Shadows are part of us, as well as we are a part of our shadow. But what happens when shadows get a mind of their own? GemCraft: Chasing Shadows, made by Game in a Bottle, offers a fresh perspective to that question.
GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is a tower defense game with an interesting concept. Instead of placing different types of towers in order to destroy wave after wave of creepy, shady monsters, GemCraft players place tower shells in which gems are placed. There are several gem types, each providing a different bonus or attack. What makes this game stand out above the competition is the possibility of crafting gems. Only few gem types can be used on a single level but those gems can be crafted, upgraded and swapped between towers at any time. Additionally, two gems can be combined and create a single gem with two or more attacks and bonuses. The game has an option of placing walls on the path, prolonging the monster’s time spent on the map. Another advantage is an option of placing the towers onto walls, greatly increasing their damage. Further in the game, walls become a crucial difference between winning or losing.
The game uses skill points allowing different types of upgrades. Furthermore, talismans can randomly be acquired during the fight and used on the talisman page to get various bonuses. What fascinated me the most was the achievements page which lists over four hundred available achievements to complete.
Beautiful graphics are focused mainly on the darker tones of the colour spectre, setting a mood that fits the story. Altogether, GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is a genuinely unique tower defense game, with enough challenges and maps to keep you playing for a while.