> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Shadow Corridor Review

Shadow Corridor Review


It has been 11 years since the release of the game that kickstarted the horror game renaissance — the success of Amnesia: The Dark Descent undoubtedly influenced a swathe of games that came out afterwards. This includes Shadow Corridor, a Japanese-styled horror game from lone developer Kazuki Shiroma.

Shadow Corridor follows the formula pretty closely, with monsters you need to avoid roaming dark corridors that you must navigate to escape. There are a variety of monsters, and Shadow Corridor tells you early on that these will react to your actions. Some are sensitive to light, and will chase the light sources. Others are attracted by sounds, and will approach your footsteps. Some just seem to like being in your way. No matter the enemy, the idea is the same — they are going to chase you if you aren’t careful.

Except, not really. I’ve been able to just walk past a few of them without let or hindrance, with only the effect each monster projects into the world letting you know that they’re nearby. The one exception to this is the main monster, a female form wearing a geisha mask. This appears to be the only enemy that can instantly end your game, as the others only wear down your stamina. It’s also the main jump-scare, though I use the term in its loosest meaning.

shadow corridor 4

I won’t lie to you, reader: this game is not scary. It ticks all the boxes, for sure — it’s dark, a little disorientating, and the beasties will jump out at you from the shadows. But that is really all it is. There’s no atmosphere because the entire sound profile is taken up by the noises that the monsters make which range from footsteps to weird bells. The first time I heard the bells I went to investigate, and I’m still not totally sure what I found because the game threw up a “Game Over” screen and I had to restart the level. I’ve avoided the bells since then.

There is a slight roguelike element included with the item system, which is split between active and passive items. I hadn’t found enough active items to know if there’s a cap on how many you can carry, but there is a hard limit of one passive item. The passive items give small bonuses to the gameplay, while the active items are usually used to either see in the darkness (a cigarette lighter is the default, but a torch is also available with the very typical narrow spotlight) or to distract the enemies.

The item system is very fiddly on the Switch, as you need to scroll along all of the items you’ve collected in order to use them. Collecting the items is also one of the hardest things in the game, as you need to find the exact pixel to activate the prompt and pick up the item. When it comes to the passive items, I ended up spamming the pick-up button which was also the put-back button and ended up looking very indecisive to the monsters wandering the halls.

shadow corridor 5

So we have an unscary horror game set in a maze populated by what could be best described as the percussion section of a large orchestra wandering the halls of their hotel at night — is there anything good to say about Shadow Corridor?

Definitely — it has a very interesting visual style that is complemented by the lighting design. As most of the game is spent entirely in the dark, the models and textures are simple and clear. If you look a little too close, they might not be out of place in an early 2000s PS2 game, but that game would definitely be lauded for its graphics. I also suspect that this visual style aids the Switch hardware, as the game has run smoothly both docked and undocked. I mostly played undocked, and was quite surprised at how little the 3D game used up the battery — I played for over an hour with the battery barely dropping 20%.

This also might be just a me thing, but I got very motion sick playing Shadow Corridor; I am quite susceptible to it in first-person games anyway, but this is usually solved by increasing the FOV. This isn’t an option in Shadow Corridor, and I could barely play for more than about 30 minutes without needing to put the controllers down.

The sound design is also really strong, even if it does fail to build an atmosphere. The monster audio is in 3D and can be used to identify where the threats are very quickly, especially through headphones. Each type of monster has its own distinct sound, and once you’ve played for a short time it’s easy to identify which monsters you need to avoid. The player’s footsteps are also distinct based on how fast you’re moving, which definitely adds a lot to the stealth elements in this first-person game.

shadow corridor 6

This isn’t really enough to make this an enjoyable experience, however. It’s a horror game that relies too heavily on jump scares, but fails to do any of the necessary work to build the suspense to capitalise on that. The controls aren’t great for controlling your inventory, and first-person controls on the Switch are already not doing this game any favours. A cohesive visual and audio design is ultimately let down by cheap scares that the game doesn’t earn.

4.50/10 4½

Shadow Corridor (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

 An interesting visual and audio design, ultimately let down by the shallow gameplay and poor controls.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jinny Wilkin

Jinny Wilkin

Staff Writer

Reviews the games nobody else will, so you don't have to. Give her a bow and arrow and you have an ally for life. Will give 10s for food.

Share this: