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ESRB Rating

User Reviews

A top-down shooter? That's 80's! Marko Poutiainen (1160) 3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars3.14 Stars
Alien Breed lives again and gets an update as well! adam payne (18) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the voice or video acting. 3.0
AI The quality of the game's intelligence, usually for the behavior of opponents. 3.0
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 4.0
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.7
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 3.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.7
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.1
Overall User Score (24 votes) 3.5

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
AceGamez (2006)
In a way, Shadowgrounds is a louder, meaner, faster futuristic version of Gauntlet, so if that floats your boat then your trigger finger should be itching and your wallet has already grabbed you by the back pocket and is leading you to either your favorite game shop or Valve's Steam download service. Come to think of it, if Frozenbyte had the rights to the Alien license and made this with a few changes to fit the franchise, it'd be even more of a killer game. It would also go a long way in removing some of the nails Fox has hammered into that series' coffin with that awful AVP flick from a few years back. While Shadowgrounds might not win any big awards for originality, the nonstop action absolutely gets the adrenaline pumping throughout as it offers up a planet's worth of beasties to blow away.
Worth Playing (May 20, 2006)
Altogether, ShadowGrounds is a fantastic game, replete with many of the elements that even many big budget games have somehow managed to miss. With strong gameplay, outstanding design, and intense action, the game definitely fills the void left in many players by the somewhat-disappointing Doom 3. Other than the silly-looking human models, the graphics are nicely textured and smooth, even on lower-end machines, and the sound is magnificent in its presentation. On the other hand, the game does nothing innovative in the way of story, and though its arsenal is made better by its upgradeability, the improvements are far too easy to come by. Even with its largest drawback, the lack of an internet multiplayer element, ShadowGrounds is still a great addition to any action lover's library.
Pelit (Dec, 2005)
Kotimaisin voimin tehty Shadowgrounds on nostalgiatrippi, joka on selvästi saanut vaikutteita vanhasta Alien Breed -klassikosta. Pelin viehätys ei nojaudu pelkkään retroiluun, vaan onnistuneeseen ja hyvin tasapainotettuun sekoitukseen uutta ja vanhaa.
Gamer Within (May 17, 2006)
When all is said and done, Shadowgrounds brings back many of the classic gaming elements from the best topdown shooters of the past, and updates them with revamped graphics, full lighting and physics, a fantastic musical score, and a so-lame-it’s-funny storyline. There is no denying that this is not a AAA title, and its lack of multiplayer means that once the campaign is finished it does not offer too much in replayability other than the odd quick mission for stress relief. However, for anyone wanting some classic gaming, and just plain old fun, Shadowgrounds comes very highly recommended – and its low ticket price is just the icing on the cake.
83 PC Gaming (May 04, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is a good example that games with forgettable stories and acting are still worth playing. Rich storytelling is always welcome and I’d love to see more of it, but these are games after all and playability is a lot more important. Certain genres benefit from immersive themes more than others, but when an arcade action game has plenty of solidly done action in it, the plot is non-essential. Actually I would’ve had no objections had it been entirely scraped in favor of a dozen extra levels, especially when combat is this much fun.
80 (Nov 26, 2005)
Den Meckereien am Schluss zum Trotz: Shadowgrounds macht Laune – und zwar richtig! Die Kulisse begeistert mit stimmungsvollen Effekten, mäßige KI und hölzerne Animationen fallen im Kampfgetümmel kaum auf und das Waffenarsenal mit Do-It-Yourself-Bonus stellt Bastler zufrieden. Alles in allem bekommt ihr gute Unterhaltung für’s Geld. Die erfrischend altmodische Ballerorgie ist herrlich unkompliziert und verlangt genau so viel Einarbeitungszeit, wie ihr nötig habt, um das Zielen mit der Maus zu lernen. Wären da nicht die kurze Spielzeit und die mangelnde Abwechslung, hätte Frozenbytes Erstlingswerk sogar in noch höhere Wertungsgefilde vorstoßen können.
GameStar (Germany) (Oct, 2005)
Sechs Jahre ist das her, da hat die halbe GameStar-Redaktion Expendable gespielt, weil’s so flott und knallig bunt war. Nun ja, »bunt« kommt im Vokabular von Shadowgrounds eher nicht vor. Trotzdem ist es ein würdiger Thronfolger. Atemlose Massenballerei und spannendes Vorantasten im Gegnerrücken balanciert Shadowgrounds gut, bleibt aber immer fair – tolle Leistung! Die flüssige Steuerung wäre perfekt, wären da nicht die Hänger an Kanten. Dennoch, wer Adrenalin-Action mit Doom-Stimmung sucht: zugreifen!
Gamigo (Dec 09, 2005)
Shadowgrounds ist ein durchweg gutes Mid-Price Spiel das mit seiner Top-Down Ansicht, dem Geballer mit den Aliens, den Upgrades und den überraschend guten Licht- und Schatteneffekten ein paar vergnügliche Stunden bereiten kann. Zwar wird man die eine oder andere Schattenseite während der 12 Level entdecken, wie Gegner die nicht reagieren und ähnliches, aber wirklich Spaß hemmend ist es nicht. Wer also mal wieder eine schnelle Ballerei für Zwischendurch sucht, bei der es rein um den Spaß an der Action geht, der kann bei Shadowgrounds beruhigt zugreifen.
Gameslave UK (May 30, 2006)
While it should be clear by now I enjoyed playing this game, there are a few negatives I must mention. Firstly don’t expect a deep gaming experience, it’s a straightforward arcade shooter. It’s also repetitive, with the general game-play remained the same throughout the game. You’ll encounter each of the alien types numerous times and will soon figure out how to deal with them fairly easily. It would be been nice to have seen Frozenbyte spend more time on the quality of the game and given us some more variety. When bought over steam this game costs $19.95, which for UK gamers is about £11. This makes it easier to accept the games short comings, which is good as otherwise a lot of people would miss out on this fun little shooter.
GamesFirst! (May 04, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is really a game that is greater than the sum of its parts. The story and gameplay are standard, and the graphics and textures can be a little blocky at times, but it does more than enough to make up for these. The lighting is outstanding and keeps your eyes on the shadows, the music and sound effects are moody and well done, and the upgrade system works as a nice remedy to keep you from getting bored of your weapon set. Plus, the game comes at a bargain price and easy download. Top-down shooter fans as well as those gamers who are just looking for a good deal would be well advised to give Shadowgrounds a look and at least try out the free demo. Your eyes and ears will be in for a treat.
Gameguru Mania (May 20, 2006)
My only real complaints with the game are the short (10 levels,~5-6 hours) length, and the lack of multiplayer. There is only a co-op through the single player campaign for up to four players - for those with a suitable gamepad - but no LAN or Internet options. Those without the correct control hardware may find that they cannot play with anyone. Despite it's short length and lack of multiplayer, Shadowgrounds is a fun game to play. If you like old school shooters, you'll like this.
Out Of Eight (May 13, 2006)
Despite it’s short length, Shadowgrounds is a fun game to play. Featuring outstanding graphics, Shadowgrounds goes old-school with an overhead perspective that takes some adjusting. Honestly, I think the game would have come off much worse if it stuck to a first person perspective, since there are so many games like that. The fact that Shadowgrounds uses an overhead view actually works for its benefit, making it a unique title in the current action ranks. There are some small issues with saving progress during a game, but these are relatively minor as long as you intend to play the game in semi-long stretches. The weapon upgrades are a nice change of pace and interesting strategic decision you have to make during the game. Shadowgrounds does make itself easy to play, clearly indicating important objects in the game and featuring a low number of controls. It’s nice to play a game that’s just plain fun without all that thinking required in other titles.
GameZone (Apr 27, 2006)
For a bargain-priced game, this is one of the better ones. The developers were clearly inspired by other games, but that's Ok - they changed things up by turning it into a top-down run-and gun-game with tons of action and ammo. Take a gander at this one if you like your games bloody with some doses of dread.
IGN (May 30, 2006)
The experience just isn't deep enough to sit down for as long as the game's mechanics require you to, nor is its story especially well-told. The twist at the end is a refreshing touch, but the game's budget can't really allow for a compelling script with satisfying resolution. Shadowground's biggest weakness is that there's a lot of story, but we've heard most of it before in one sci-fi flick or another, and the voice acting (besides the main character) and animation just aren't up to the task. Shadowgrounds is an ambitious work and admirable accomplishment for a small developer, but it's not as rewarding as it could have been.
Gamerz-Edge (Jun 12, 2006)
Shadowgrounds doesn't try to revolutionize anything, and it succeeds in being just a good old fashioned alien shoot'em up. Great visuals, tons of actions and good audio, with a touch of RPG, makes for a enjoyable experience, even if only one time through. Not a bad game to add to your library.
PC Powerplay (Nov, 2005)
Erstaunlich, wie Shadowgrounds trotz der Retro-Perspektive Adenalinorgien verursacht. Obwohl Held, Story, Missionsdesign und Gegnertypen arg stereotyp sind und mich kalt lassen. Gar nicht kalt ist aber das ständige Gefühl der Bedrohung, dank der prima Lichteffekte mit flackernden Leuchtröhren, sprühenden Funken und Schlagschatten. Besonders gut ist das Balancing: Während ich in vielen Shootern nach zwei Levels eine Waffenkammer auf zwei Beinen bin und für die Munition einen Anhänger bräuchte, herrscht hier ständig Mangel. Und das gefällt mir: mit letzte Kraft und der Standardpistole noch zum Flammenwerfer-Kanister durchkämpfen, die Waffe wechseln – und dann, endlich, losbrutzeln!
PC Games (Germany) (Oct 24, 2005)
Dass sich der Mensch angriffslustigen Außerirdischen erwehren muss, ist kein sonderlich originelles Szenario. Trotzdem macht dieses Action-Spiel Spaß. Ich werde euch so was von in den Arsch treten!" Das sagt Wesley Tyler und der hat allen Grund dazu. Eigentlich ist der junge Mann Mechaniker. Doch neuerdings muss er sich als ballerfreudiger Soldat verdingen - beim Shooter Shadowgrounds, der im Jahr 2096 spielt. Die Menschheit hat den Jupitermond Ganymed bewohnbar gemacht und die Bürger fühlen sich dort pudelwohl.
GamesFire (Nov 11, 2005)
Shadowgrounds macht Spaß, hat aber seine Macken. Diverse fehlende Features bei der Kameraführung und eine verkorkste InGame-Lokalisation. Als Gegenleistung wurde allerdings eine spannende Story mit vielen Missionen implementiert, die die Fehler zum Teil wieder ausgleichen, dennoch aber nicht vergessen machen. Wer Action per Vogelperspektive sucht und sich ab und zu ein wenig gruseln will, der ist bei Shadowgrounds gut aufgehoben.
GamingExcellence (Nov 20, 2006)
In the end, there really isn’t a lot to this game. You run around in the darkness, you shoot things, rinse and repeat. Adding upgrades allows limited customization, and the atmosphere provides a nice creepy atmosphere in the darkness, but you run and gun. What’s in the game is done well, but it falls short in the long run.
71 (Jun 12, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is a pretty solid game if you treat it as what it is, a game where you collect and upgrade weapons, and use them to blow away aliens. Don’t expect an amazing story or Doom 3 / Unreal Engine 3 graphics, but it’s a decent pastime, and shouldn’t set you back too much money either.
Hooked Gamers (May 18, 2006)
Shadowgrounds really handles like a throw-back to old-school shoot em' up game-play and in that regard is fun! However, the mostly linear levels do become quite repetitive after a while and it would have been nice if Frozenbyte had added more variety to them. With the suspense they were able to create with the environments, lighting and the aliens themselves, designing a greater range of scenarios to keep the gamer on the edge of their seat would have allowed Shadowgrounds to rise above the typical shooter. An upcoming level editor tool is planned for release which will allow Shadowgrounds' fans to build their own levels and environments for distribution. It remains to be seen how the Shadowgrounds community will adopt the tool, but additional entertaining content would help extend Shadowgrounds' lifecycle and provide another reason for gamers to pick up this atmospheric budget-priced shooter.
GamerDad (May 22, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is the type of throwback game that would be fun to share with the whole family if the characters were more cartoon-like. Oh, and if the settings were less realistic... and there wasn't a constant stream of inappropriate language. There's also the problem with constant blood and gore as you explode enemies with missiles and toast them with the flamethrower.
Gamernode (May 27, 2006)
To view this package as a whole, it's not the most amazing thing in the world. A weak plot, been-there done-that cutscenes, semi-generic weapons, and a view perspective that has been rarely seen since 1990 make it sound worse than it really is. Firing your suped-up chaingun into a twisted melee of freaky alien demons in a crowded room filled with explosive barrels and watching this awesome engine render all the flames and explosions and enemies with hardly a hiccup deserves kudos. The plot is bad, but that hardly matters with the fun you can have with this game. Skipping the cutscenes and getting down to some serious killing has something to be said for this title. If you are craving some shooter action and maybe something a little different, likely this title will give you your fix, but don't expect the world from it.
FiringSquad (Jun 19, 2006)
I came in wanting to like Shadowgrounds. I thought "hey, I can handle this, I cut my teeth on games way tougher", and it just didn't turn out that way. Call me spoiled, but since the days of Half-Life with its convenient autosave points, I have no desire to punish myself repeatedly trying to beat a game. Heck, I was tired of that way back during some of the tougher missions in X-Wing. Give me an action game, give me a puzzle, but don't give me both at the same time while limiting my respawns and forcing me to start over every level. On the other hand, if you do crave that kind of challenge, I cannot think of a game better suited to deliver than Shadowgrounds. I'd scarcely be surprised if the development office was right next door to a dominatrix's brothel.
Deeko (May 27, 2006)
This game is fun, but flawed and it makes no effort to stand out on it's own or to do anything innovative. Borrowing off of preset ideas is necessary and standard in a lot of ways, but when a game is nothing more than that, it takes away from it's impact. It's kind of like, "Why play this game when I could go play this instead?" If you're looking for a game to kill some time and get some aggression out, then by all means, give Shadowgrounds a chance. Perhaps those fans of old school shooters will want to go pick it up for some nostalgia factor. The $29.99 price tag will make it more appealing to do so, but there isn't much to make you want to go back once you're done and the playtime will clock in for you close to 10 hours.
The game is best enjoyed in the same manner as it delivers its action – in short doses. As a budget title it’s not bad as a mindless alien-blasting diversion or a walk down memory lane for older gamers who grew up in the top-down view era. If you’re looking for deep immersive gameplay you won’t find it here, but it fits the bill when you’re in the mood for some quick and easy action.
70 (Feb 07, 2006)
Premier jeu développé par les Finlandais de Frozenbyte, Shadowgrounds est un jeu d’action sans prétentions se décrivant comme un Hack’and’Slash futuriste. Comprenez : beaucoup d’action, un léger soupçon de jeu de rôle, une histoire digne des Chroniques de Riddick (c’est à dire pas grand chose) et nous voilà avec un bon jeu à moins de 30 euros.
Gamer 2.0 (Apr 18, 2006)
At a discount price, Shadowgrounds is worth a look for fans of top-down action looking for a fix. A decidedly old-school design keeps it from entering the ranks of today’s great shooters, but it does well what it sets out to do: give us visceral action in dark environments. Too bad it doesn’t do more to set itself apart, since perspective alone just isn’t enough. Yet with all these quibbles, we had a good time, and the included mod tools may further extend the life of a potential sleeper favorite. Expect to have a good time with Shadowgrounds—just don’t expect it to wriggle its way under your skin.
GameSpot (May 05, 2006)
If you like your shooters built on nostalgic value, Meridian4 and Frozenbyte's Shadowgrounds might be up your alley. A top-down shooter in the vein of Smash TV with an atmospheric twist that borrows heavily from the Doom series, Shadowgrounds has simplistic mechanics but uses challenging gameplay to back them up. Unfortunately, challenging doesn't always equate to fun, and in the case of Shadowgrounds, its difficulty doesn't make the action any less monotonous as time goes on. Rather than testing your skill by throwing huge gangs of enemies at you, as many old-school top-down shooters tended to do, Shadowgrounds keeps its enemy attacks regulated to short bursts done to induce some kind of jump or scare in you. The trouble is that it's not effective. Shadowgrounds is too campy to be even remotely moody or scary, and without the scares, the action just comes across as kind of flat after a while.
Indie Game Magazine (Jun 14, 2011)
No matter the amount of faults I can think up with this game, it never put me off. Through all the sometimes boring settings and robot feel of the characters, Shadowgrounds assured excitement. Cooperative play exists in this game but doesn’t have the hectic challenging fun that Trine’s multiplayer had. The game is already hectically challenging which fades with extra players, making this game have no real replayability. Play this game on your own in a dark room and watch how late you stay up.
Shadowgrounds is één van die games met duidelijke ambities die het op het einde van de rit niet kan waarmaken. Het spel is op een klassieke leest geschoeid, wat zeker de old-timers zal aanspreken, maar de meeste spelers zullen het spel al snel eentonig vinden.
Game Shark (Jun 29, 2006)
While Shadowgrounds has its share of problems (some of which have been addressed in several patches that have been released), in the end there's no denying that this kind of old school approach to gameplay can be fun and entertaining - at least for awhile. Given the game's low price point and the extras that Meridan4 has released in support of the game like the level editor, there's no reason not to pick this game up.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Feb 27, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is een spel dat je zonder schuldgevoel gerust links mag laten liggen, maar het spelen is ook geen doodzonde.
Shadowgrounds is a pure top-down shooter that just doesn’t seem to come together to achieve the effects it was going for. Spooky games are spookier in first-person than they are top-down, so Shadowgrounds isn’t spooky. It could have been thrilling, but didn’t throw enough enemies at you at once to really achieve that Smash TV effect, either. And when you consider the story is almost a non-factor and the voice acting about as convincing as Pamela Anderson’s dramatic acting skills, you just have an end-product that disappoints. If the top-down shooter is to ever make a comeback, it’ll be in spite of, not because of, Shadowgrounds.
60 (Jun 07, 2006)
Bonne petite surprise que ce Shadowgrounds, qui, sous sa carapace hérissée de défauts et de quelques approximations, parvient à donner envie de se plonger dans l'aventure et de disputer son existence avec des hordes de créatures sauvages. Néanmoins, de par son côté répétitif et son manque d'idées général, il ne conviendra que pour des séances de jeu assez courtes. Ce qui se marie à merveille avec sa maigre durée de vie par ailleurs. Amuse-gueule un peu épicé, Shadowgrounds permet de passer un moment assez sympathique et c'est bien tout ce qu'on lui demande.
G4 TV: X-Play (Jul 10, 2006)
For a relatively inexpensive game available on Steam, Shadowgrounds makes for a nice diversion, especially if you have some buddies over and a few controllers to use. It’s fun solo too, but it gets repetitive quickly and even freshly upgraded weapons won’t keep your interest for long.
60 (UK) (Jun 28, 2006)
Shadowgrounds is a refreshing return to the past, and for that reason it's slightly too generic to recommend strongly. It's only ever just pretty enough, and there's seldom anything really breathtaking. But it is fun and reminds of what gaming was like in that pre-history before Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft. Now all we need is for someone to remake Chaos Engine for 2007 and the circle of retrospection will be complete.
Factornews (Feb 24, 2006)
Shadowgrounds est donc un jeu moyen. Avec un joli moteur, certes, mais un design moyen, un ambiance moyenne, des monstres moyens, une durée de vie très moyenne, on s’y amuse moyennement et ça tombe finalement assez bien, puisqu’il est proposé à un prix moyen. Très logiquement, il écope d’une note moyenne.