The Consuming Shadow is an indie, side scrolling, action-RPG roguelike that is heavily inspired by Lovecraftian horror, developed by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw.
The goal is for the player to banish an ancient god that threatens to destroy the world by using ancient magical runes to create a banishment incantation spell. However, the player does not know which runes are the ones needed for the incantation, nor do they know which god to banish, and they have a limited amount of time to complete their task before the god invades. The game is procedurally generated, meaning the banishment incantation and the invading god will be different each time the game is played.
The Consuming Shadow was released on July 28th, 2015 to the Humble Store and Mac App Store. On August 6th, 2015, just ten days after being put up, it was green lit on Steam Greenlight, however actually releasing to Steam was delayed so that Steam achievements, trading cards and extra features as suggested by the community could be developed. Currently, it is available to vote for on the GOG Wishlist.
On the 17th of November, 2015, Yahtzee announced via Twitter that The Consuming Shadow: Insanity Edition would be announced three days later onto Steam, and linked a post from his blog at Fullyramblomatic, detailing the list of changes.
The player has a car that they use to drive from town to town in rural England and Wales. Each town can either be safe, corrupted by the Shadow or saved from the Shadow and thus under reconstruction. In the player's passenger seat, there is a briefcase to manage equipment found, bullets stockpiled and number of lockpicks; a book of spells that keeps track of all the spells the player has found plus the banishment incantation; the player's notebook that keeps track of clues; a medkit to heal the player's wounds and (should one be owned) a syringe of illegal drugs to reduce the effects of low sanity.
When in safe towns, the player can spend an hour of in-game time looking for a shop to buy equipment, or visit the hospital to buy drugs, refill the medkit or heal certain status effects should they have them. When the town is corrupted, the player enters a dungeon to complete an objective that results in the town being saved. When a town is under reconstruction, nothing can be done.
Through exploring dungeons and certain other methods, the player gains clues to which god is the invading one, as well as parts of the banishment incantation. The player can also get jobs from text messages from the Ministry of Occultism which they can complete for money. Usually, if the player does not complete these jobs, then the town in which they apply to will become corrupted by the Shadow.
When the player wishes, they can go to Stonehenge where the banishment ritual is to banish the invading god and win the game. Note that knowledge of the invading god or even the full incantation isn't required to get here, as the player may wish to guess some of these should they be pressed for time.
Insanity Edition Edit
The Insanity Edition is the version of the game made available via Steam on the 20th of November, 2015.
If you bought the Humble Bundle edition before, you don't need to purchase the game again to experience this version. Return to your download link and it should already be available for you.
List of changes/additions Edit
This is a list of changes that were announced through Yahtzee's Fullyramblomatic blog post on the 17th of November, 2015:
- Two all new monsters, and six variants of existing ones.
- 12 Challenge Modes to unlock; play the standard game with special modifiers to add new difficulty, ranging from the mild to plonker-tuggingly hard.
- The Daily Challenge, which generates three gameplay modifiers using a random seed based on the date, so that players attempting it on the same day with the same character can play an identical layout.
- The Descent, infinite dungeon mode; get through as many levels of an ever-expanding, increasingly dangerous dungeon as you can without dying.
- 95 Steam achievements and 5 Steam trading cards to unlock.
- Altered results screen. All deaths/endings are kept within a new Logbook that can be read in the character select screen.
- The overall visual presentation of the game is scaled further back than the original.
It was also announced that changes to the saving system meant that save files would not carry over from the vanilla version of the game.
- In the Chzo Mythos, another game series by Croshaw, July 28th is the day when the god Chzo peers through the void between the worlds to look at the humans.