Cyber Shadow: Yacht Club goes from Knight to Kninja

Indie ninja kicks back

Yacht Club Games are responsible for one of the biggest indie success stories in recent years, with their punitive plantsman pugilist Shovel Knight and its associated extra campaigns. Now, they've picked up Mechanical Head's extremely promising Ninja-'em-up, Cyber Shadow, and are bringing it to Switch, PS4, XBox One and Steam.

It's looking like a pacey, atmospheric experience with a fantastically Natsume (Shatterhand, etc) dystopian NES look to it. The developer, Aarne Hunziker, has stated on Twitter that the game's stages are all interconnected, but that the action is mostly linear. That's pretty refreshing in a scene increasingly bloated with half-arsed Metroidvanias that don't offer much from their backtracking besides tedium. In fact, comparisons have been drawn with last August's The Messenger, though from the footage released so far the level design looks a cut above The Messenger's fairly rudimentary efforts.

Of course, this direct comparison suggests that we're not dealing with a particularly original game, which... well, we're not. At least, it doesn't appear to be. We've seen action games like this before, many a time. The terrific Oniken, for example, only just came out on Switch. Pixel-art throwback games are almost a dime a dozen - a dollar each, anyway - and they need to stand out from the crowd to succeed. While Cyber Shadow'sgameplay looks thoughtfully crafted and carefully considered, I'm still a little concerned that it's going to be a little bit same-ol', same-ol'. Of course, there's comfort in familiarity, and Yacht Club's name being attached is a big deal - Shovel Knight was huge and I expect they wouldn't give the prestige that comes with their involvement to anything they weren't 100% confident in.

No release date has been given yet outside of 2019, but I can't wait to get my hands on Cyber Shadow, it looks like a winner.