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Hi! I am contacting creators/developers on behalf of a graduate researcher studying how Lovecraft is represented in games. If you have time to complete a 10-minute survey about Shadow Over Hawksmill, please send a message to: masonsmith [at] tamu [dot] edu.

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Review:

The Commodore 64 (C64) emulator, VICE is used in this review. The game is a commercial product for sale. No legal loops to deal with, if anyone is concerned.

A cold dark night.

Critical Points

  • Appealing pixelated graphics of the C64 era, with reds and blues colour tones. With some minor graphical glitches.
  • There isn't much in terms of music, they're more ambient-style. There are sound effects; gunfire and interaction with items and puzzles and the storm and rain.
  • There is a plot: you hear of bad things happening in Hawkshill: the cult kidnapped the villagers and used them as sacrifice for the Old One namely Cthulhu. I found the plot forgettable (ironically I forgot about it).
  • Gameplay is mostly shooting at enemies with some puzzle solving, in the form of finding pieces or keys to a door to progress.
  • There are three types of guns; pistol, shotgun and machine gun. Just stick with a shotgun after finding it. The machine gun is wasted, just a rapid firing pistol.
  • The game is very generous with ammo pouches, specifically the 999 pouch, you don't need it, 500 is more than enough. 
  • Enemies respawn after moving away from a scene (I believe it's space apart from 2 or 3 scenes) can leave you in a tight spot with low ammunition.
  • The boss battle was ok. It's more of a puzzle and very easy, in my opinion.
  • Strange controls as someone who haven't played on a C64 it was a bit of a learning curve. Would like to point out C64 controller is a joystick with single button. Switching held-item is by pressing down and the fire button. 
  • Shooting is weird, just being off is a hit and you can angle it as well.

Conclusion

While finding this game very good, there isn't much drive for it (there is a hidden secret after collecting ten statues). The plot is forgettable, there is too much backtracking (see the same scene more than three times). It is one of those games you are going to play once start-to-finish and let it collect dust.

3/5

Screenshot 

Thank you for reading!

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this game keeps truly the charm of the former, Legend of Atlantis.
so i recommend this as very well made sequel for those who could enjoy it.

...to those who complain about too action oriented, hard, or lacking check point and so on....

you just need to watch the screen carefully. if it doesn't help, why not take a memo ? each combat is mostly predictable and thus action part itself is not that hard.

Great advice!  Always look carefully at a screen before you start running across it - think if there's places baddies could be hiding in the shadows

After some attempts to play the game I have to say while I loved Legend of Atlantis I don't enjoy SoH unfortunately. Graphics and sound are amazing, but I find gameplay too unforgiving and too much based on shooting for my taste, compared to the very puzzle-heavy Atlantis.

This would have been a great game if there were only a few checkpoints. Its just not fun to start from the beginning when you die in an adventure type of game. For run'n'guns or platformers sure, but the whole thing about discovering objects to get further is only fun once. Love the visuals, and the game kinda caught me for a while, but I couldnt get myself to play from the very beginning again after dying a few times.

Nice game! Same quality as on Atlantis. Fluid gameplay, nice sound effects, and a nice setting. 5 stars! But whats the difference between the disk file and the one for the TheC64 aka MiniMaxi specially? I loaded the disk file on my Maxi and all seems fine?

I really enjoyed that! I liked that it felt familiar after playing Rocky Memphis, but expanded the range of things the player could do. The Lovecraftian creepy town was very well realized. I hope there's a sequel.

Great game, the only thing I'm slightly unsure about is ammo, am I meant to trapse back to the start to refill?...past all those bats that you can hardly avoid and I find myself having to use all the ammo getting past them? You should put a few bullets with the items maybe? Is there anyway to avoid firing when using items? I think cycle item could be better if on space? The whole having to crouch is quite annoying at times. Sorry for all the issues, it's great otherwise.

There are ammo crates later in the game. You can use the F1 - F3 keys to cycle through items

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hi, just purchased the game and it looks great......but I don’t know how to do anything besides shooting and jumping. How to use keys? How to select other items? Are there anywhere instructions or a manual?


Found the green key, but green door doesn’t open...ducking doesn’t work, jumping doesn’t work, space doesn’t work......

The instructions are included in the download bundle.  To open a door hold the key, stand by the door and press fire - you can see this in action in the promo video. Use F1 and F3 to cycle through your objects

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Thanks. I have found the instructions (seems i was blind). But F1/F3 doesn't work for me. I have to crouch and press the fire button to change objects. The rest works as described.

Hey guys.. bought this a couple days ago. Great game.. but, why no checkpoints or ways to save your game? And one hit results in a "you fail", game over?? :( Great game that could easily be better.. too frustrating as is IMO. Sorry guys, I hate leaving negative comments.

You have a health bar so you can take 8 hits, also there’s plenty of food you can eat to replenish your health, so not sure what you mean by 1 hit ?

Just purchased a C64 Maxi to be able to play this game properly (I ordered it from Psytroniks directly in the "Budget" version). The Legend of Atlantis was just a brillant game with great playability, mysterious atmosphere and lovely animations. I played it under Win-Vice and had a real blast but somehow wished to be able to play it like back in the days. When I heard about this game I knew I wanted to play it in a worthy manner on the platform it's intended for. So I got the Maxi and it's just a fantastic experience!

Cool follow up to Rocky Memphis and the Legend of Atlantis, probably my favourite game by Smila and the others, this time with a Lovecraft twist.

Shadow fixes some of the issues I had with Legend, making it a better gaming experience though there is of course still room for further improvement.

Will be interesting what the next game will be with this engine.