armed catlike humanoid. This form gives you much more attack power and health but you cannot stay in other shape indefinitely. Apart from your health bar which is obvious you also have a power bar which is energy used to stay in another form or to use for magic spells when you are able to cast them. You can only gain power when in the shape of a human so at times you will have to walk around like that. The amount of different shapes you can change into increases while you progress through the game, there are six in total and each has their ups and downs. The frogman shape for instance is needed in places where you have to venture underwater but other forms are more generic like the caun which has healing spells and the dragon shape which is very powerful in combat.

The game is viewed from a 3D first person view much like today's shooters and the control are basically the same also. The layout is pretty good with a picture of the form you are in now and the various shapes available to you underneath. The inventory systems is also pretty obvious and the various action buttons are located beneath the main screen. There is also a very handy automap as it shows also the areas you have been through so there is no need to make one yourself. Although this is mostly an action game there are plenty of puzzles that await you and many of them require the use of one or more shapes. It's up to you to figure out when and where to use the shapes available to you and as the game goes on you will have to use all of them to get ahead.

Shadowcaster is a game made by Raven software and it comes at no surprise to me that even back then the engine they used was created by ID software. Raven have used ID software engine for a long time with the same basic formula, a first person action game with RPG elements. I'd still classify the game as an RPG though as there are too many puzzles and items to say it's a pure action game. The graphics are quite good for the time and I had loads of fun playing the game so I can definitely recommend this game to anyone. Ohyeah check out that really wicked solve that is available here, I haven't seen it anywhere or at last so elaborate.
If you do not no how to play this game, find the ShadowCaster guides here.

ShadowCaster Screenshots

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