Ahoy mateys! Get ready to set sail for swashbuckling adventures on the high seas in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew. This new release from talented German developer Mimimi Games puts you in command of a motley crew of undead pirates on a quest for legendary lost treasure.
If you’ve played previous stealth-strategy titles like Shadow Tactics and Desperados III, you’ll be familiar with Mimimi’s specialty. Shadow Gambit follows in the footsteps of those acclaimed games, but dialed up to 11. The setting shifts to a magical pirate-filled version of the Caribbean, and the premise has you alternately sneaking, stabbing, and smooth-talking your way through a 25+ hour story campaign.
Your goal is to revive the ghostly galleon known as the Red Marley by collecting arcane artifacts. Of course, to do that you’ll need to recruit a crew of undead buccaneers, each with their own unique supernatural abilities. From a plant-wielding doctor to a teleporting chef, these cursed pirates bring both humor and power to your mission.
Mimimi Games has clearly upped their game with this release. Shadow Gambit represents the studio’s most ambitious project yet, with revamped gameplay, increased scale, and loads of player freedom. If you’re a fan of tactical stealth titles or just well-crafted pirate adventures, keep a weather eye on the horizon for this one when it launches. It just might be the best game Mimimi has produced so far.
A Swashbuckling Tale on the High Seas
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew conjures up a fantasy version of the Golden Age of Piracy, complete with magic, monsters, and of course, treasure. This isn’t the dour and cruel world of real-life buccaneers though – it’s infused with a sense of humor and whimsy that keeps things entertaining from stem to stern.
Your journey begins when Afia, a cursed pirate with a knack for teleporting, decides to seek out the lost trove of Captain Mordechai. This infamous pirate’s final resting place is a complete mystery, but tracking it down will require finding three arcane Relics hidden across the islands.
To help in her quest, Afia needs a ship – specifically the spectral galleon known as the Red Marley. This ghostly vessel can manipulate time itself, letting Afia “save” key moments in her adventure. However, the ship needs a crew before it can sail, so Afia must revive a team of undead pirates to join her mission.
This won’t be easy, as the islands are controlled by the Inquisition of the Burning Maiden, religious zealots intent on destroying all cursed beings. Led by the ruthless Inquisitor Ignacia, their patrols and traps lie between you and the items needed to recruit crew members. Your team will need to rely on stealth, distraction, and supernatural powers to avoid detection.
The inquisitors serve as the primary antagonists, but the real villain is Lord Baltasar – a former pirate and friend to Afia who has struck a dark bargain with evil forces. His later reveal adds an emotional punch to the story.
Despite these dramatic elements, the tone stays lighthearted. Your crew get up to all kinds of hijinks between adventures, and their personalities shine through in funny banter during missions. Afia’s acerbic quips are a constant delight.
The variety of cursed crew members also adds character and humor. From the plant-loving doctor Suleidy to the pompous aristocrat Pinkus, each pirate has their own distinct vibe. Unlocking their stories and side-adventures lets you get to know the heart behind these rascals.
There’s plenty of surprises along the way as well. Clever twists in the tale prevent things from ever getting stale. And the ingenious use of time manipulation as an in-universe game mechanic shows some narrative creativity.
By combining piratical treasure hunting with engaging characters, and wrapping it all in a tone both charming and funny, Shadow Gambit creates an adventure that’s engrossing from bow to aft. Though challenges await, the story provides plenty of motivation to brave every obstacle in your path.
So if you’re seeking an imaginative yarn that blends magic, myth, and maritime mayhem, these cursed buccaneers stand ready to welcome you aboard. There’s rum and riches aplenty for those bold enough to join the crew!
Sneaky Pirates and Tactical Teamwork
Shadow Gambit delivers the same core stealth gameplay that Mimimi Games has perfected, but adds new layers of freedom and supernatural abilities. Controlling a team of three pirates at a time, you’ll need to utilize their unique powers and your tactical cunning to overcome the Inquisition’s forces.
The view is angled down from above, giving you an overview of each area. Patrols follow set routes, with vision cones indicating their line of sight. Your objective is avoiding detection, drawing enemies away from groups, and dispatching lone guards. Basic maneuvers like hiding in foliage or tossing distraction items will be familiar to veteran players.
Where things get more interesting is the abilities of your cursed crew. Afia can freeze time around specific targets, letting you reposition while they’re paralyzed. Quartermaster Kassim has a voodoo doll that inflicts painful injuries from afar. And Pinkus can possess enemies to access restricted spots. Stringing these powers together is key.
Coordinating your scallywags is easy with “shadow mode” – pausing the game to queue up actions for your team. You might have Pinkus possess a guard, walk him into foliage, then ambush him with Afia while Suleidy sprouts a bush to hide the body. This orchestration of moves feels slick and super satisfying when you pull it off right.
With eight pirates to recruit, there’s plenty of room for experimentation. Do you take the brute-force approach with heavy hitters like Gaelle and her cannon? Or rely on ranged abilities from those like Teresa? Having options prevents things from ever feeling stale.
Your objectives also require creativity. Whether stealing a treasure, assassinating a target, or investigating a mystery, there are always multiple paths forward. The island layouts provide plenty of environmental features to exploit as well. Dynamic guard patrols and random events also keep repetitive playthroughs unlikely.
Between missions, your ghostly ship acts as a hub to interact with crew members, upgrade abilities, and select new islands and objectives to tackle. The order is up to you, enabling non-linear progression through the campaign. Feel free to focus on the main story or take time to revel in side adventures – the choice is yours.
As a final touch, quick saving and loading at any moment is cleverly woven into the game’s story itself. Your mystical vessel lets you “capture memories” to return to in case things go poorly. This takes the frustration out of trial-and-error experimentation, as you can retry tricky sections quickly. It’s a smart quality-of-life feature with narrative flair.
Blending traditional stealth strategy with expanded player agency, intriguing powers, and fantastical pirate flair, Shadow Gambit’s gameplay is incredibly varied and engaging. There’s ample opportunity for creativity in tackling objectives, which combined with responsive controls and useful interface features makes it a joy to play. For fans of tactical sneaking, this is a treasure chest of possibilities.
Smooth Sailing on PlayStation 5
While many tactics games thrive on PC, Shadow Gambit feels right at home on the PlayStation 5 console. The control scheme is intuitive, with smart use of the DualSense controller’s capabilities for a satisfying gameplay experience. And the technical performance leaves little room for complaint.
Navigating the isometric perspective with an analog stick feels natural, allowing you to sweep the camera angle smoothly as needed. The UI is also designed with console play in mind, with radial menus for commands that are easy to parse at a glance. And the DualSense’s adaptive triggers provide subtle feedback tuned to actions like firing a ranged weapon.
The most clever use of the controller is tying the touchpad to quick saving and loading. A simple tap instantly captures your progress, while a double tap reloads your last checkpoint. It’s a perfect fit that makes spamming saves effortless.
From a technical standpoint, Shadow Gambit also shines on PS5. The framerate is rock solid at 60fps with only minor dips on rare occasions. Visual quality settings let you prioritize resolution or performance as desired.
Loading from the SSD is extremely swift – you’ll wait longer for loading screens on some 2D indie games. This combines with the instant saving to prevent frustration when retrying difficult sections.
The visuals, while not cutting edge, have an appealing stylized look well-suited to the game’s tone. Vibrant, colorful environments are packed with detail and varied in architecture. Character designs are brimming with personality as well.
There are some minor camera annoyances when navigating tight spaces, but otherwise the controls handle admirably. Tracking enemies through walls or foliage could be improved too, but these are small nitpicks.
It’s clear the team at Mimimi took care to tailor Shadow Gambit for a smooth console experience. The DualSense implementation enhances gameplay, while technical performance is excellent. If you’re sailing the seas of adventure on PlayStation 5, you can expect sunny skies and an enjoyable journey ahead.
Plenty of Booty Beyond the Horizon
With a lengthy quest ahead, lots of abilities to upgrade, and tons of replayability, Shadow Gambit provides pirates a value that can’t be plundered. There’s enough content here to keep swashbucklers satisfied for dozens of hours on the high seas.
The main campaign itself will run 25+ hours, with a story that provides strong motivation to keep pushing forward. It’s easy to get invested in the fates of Afia and her cursed crew. And the tale builds to an exciting conclusion that’s worth experiencing.
As you sail along, each character has their own progression path. Using Vigor collected on missions to upgrade special abilities adds new gameplay possibilities and incentives to take on side content.
These side stories also expand on the characters themselves, bringing extra depth through humorous scenes on the ship and unique crew trials tailored to their personalities and backgrounds. They’re optional, but offer cool rewards and enrich the experience.
After rolling credits, there’s still wind in the sails. Shadow Gambit tracks dozens of achievements for tackling objectives in creative ways. Pursuing these provides good excuses to revisit favorite missions.
You can also activate modifiers to increase difficulty and change up the experience. Whether you want smarter enemies, limited saving, or a quicker pace, there are a lot of options to customize the challenge.
Having alternative crew combinations opens up even more replay potential. Every group of three pirates plays differently, enabling you to find new strategies and efficient approaches. There’s almost always a way to shave off time or improve your run.
Of course, another major draw is chasing that perfect stealth run. Getting through a level without being detected is immensely satisfying. You’ll likely need to retry dozens of times, but with quick loading the process stays painless.
With so many layers of progression, customization, and opportunities for personal improvement, each seafaring adventure can play out uniquely. The breadth of content provides value for the price, while quality design keeps the repetition at bay.
Whether you play just for the story, seek 100% completion, or want to test your tactical chops, Shadow Gambit should keep your sails billowed for a long voyage ahead. The call of adventure on the high seas beckons!
A Polished Stealth Gem
When reviewing a tactics game like Shadow Gambit, the quality of level design is paramount. And Mimimi’s intricate island layouts demonstrate a seasoned mastery of the genre, providing engaging spaces to explore with ample player creativity enabled.
Each area is packed with interlocking guard patrols covering interconnected zones. Unraveling the web of enemy placement turns exploration into a complex puzzle. It rewards alert play, using sight lines and AI behaviors to spot potential openings.
What really stands out is the sheer variety of options Mimimi builds into every space. There are always multiple ways to approach each objective, letting you come up with unique solutions. This design respects player freedom without sacrificing challenge.
Empowering this experimentation are your crew’s abilities. Between their mobility powers, manipulative skills, and combat prowess, you have plenty of tools to build a plan with. Seeing how your pirates’ talents interact with the environment adds to the fun.
Enemy AI does leave a bit to be desired. Alerted guards will search areas, but otherwise their patterns remain static. It would be nice if they reacted more to your actions over the course of a mission. This may be an intentional choice to enable methodical play, however.
While gameplay is king, the supplemental elements like setting and characters are also handled well. Shadow Gambit’s lighthearted pirate theme is a perfect match for blending humor with high stakes stealth. And the crew is full of memorable personalities that keep things entertaining.
On the whole, Shadow Gambit represents a refinement of the formula Mimimi has cultivated over multiple games. There’s a familiarity for returning fans, while the new abilities and open progression provide a fresh experience. It builds logically on past successes.
When compared to others in the genre, very few can match the quality of Shadow Gambit’s design. The intricate environments and emphasis on player creativity set it apart. This is easily one of the most robust and entertaining tactical stealth games out there.
There’s always room for improvement in AI and visuals, but as a complete gameplay package Shadow Gambit shines. For those who enjoy methodical, skill-based stealth challenges, these cursed pirates deliver an expertly crafted adventure brimming with possibilities. It’s a standout release for Mimimi Games.
Weigh Anchor and Set Sail
When the credits rolled on Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, I was left with the satisfaction that comes from experiencing a genre pushed to new heights. This swashbuckling stealth title represents the pinnacle of Mimimi Games’ accomplishments so far.
The team clearly leveraged their veteran talents to produce an incredibly polished product. The story pulled me into its pirate fantasy world, while deep yet accessible mechanics kept gameplay engaging for the long haul.
With its non-linear progression, wealth of customization, and mission design rife with creativity, Shadow Gambit sets a new benchmark for tactical stealth entries. It respects player agency without compromising challenge.
From the quirky cursed crew to sinister Inquisition foes, the characters also bring plenty of charm and humor. The voice acting and writing are top-notch as well.
Fans of stealth tactics should consider this required playing. The flawless execution provides endless hours of sneaking, stabbing, and supernatural subterfuge. I’d even recommend it to newcomers as an entry point into the genre.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew shows Mimimi Games only getting better with each release. I’m excited to see what this talented studio comes up with next. But for now, I’m happy to keep sailing the high seas with Afia and her skeleton crew – well worth signing up for a life of piracy!
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a triumphant achievement for Mimimi Games that demonstrates their consistent growth and refinement as developers. By building on the rock-solid tactical stealth foundations of their past titles, while incorporating creative new abilities, progression systems, and a fantastical pirate setting, they have crafted an experience that stands tall among the best of the genre. Both longtime fans and newcomers seeking an accessible entry point will find hours upon hours of engaging gameplay here, with challenges to suit all commitment levels. The cursed crew themselves are a lovable bunch as well, bringing humor and humanity that bolsters the game beyond just mechanical excellence. For an incredible blend of skill-based sneaking, player freedom, and supernatural seafaring charm, Shadow Gambit is essential playing.
- Excellent level design with intricate guard patrol routes
- Huge variety of approaches to tackle objectives
- Great cast of quirky and humorous pirate characters
- Accessible mechanics but still provides a challenge
- Supernatural abilities add creativity to stealth
- Non-linear progression system
- High replay value
- Smooth performance and controls on console
- Engaging 25+ hour campaign
- Enemy AI can be predictable at times
- Requires some trial-and-error gameplay
- Story takes a bit to ramp up initially
- Visuals are good but not groundbreaking
- Some minor camera issues