Goblins… goblins everywhere.

Shadowflare is first and foremost a Diablo clone. Not only does it play the same, but its presentation is similarly second-hand to its source material. The isometric graphics are more Diablo than Diablo II in this case, and while graphics should never be an ARPG’s forte, a little skill and effort does tend to go a long way.


The ho-hum spell effects and stat page.

For those few who’ve never played Diablo (where have you been all this time?), Shadowflare is an action-centric fantasy romp with all the standard conventions of the genre – you kill monsters, grab their loot, find crap, sell found crap and buy better crap to kill more monsters with. Sure you get to level up and better your character as you go, but underneath all the numbers is a finely oiled machine that carries with it one purpose – hacking and slashing. You’ll find many features ripped off from Diablo II here, including the annoying saving system, town stash, and even the similar interface.

The story is rather thin, to put it mildly. You play a missionary sent into a town to help the locals fight the local marauding goblins. You undertake simple quests, and the townsfolk reward you with money and equipment. Unlike Diablo, you get a companion NPC, a friendly dog who follows you around, fighting alongside you from the very beggining. Fans of mindless action RPGs might find enough action and interest in this budget game to give it a spin, although the episodic format of the game (which never quite materialized into its own proper series) means that you won’t get many hours of gameplay from this old timer.

System Requirements: Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win 95/98/ME/2K

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