Shadwen is a stealth game from the developers of Trine, third-person rafter-leaping and neck-stabbing of guards. It lets you place traps, as well as go for the standard sneak-n-kill, but its main draws are a physics engine which throws lethal boxes into many a poor guard’s head and a SUPERHOT-style time manipulation system where things only progress when you move. Rather than allowing for superhuman reactions, it’s designed to give you expert planning potential at any point. Because this is a videogame, you can also rewind time on the fly to correct mistakes.
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Most notable about Shadwen is that it has a pre-release demo, and one that as you play it will reduce the launch price of the game. This trailer shows it off and explains how it works:
You can have a look at the current tracker on the official site, which sits at just over $30 at time of writing. It also displays various stats about the run-throughs that have been done like how many managed to get through it without killing anyone, how many guards have been killed in total and so on. There’s download links for the demo on Humble, Steam and GOG, as well as a more in-depth description of what you can get up to.
It’s a pretty smart move. Sales you’ll gain from more people wanting to play the demo are going to outweigh the drop in price, unless the community score gets ludicrously high – in which case you’ve had so many people ‘engaged’ with the game, what does it matter? It’s not like the price drop will be permanent either, those playing are just setting the normal -10% on Steam launch a little higher than normal. Frozenbyte have also confirmed via YouTube comments that it can’t reach free, no matter how high the community score goes.
It all falls apart if the game isn’t any good, of course, but developers with a decent track record and enough confidence to release a demo usually aren’t ones for putting out a shoddy product. Give it a shot and let us know what you think below.