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With the thoroughly traumatic implosion of Liverpool's Imagine the previous summer, some of the members of the infamous 'Mega Team' decided to form Denton Design - one of the first ever definable development teams.

After its first well-received Speccy game, Gift from the Gods, Shadowfire emerged to absolutely raucous acclaim on the brand new Beyond label for being the first game to utilise an icon-based control system; kind of a point and click action-RPG, but years ahead of its time.

Set in the far-flung future, this Star-Trek influenced title involved controlling the actions of six highly specialised heroes on a mission to board the Zoff 5 spaceship, rescue an ambassador, and halt an impending war.

Each character had some basic stats, such as strength, agility and stamina, which contributed to how much you could carry. Designed with an elegant interface, Shadowfire could be initially confusing - but only because games tended to be completely self-explanatory back in the day.

With a little patience (and, shock, reading the manual), you'd find yourself moving characters around, putting the most combat proficient in the firing line, and using certain specialist characters in whichever situation demanded it. Featuring 160 rooms, the actual depiction of the 'action' was primitive to say the least, but it didn't matter. This was something new, but not something Denton really explored beyond the inferior, more real-time action oriented Enigma Force.

Although released simultaneously on C64 and Spectrum (in a lavish, easy to destroy cardboard box), the former version appeared to be the 'no compromise' edition with far more colourful illustrations and a thumping tune which drove you through this one-of-a-kind game. With that in mind, we'd recommend that you plump for the C64 version if you're thinking about revisiting this absorbing and interesting title.

7 / 10

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Kristan Reed avatar

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.


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