Shadows Of Adam is a 16-Bit homage JRPG. It was developed by Something Classic and published by Circle Entertainment and PM Studios. It was released in 2017 for PC, 2019 for Switch, and 2021 for PS4.
Darkness has come to pass in the small town of Adam. The Tangle is a mysterious event that has made a crater nearby and is threatening to destroy the town and all of its people. Kallan and Asrael decide to go down into the pit to take care of the problem. While inside they find a mysterious book of magic, and Kallan sees a shadow of his father, Ozario, and suddenly they’re off on an adventure to find him!
The story starts off with high stakes, and mystery around every corner. But it soon devolves into a lot of annoying dialogue and disappointment, with a story that feels like it ends before it even begins. You go throughout the land, trying to find a way to stop a crazy substitute King from gaining magic powers, following clues as to where your father went, and even trying to save the land. Throughout your journey, you learn even more about all of the four main characters in your party, them being Kallan, Asrael, Curtis and Tallon. These were the most gripping parts of the story. Between learning that Curtis was a defender of a special object, to learning that Tallan isn’t a badass as he comes off as. But this is the best it gets.
The story doesn’t feel like it ever picks up steam. Even the big twist ending didn’t feel like a big twist, and again, I was left with nothing but disappointment. The game had heart, and it truly wanted to accomplish something grand, but I feel like the short run time really held it back from being as great as it should have been. One thing I did enjoy though, was the quips you would get from “save points”. As if there was an unforeseen force actually helping you.
The gameplay is great for a JRPG. The developers got this right. It feels good, it’s simple enough without needing to grind too much, but I still had to grind just a touch, and they put a different spin on the normal battle system. The battle system plays as a turn based game. You pick what everyone wants to do, and the person with the highest speed stat goes first. What they did differently though is the normal mana system isn’t just a set of ever increasing numbers like it usually is. Instead it’s a percentage bar. Each skill you use costs a percentage of AP (Ability Points) and after each turn, you get 15% back. This is a fun twist, but yet at the same time there’s one big downside. The only way you get a bigger bar, is with accessories you can equip to a character, if you find one, and the skills never become cheaper to use. So I couldn’t just spam my best spell from my massive pool of mana.
The exploration outside of towns, unfortunately, is very limited. In towns you have buildings to explore, treasures to find, and even secret walls to walk through! But in dungeons, it’s all very linear. Even on the world map, you just get pushed from one destination to the next. There’s no walking around trying to find where to go next, as it’s just the next blip on the line. Even when I was given the chance to possibly explore, I was met with an invisible wall. Later in the game you get access to an airship, which is a normal thing for RPGs. But the downside to finally being able to explore at the end, is you don’t have a world map! So you don’t know where there might be hidden islands unless you just fly by them.
Inside the dungeons, it’s a bit more open. There’s treasure chests to find off the beaten path slightly, and even puzzles to solve! From interacting with plants to make their vines grow in different spots, to pushing barrels out of the way in precise ways to make your way through the maze. But the one puzzle that gets used way too much, is a sliding block puzzle. You push the energy ball, which kind of looks like a marble, into the power slot basically. When you push the marble, it doesn’t stop until it hits a solid object. In each puzzle you’re usually given multiple objects to manipulate, which all act the same way. This makes you really have to think. Except by the end of it, you realize you only ever needed to usually move one thing, and you’re just overthinking every solution, every single time! I just wish the devs used different puzzles, because they have a love for nice crafted puzzles, and I wish they would’ve leaned more into it.
- Great Character Backstories
- Different Twist On Battles
- Disappointing Story
- Skill System Gets Annoying
- Overused Puzzle
Shadows Of Adam is an homage to old JRPGs that has a lot of heart and soul. With deep backstories and a nice twist on the normal mana pool. But I wish skills got cheaper as you levelled, and that the story was more fleshed out. Unfortunately because of it’s short run time, it just gets held back. I hope the devs next game is a bit longer so they don’t limit themselves, as it has a lot of potential to be great!
Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Something Classic
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Circle Entertainment / PM Studios
Publisher Socials: Twitter / Twitter
PSN Store Links: $14.99 North America
Trophy Information: 33. 1 / 6 / 8 / 18