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Hands-on: Cyber Shadow – PAX East 2019

Cyber Shadow is a fresh look at the retro action platformer.

Cyber shadow from yacht club games
Image: Yacht Club

You’ve been killed in a nuclear explosion. Your ninja clan has been captured by robot life forms. It’s time for you to kick some robot butt.

Cyber Shadow is a fresh look at the retro action platformer, filled with dark stories and run and gun-style action. Over 9 different missions with 15 bosses, Cyber Shadow (the character, not the game) expands his arsenal of ninja skills as he saves his kidnapped ninja clan.

I say save, but I’m pretty sure the dude I rescued died in the demo I played.

Cyber Shadow at its core is incredibly reminiscent of games like Ninja Gaiden, Contra, and Shadow of the Ninja. As I played, I found those references to be incredibly on point as there were a lot of mechanics from these games incorporated into the gameplay.  Enemies moved a lot like Contra enemies, you moved like Ninja Gaiden, and the ninja skills were reminiscent of Shadow of the Ninja.

Something I noticed as I cautiously made my way through levels is that after dying to something silly like a pit, I would move much faster through the level the second time through. This is because, like any old school game, everything in the level is pre-mapped out. I really could see Cyber Shadow gain some traction within the speedrunning community. The style of the game definitely seems suited for it.

The biggest takeaway I got from playing the demo way that Yacht Club’s signature art style still shines through on this title.

Enemies are striking and unique, bosses are intimidating and the world itself looks great. There were a few times throughout the demo that I just stopped to look around and take in that wonderfully beautiful faux 8-bit goodness.

There isn’t a release date yet on Cyber Shadow, but Yacht Club states they will be selling the game for $14.99 and they plan on releasing it on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

What do you think? Does this look like something you’d play? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Longtime games journalist and Florida resident. I'm a Guinness World Record holder, wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad and husband. I'm here to spread the gospel of video games.

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