Black Shades

By: Derek Yu

On: August 28th, 2007

Black Shades

Wolfire Software’s Black Shades puts you in the role of a psychic bodyguard. Yeah, I know, that’s already pretty damn awesome, right? Well, the game itself does a good job of living up to its description, although it was made for a short deadline and it shows. It’s a full meal, just don’t expect a lot of gravy. The scoring system, for example, is pretty much vestigial, and level transitions are non-existent. And when the game ends, it just ends!

In each of Black Shades’ levels, a VIP dressed in white wanders around a randomized city. Also in the city are civilians and assassins, who are indistinguishable except for their weapons and movement patterns. Using your psychic powers (either “psychic aiming,” which slows down time, or “soul release” which lets you leave your body and scout out the area), weapons (a different one in each level), and physical moves you must protect the VIP from the assassins.

The game does a great job of making you feel like a psychic bodyguard with very basic graphics and simple game mechanics, and that’s really something. It’s so satisfying when you catch an assassin rushing in with a knife, only to plug him with your gun… or when you spy a sniper across the street, and knock over the VIP as a bullet whizzes over his head.

This game is made by the creator of Lugaru.

(Source: Soldat Movies)

  • Isador21

    EVERYONE’s a potential KILLER!
    *shoots self* this game’s just too good.

  • juice

    Reminds me of one of the games in the original indy jam – the one where they chucked people a load of Doom media and said “go make a game with lots of on-screen 2d sprites”.

    (yeah yeah: I should go find the link, but hey)

    One of the games involved searching through crowds of people in a city for a single person, (with the aid of Sonar), so you could assassinate them.

    Which is actually the inverse of this game’s plot, but hey :)

  • Golds

    this is a classic.

  • soilworker

    WASD = walk
    shift = run
    control = crouch/zoom
    click = fire (while aiming) or smash (while running) or pick up gun (while crouching over a body and not aiming) or disarm (while not aiming)
    q = aim or un-aim (important for picking up guns)
    r = reload
    e = psychic aim
    z = toggle soul release
    space = dive (while running forwards)

    You have more abilities if you play in developer mode. Take a look at this video:

    tab = 3rd person toggle
    f = Force Push
    shift-x = switch weapons
    l = lasersight
    b = permanently slow down time
    shift-b = freeze time
    i = wireframe mode

    To enable it set “developer mode: 1” in config.txt

  • Laco

    juice: That’s what first came to my mind as well! That game was “Dueling Machine”, at the bottom of this games page.

    A lot of those IGJ games were really interesting, TIGSource should do a feature on them sometime! Pity they used sprites from Doom 2, meaning you need the wad files to get them working.

    Dark Shades is pretty great. Games like this, Xops]( and [Rider are so simple and yet so good they inspire me to work on something of my own.

  • Bobo

    I’ve heard of those IGJ games before, and I’d love to try some of them out, but it just seems like such a hassle to get ’em working…

  • Radnom

    This game is INSANE good, but so hard!

  • Lorne T Whiting

    Argh, you beat it Derek? I have never gotten past the level where you have a handgun and there are zombies. (2 shots to the head to simply knock one out for 10 or so seconds? BAH!)

  • makeshifter

    i found this three weeks ago. whats took you so long.

  • Golds

    makeshifer, this came out in summer of 2002.

  • namuol

    i always had trouble trying to compile this one for linux.. but a month or so ago i finally got it to work.
    one-of-a-kind game; I’d love to see Wolfire make a more complete version some day. (Note: there is a Zombie mode as well…!)

  • Gr.Viper

    *Mr.Burns mode on*

  • makeshifter

    im looking in the config txt and there is no developers mode what the hell happened.

    this is all i have
    Mouse sensitivity:
    Show fps and other info:
    VBL sync:
    Main Menu:
    Custom levels:
    azerty keyboard:
    invert mouse:

  • soilworker

    Just add the line to the config.

  • Whackinghail

    Dude that doesn’t work I tried it it no work