I remember the game Shadowgate because it was nothing like any of the NES games we had played up until that time. I picked the game up at one of those game stores that are located in the mall of any big city. I believe it was after receiving Christmas money one year and several of us loaded up in my buddy Larry's car and headed to the mall to spend our loot.
I know we stopped in on the music store, book store, and several other places in t he mall but I believe I waited until the game store to make my big purchase. I know I bought several games but the one that sticks out in my memory is Shadowgate. I know that the artwork on the box caught my
attention as I was browsing the games. I immediately made the connection between this game and Dungeons & Dragons so I bought it. I believe I also got Wizards & Warriors at this time also but I can not be sure.
After we finished spending our Christmas money, all of us piled back in to Larry's car and headed back to homes. Of course, when we got to my house we decided to give the new games a spin to see how they played.
All of us went back to my room and got ready to play. As was customary at this time, there were several pronouncements of "cool" and "lame" when the Shadowgate title screen popped up on the television screen. Of course, using the title screen to judge game quality is a perfectly sound method of doing so to the teen age brain so I guess it works; not really - because there were many times that one of us changed our mind after the title screen was gone and actual game play began. Hey, we were willing to let the game play change our first impressions so no harm, no foul.
There were several things about Shadowgate that made a lasting impression. First, it was not a button mashing game but more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book done as a video game. Second, it was a game that we truly played as a group. As we faced new obstacles, every one of us in the room made suggestions and had ideas on how to advance. Third, it was the first game that we used the Nintendo Tip Hotline to get clues on how to get through certain areas. Fourth, WE - not just one of us - beat this game after several months of play.
If you are interested in a video of game play, check out the video below: