Unusual art style
Quite a short game
Poor Keith Night! He isn't having the best day. Or rather, he isn't having the best morning. He woke up in the gutter, of all places. To make matters worse, it's pouring with rain, and he's soaking wet. And to top it all off... he has no memory of the night before, OR how he ended up here. So what happened to him? There's only one way to find out. Keith must retrace his steps from last night, to find out what he was doing, as well as who left him in this cold and lonely gutter.
After returning to his office, he gradually remembers something very important. Something he has been working on for the last 2 weeks. Could that be related to his predicament this morning? It's up to you help Keith discover the truth?
After A Shadow is an atmospheric, but short, horror adventure game, done in the style of a film noir. It was done for Canardo's (the creator) bachelor thesis in 2007, and the result is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of story-telling.
The game is controlled by mouse, with a left-click allowing you to look at items or people in the game world, and a right-click allowing you to interact with things or talk to other characters. Your inventory is shown at top of the screen (simply move your mouse up there), and movement is done simply by clicking where you want Keith to walk to. Some inventory items can be combined, which is a handy tip to remember.
Saving and Loading a game is controlled by F5 and F7 respectively, while Quitting the game is done by Ctrl & Q. Conversations, as well as Keith's thoughts, can sometimes be phrased awkwardly, but Canardo's first language is not English, and I think he has done a marvellous job.
The ending hints at a sequel, but sadly, no sequel has been made yet.
Unfortunately, I found a dead end, which prevents you from completing the game. Without giving too much away, make sure you empty the shampoo bottle, BEFORE starting a fire.
I love the graphics in this game - such an unusual style! The entire game is shown in black & white \ greyscale, which really adds to the Film Noir atmosphere. Even inventory items are shown as greyscale icons (along with their item names as coloured text).
Keith has no facial features, except for his frowny-eyes, which I love. The shadow of his feet (he has no actual feet!) are shown on the ground, and move as he walks. Rain effects outside are very effect, and make me shiver with cold. Conversations are shown as coloured text above the characters, but sometimes the text can blend too well into the background, making it hard to see. Likewise, coloured text for item labels on screen can often blend in, making it hard to see. It would have been better if the text was bigger, or a contrasting colour from the background was used, to make it stand out more. Still, Keith's narration stands out well against the black background.
SOUND AND MUSIC
The music for this game is wonderful! A different piece of music is heard for each location, which is a lovely touch. All the songs are written and performed by Canardo himself, except for 'Mourning', which has a guest appearance by Jani Kerttula on guitar. The soundtrack is available to download from his website. We hear a different piece of music for each location, but I think my favourite is the piece from the woods. There is no voices, except for Keith's narration. I found this worked well for the game, as his thoughts often pushed the story along.
After A Shadow is a wonderful adventure game every horror fan is sure to love. As I mentioned, it's quite short, but very enjoyable. Keith Night wakes up in the gutter, with no memory of how he got there, and you must help him piece together his actions from last night, so he can figure out how he ended up here. The game is controlled by mouse, making interactions with the gaming world nice and easy. Saving\Loading\Quitting are done by F5\F7\Ctrl&Q respectively. Graphics are a very unusual style, and use a black & white \ greyscale colour scheme, which really adds to the game's Film Noir atmosphere. Conversations are shown as coloured text above the characters, although the text is often hard to see. Music is simply wonderful, and I often found myself staying longer than I needed to in a location, just to listen to the music. The ending is slightly odd, and I hope one day we will get a sequel, and find out what happens to Keith next. I really enjoyed this little game, and hope you enjoy it too.
Review by: Frodo
Some adult themes
Safe for ages: 13+