Shadows Over Loathing Review | My Full Games

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the charm of shadows over disgust it’s apparent within seconds of starting the game. It is an extended parody of the works of H. P. Lovecraft and the pulp horror genre as a whole. He manages to take the existential themes of those stories about dark gods beyond the comprehension of mortals, as well as the early 20th century setting that surrounds him, and reshape them into a well-told, absurd, extended joke. It also helps that the joke is based on a solid turn-based RPG.

If you laughed or cringed at this joke, you should have an idea of ​​how the comedy of this game will turn out for you.

get out of the fresh air

shadows over disgust it opens with a conventional gothic horror hook. Your character receives a letter from his eccentric uncle asking you to take over the family business of locating and preserving cursed artifacts. Shortly after your arrival, it is revealed that your uncle, as well as various artifacts, are missing. Furthermore, as you search for more clues about your uncle and recover artifacts, you continue to have mysterious dreams, heralding a dark fate for the kingdom of man by some unseen force.

Somehow, despite that ominous synopsis, this game made me laugh a lot. Part of this has to do with shadows over disgust presentation. Asymmetric has plenty of experience taking familiar genre tropes and presenting them in sillier terms. When one of your titles includes Kingdom of Loathing, one of the oldest web-based MMORPGs, you tend to develop an internal style.

That style continues to shine here. The entire game is populated by basic stick figures. The environments seem to have been drawn by an old black and white newspaper strip artist. Finally, the dialogue and level design is peppered with deadpan commentary, visual absurdities, puns, slapstick, and some wry commentary on video game logic.

The player in a dark void with alien language from Shadows Over Loathing
Surprisingly, the payment for this section made me laugh.

A great example of this is in shadows over disgust opening. You start the game wandering through a restaurant with a newspaper covering your face from the breeze. No one can understand you since your voice is muffled. The waitress even says that she won’t serve you until you get your face done. It’s not until you make your way to the bathroom and remove the newspaper that you can customize your character.

This type of humor persists throughout shadows over disgust and leads to some of his most memorable pieces. Personal highlights include a section where I had to go through a university program to get into safety, which led to dealing with robots and having to teach a class on deadly spiders… complete with live demos.

It should also be noted that the game’s humor manages to bring out the problematic elements of Lovecraft’s work. There are still many cartoons that refer to certain works: Fresh air, color out of space, Shadows over Innsmouth, etc., but the focus is more on making a parody of cosmic horror. The jokes are not in bad taste, nor are they at anyone’s expense, and that is commendable.

    A battle between the player and the shadowy tentacles of Shadows Over Loathing
My teacup hat should give me extra damage against this thing.

Is there a cheese wizard in the house?

But even if shadows over disgust skewering the cosmic horror doesn’t quite win you over, the underlying gameplay has some depth to it. Broadly speaking, it’s a classic turn-based RPG. While you do choose a starting class, the game is flexible and allows for different playstyles. Muscle determines how much you can lift, as well as your skill with melee weapons. Moxie determines your persuasion, acrobatic ability, and your ability with ranged weapons. Finally, Mysticality determines your overall intelligence and how much power you can get from magical cookware.

These approaches will shape your combat playstyle. Mystic builds will allow you to use powerful spells more effectively or summon helpful familiars. Moxie excels at crowd control by mowing down multiple opponents at once. Ultimately, Muscle is all about hitting things as hard as possible.

and if you want to play shadows over disgust Like a conventional RPG, there’s no stopping you. You can run random encounters to gain XP and resources and just steamroll the next challenge. Not only is it a perfectly viable playstyle, but there’s enough depth to the combat to hold your interest. In addition to managing different types of elemental resistances, you also have to manage your Action Points. Action points are what you use when you want to perform multiple actions in one turn. There are many items and abilities that can add or subtract action points as you play. This is important as it helps each fight feel like a combat puzzle and not just a matter of numbers.

But miraculously, it is entirely possible to pass shadows over disgust no fighting at all. Every quest and side quest in the game has multiple paths to success. Better yet, many of these alternate paths either based on their stats or light immersion sim elements. There were multiple times where I skipped a difficult battle simply by changing my team and exploiting a side solution. A great example is when I was able to sneak into a crocodile outpost by getting my Moxie and Stench Armor as high up as possible and sneaking through the sewer tunnels. The game even has a Pacifist Mode in the options menu if you want to avoid combat entirely, turning the entire experience into a stat-based adventure game.

A list of comic options for a plane in Shadows Over Loathing
I honestly can’t tell if some of these are jokes or legit answers.

However, not all environmental puzzles are created equal. For every clever use of a coat hanger or well lit match, there was at least one puzzle that felt esoteric on its own. The highlight was one near the middle of the game where I had to look up Latin phrases to continue. In a world where Google searches exist, it wasn’t a deal breaker, but it still took me by surprise.

If there is a trap for shadows over disgust Tailored and considerate design, it is primarily about quality of life and longevity. By modern RPG standards, the game is about 18 hours long, not including side quests. There’s replay value with the different approaches to gameplay, as well as multiple endings, but there are no manual saves, just checkpoints.

This is both a blessing and a curse for shadows over disgust. For one, it allows each of the game’s five chapters to maintain a fast pace. The challenges continue to increase and comedy is not far behind. But aside from one or two extra walkthroughs, the game doesn’t have much substance.

A scene full of magical creatures at the Shadows Over Loathing DMV
The real supernatural horror to fear: bureaucratic red tape.

Shadows over disgust | final thoughts

Despite a short runtime and some weird puzzles, I recommend shadows over disgust. Jokes land more often than not. The ways in which Lovecraft’s mythos are satirized or mixed up drew a few laughs. The gameplay manages to balance both rewarding turn-based combat and clever environmental puzzles. And Asymmetrical’s ridiculously minimal styling helps fill the entire experience with irreverent delight.


Tech Raptor revised shadows over disgust on PC with a copy provided by the publisher.

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