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Twisted Lands: Shadow Town is the first title the casual adventure series from Alawar Stargaze. The game follows the steps of a young couple of amateur treasure hunters, Mark and Angel, as they set sail in search of pirate treasures. After a storm, Mark wakes up in an uncharted island to find that Angel is missing. Playing from Mark's perspective, you will have to explore the island to find your wife and eventually escape. As you might expect, you're not alone in the island; a constant presence probably of paranormal nature hunts you as you try to solve the mystery. That's how Shadow Town starts out.
Blending puzzles, mini games, and hidden-object scenes, Shadow Town is a game where interaction with the surroundings is key. In that way, you will be collecting useful tools from any environment and from hidden-object scenes, the latter granting you the objects of more value to your mission. Objects found will help you solve riddles and consequently carry the story forward. In HOG scenes, hints can help you spot objects faster; similarly, they will indicate the direction to move when you click the hint button on any other area of the game. If you feel you're stuck, it is always safe to walk a few locations back to see if there is anything going on in other game scenes. Your search takes you to scout an abandoned ship, houses, a church, a cemetery, and more, so be prepared for a lot of backtracking too.
As you move on and the game area expands, you start learning the secrets of the island from notes and clues you find along the way. The mystery grows bigger and with more questions than answers, the story pushes you forward through an atmosphere that becomes more intense and darker.
Graphics wise, Shadow Town looks quite impressive, managing to portray the eerie atmosphere through well drawn and richly detailed environments. Even though nothing is really clear as to what is going on in the island --actually clues and information found contribute to build up the mystery-- the storyline manages to keep you intrigued from the start. So, if you like suspense and mystery stories and have a few hours to spare, Twisted Lands: Shadow Town is a game that's worth checking out.
- Excellent graphics and sound
- Though not original, the story is very interesting
- Lot of backtracking, a map would really help