Review – Shadows of Doubt


Ronny Hammond

I can safely say that Shadows of Doubt isn’t like any game I’ve played before. In Shadows of Doubt you play as a detective in a fully simulated city. Each of the citizens has their own day to day schedules and as you come across randomly generated crimes it is up to you to solve them. It truly is an impressive feat of a game especially when you learn that it was created by a solo developer. Although this concept may be amazing in its premise for me, Shadows of Doubt never quite clicked as well as it should have. Here is my review for Shadows of Doubt. Thank you to ColePowered Games for the game code.


When you start Shadows of Doubt you are given a choice between two game modes. One is a custom made mystery called The Dead of Night which acts as a tutorial. The game introduces the player to the main mechanics, which will be used to solve the rest of the game’s mysteries. This is also where you learn to navigate the case board in your inventory. The case board keeps track of all of your clues or anything related to the case at hand. It acts as a space to keep track of the ever evolving mystery. The other mode is a sandbox mode that sets you up in the world and gives you randomly generated mysteries. It’s a lot to get the hang of at first and I constantly found myself confused at what to do even with the tutorials.

After you complete the custom mystery or even if you don’t you can switch to the games sandbox mode. This is where I found most of my problems with the game. The custom mystery for me seemed to be the best way to play the game as you really felt like you were solving a well put together mystery. Sandbox mode on the other hand pales in comparison.

Many of the mysteries in the sandbox mode seem different enough at first but here is when you start to notice their similar patterns. This also applies to the side jobs which often involve you finding a person in the city and throwing food in their faces. 

The sandbox mode is also where you start to see many of the cracks in the simulation. Although the NPC’s are randomly generated and have their own schedules the dialogue system that you use to speak to them is small in scope and usually results in them telling you to screw off unless you bribe them. You also start to notice the limits of the AI system. NPC’s will walk through other NPC’s. They also get stuck on geometry. There are also plenty of bugs that range from them floating in the air and going in circles. There are plenty of other cracks that really destroy the façade of a fully functioning world. Otherwise it is impressive what has been done here.

I also encountered a bug that wouldn’t allow me to talk to anyone that required a full reboot of the game. There are some other clunky things with the menu and controls in general that distract from the game feel. Most of the bugs and the lack of mystery variety really made the game not come together for me. Although more custom mysteries would interest me, which is where I think the game shines.



One thing that absolutely floored me about this game is its voxel based art style. It is visually breathtaking and really fits the themes of the game. The atmosphere of it all just sinks you into the game world. Neon lights illuminate city streets slick with rain as a light fog rolls in. All while people go about their nighty routines. The interior of buildings are also impressively detailed. It’s a feast for the eyes that kept me grounded in the game world. 



Shadows of Doubt has many great qualities and has potential to be the ultimate detective fantasy. However, bugs and clunky game design get in the way. I think what saves it overall for me is the stellar art direction and when the game is firing on all cylinders it really is an engaging experience.

Shadows of Doubt is available on PC through Steam for $20. Make sure to check out Caitlyn’s review of The Secret History by Donna Tartt and for more game reviews and other geek content stay right here on The Geekwave.


Game Score: 7/10