A Paean for Shadow Watch

I felt this deserved its own thread. All you fans (and critics), feel free to add your voice.

What was the best thing about Shadow Watch?

For me, it was the character advancement. Well, not the advancement system itself, but the consequences of that system on the gameplay. Each character was different. Very Different. That’s so cool. It made the choices of who to bring along on a mission and how to use them interesting. Sure, XCom beats Shadow Watch in nearly every aspect due to its expanded scope. But not in this aspect. If XCom had unique units with unique advancement, it would be twice the game it already is.

What was the best thing about Shadow Watch?

Damn, that’s a good question. I might have to steal your answer about the character advancement. Although Shadow Watch predated all that RPG cross-pollination, I might have to say the way the units changed was like a combination of chess and an RPG.

Maybe it’s time for a re-install…


I love the gameplay…but I also love the art direction. In a world where so few games have any real identity, Shadow Watch had it in spades. I also love the fact that it’s the whole package. It’s got top quality music and sound and an opening movie that I continue to watch over and over.

Yeah…the character advancement is probably the best thing about the game…but it’s not the only reason it’s still one of my favorites.


I’ll agree with Dave on this one. Every time I talk about or hear SW being mentioned I immediately think of the unique way it was presented. The comicbook style was certainly a refreshing change. And to think that some reviewers pointed it out as a negative in the game. Friggin’ loonies!

Some things I really liked about Shadow Watch were the artistic style (particularly the stylized animations), and the individual personalities of the characters. The character advancement system was also interesting because of the way it affected use of certain characters. (e.g. Bear could be used for stealth missions once he gained the Smash Enemy ability)

My complaints about Shadow Watch are limited primarily to the shallow plot/dialogue system and the small number of maps. Although the 27 generic types provided a goodly amount of variety, more individualized enemies would also have been nice.

Oh, and can I have a paella for Shadow Watch instead?

  • Alan

I rather enjoyed the $40 I saved when I didn’t get it. I think it was because of some review I read that caused Tom and Bub to make death threats to the author.

For me it was how the whole package came together. Shadow Watch has an elegance, clarity, and coherence of design not often seen in games these days. I still play it on a regular basis just to see how far I can get without re-loading a save game.

One of my dream games would take the design approach and theme of Shadow Watch and expand it to include a global strategic layer. The game would be about different corporations vying for information/technology, recruiting from a universal merc pool and assembling specialist teams to conduct missions against one another using the SW tactical engine.

So hey Kevin Perry, got any spare time to whip up something like that?

No problem. I should be able to bring it in for under a mil, including start-up costs.

Should I set up a PayPal account?


If I hit the lottery…you’ll be the first to know, Kevin. ;-)