BlackShadows – Review
Follow Genre: Indie horror surival
Developer: IceGames Studios
Publisher: Black Media
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

BlackShadows – Review

Site Score
Good: few jumpscares are effective (for a while)
Bad: short gameplay, dull graphics, boring plot, not much suspense
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

After the success of Slenderman and Outlast there have been an infinite number of survival horror games. BlackShadows is one of the many follow-ups. You play as a female scientist that has to escape a maze of dark hallways before an unknown pursuer finds and catches her. With a flashlight that runs low on batteries it’s a scenario that sounds all too familiar.

Black Shadows


In BlackShadows you take on the role of a female scientist who is part of a scientific program to study a weird phenomenon that has affected many people across the world. They have one thing in common: they share the same nightmare. Things take a turn for the worst as you wake up in a strange place with only a flashlight to light your way in the darkness. You have to escape before something unknown captures you.

The plot is a typical horror cliché: a victim that tries to escape a stalking monster. We’ve been there and done that. The story doesn’t add much value to the game and it’s unclear what the black shadows refer to. Are they the nightmares all the people share? Are they some kind of monsters? Or are they just the actual black shadows your flashlight casts? In the end it doesn’t matter, since you have to escape as fast as you can from whatever is chasing you.

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You wake up in a ‘surprise surprise’ creepy place that exists out of a number of dark hallways with flickering lights. The game doesn’t offer anything original and it’s clear the developers have found their inspiration from games such as Outlast or other Indie horror games. Still, the few office supplies, desks, chairs and other junk tend to look dull after a while.

The hallways can be creepy though. You never know if you see any monsters lurking in the black shadows. Your flashlight is not of the highest quality and only lights the way a few feet in front of you. The white battery symbol on the left side of the screen indicates your battery life. Once it runs out, so does your flashlight. The doors that resemble the safe of a bank are white beacons in the darkness that help you find your way. Another beacon is the manly figure that jumpscares you two or three times. It does the trick to frighten you, but while you prepare yourself to get out of there, nothing happens. The figure reminds you of Slenderman. Although in that game you actually had to turn around and run for your life.

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The developers have clearly made a playlist with the label ‘stereotype horror themes.’ The background music switches from lullabies to squeaking doors. Suspense is created when the music suddenly stops and you expect something might happen (which it doesn’t). Your footsteps on the ground start of as a disturbing sound that belong more to an elephant and it doesn’t take long to make you frustrated.

The female scientist narrates the intro of the game. It seems she has a Russian background, judging from her distinctive accent. It is certainly no added value to the game. Neither are the screams that seem to come from a fellow victim as you play the game. It might startle you at first, but then you pay attention to the bad quality.

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Like most Indie horror games you need to escape your attacker, or more precisely: stalker. This time you need to look for keys to open doors and gather batteries to keep your flashlight from going out. Should your flashlight go out, it doesn’t take long for the unknown stalker to catch and kill you. (If that happens, a message appears to be careful with your batteries). If you do progress further, there will be more messages to appear on the screen. ‘You’ve been seen.’ This means you have to toggle your flashlight and be careful. Nothing much happens though and you head along until that repetitive scream pierces your ears. ‘He has caught someone: now it’s your turn,’ appears. This does spark your fear instinct to not dawdle and move on. It’s unfortunate though that as the game nears the end, there are less surprises. Besides the few jumpscares with the strange figure in the beginning you don’t meet the stalker or spot a glance of him. Before you realize it, you have found a way out and finished the game. If you choose to play again, you have that option. The playthrough only lasts fifteen minutes, twenty at most.

There are also some minor glitches. During the intro there are times you only see a black screen in front of you, although when you step forward, footsteps echo in the background. There is no options menu to explain the controls and if you’re lucky they appear before you begin the game. Don’t try to press ESC to access a menu screen, because there isn’t any. If you do press the key, the game will automatically quit.

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Black Shadow feels like another Slenderman wannabe. Unlike some other Indie games it doesn’t come close to the costumed man with the white face. There are some moments that build up the suspense, although they end in an anticlimax. Not much happens in the game besides a few jumpscares now and then. The game only costs 2,99€ on Steam, but perhaps you can spend your money on a different game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
BlackShadows - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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