Shadows of forbidden Gods

26/04/2022

The best game I suck at.

Reviewed by:  Jack Phillips

I love D&D, absolutely adore it, and there are some fantastic party-based games out there that can really help to simulate D&D; Solasta and Wildermyth being the top two. Pathfinder is perfectly simulated in the Pathfinder game series, with Kingmaker and Wrath of the Righteous both being adapted from tabletop and into a video game.

Shadows of the Forbidden Gods isn't one of these party simulator games; it is the BBEG simulator. You are the creature that will end the world, you are the being that will bring about the death of all things and bring the world into a ruin from which it will never truly recover from. Now you may be forgiven for mistaking the game, just on premise alone, to be similar to something like Evil Genius or Dungeon Keeper but it is nothing like either of those. 

That is it, that is the objective of the game, destruction of the world. Elimination, corruption or the subversion of everyone and everything that exists within it. You have a huge variety of paths and methods in order to achieve this; from brute force, a magical arms race, all the way to entirely replacing ruling families with deep-one cults. May the great fish-people rise, I suppose! The biggest threat is the 'chosen-one', a hero of greater power than the rest and someone who stands a chance to fulfill a prophecy to banish you back to the depths from whence you came. They are your biggest threat, but far from the only one.

Shadow of Forbidden Gods is a tile-focused, turn-based strategy game with roguelike elements. You are, as with most games that I seemingly fall in love with, meant to lose and replay. Whilst you don't keep any advantages between attempts, something that I think would be fantastic, the game is still endlessly replayable thanks to map generation being procedural and based around world-seeds. Graphics are not this game's strong point, but that is fine, the game feels more akin to a board-game than it does a traditional video game so graphics take a back seat to the gameplay. Graphically everything is well represented, colour-grades help you observe your corruption as it spreads and each tile of importance is easy to identify, distinct and displays plenty of information when you interact with it.

The game play itself can be a bit arduous as some objectives and missions, that you assign your minions too, can take multiple turns; leaving you with tens of turns where you are doing nothing but waiting; hitting the next turn key as rapidly as you can whilst you brush through some events that aren't entirely relevant to your current situation. Someone with more patience than I could probably use this downtime to scout the map and look to see what all the various heroes and nobles are up to; but that requires a player that is far more dedicated than I.

Your first victory is designed to be one of many; completing the game as the first evil being will unlock far more creatures with much more specific playstyles; each one focusing on different avenues of approach or having their own specific gameplay mechanics. 

Shadows of the Forbidden Gods is currently in early access on steam; a game that I highly recommend but I am hesitant to provide a definitive score for due to the active development. 

Regardless, I rate the game highly and give it a 4 out of 5. Anyone that is fond of board games and wants to try and be the bad guy; you will love this game and it plays into that niche extremely well.

Reviewed by: Jack Phillips