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9 Years of Shadows

Halberd Studios , Freedom Games
Mar 27, 2023 - PC, Nintendo Switch

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

PC Invasion
6 / 10
Nintendo Life
8 / 10
Digital Chumps
8 / 10
Pure Nintendo
7.5 / 10
Niche Gamer
6.5 / 10
8.5 / 10
6.5 / 10
8 / 10
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9 Years of Shadows Trailers

9 Years of Shadows | Nintendo Switch RDA Trailer | Freedom Games thumbnail

9 Years of Shadows | Nintendo Switch RDA Trailer | Freedom Games

9 Years of Shadows | Launch Trailer | Freedom Games thumbnail

9 Years of Shadows | Launch Trailer | Freedom Games

9 Years of Shadows - Pax Trailer thumbnail

9 Years of Shadows - Pax Trailer

9 Years of Shadows Screenshots

Critic Reviews for 9 Years of Shadows

It's pretty and it plays well, but this is a short, underwhelming Metroidvania with no exploration and uninteresting level design.

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Halberd Studios has crafted a Metroidvania with a really encouraging number of unique elements. We have no issue in declaring it A Good Game™ and a great time thanks to its careful crafting and implementation of a number of original ideas that elevate the gameplay, rather than stifle it. It is just another Metroidvania at heart, yes, and it doesn't revolutionise the genre; but, while there are a few scrappy bits where you can see a thinning of the budget compared to works by larger studios, it holds its own as an inventive, pretty, and consistently enjoyable adventure.

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Call it refined nostalgia. Call it a love letter to Metroid Fusion and other Game Boy Advance metroidvanias. Call it what you want. 9 Years of Shadows is a good, short, yet approachable metroidvania. While it doesn’t quite hit the depth of combat complexity and story beats of its GBA predecessors, it overdelivers via gorgeous pixel art and an orchestrated soundtrack. Its Nintendo Switch port is not the best in its current state, but it’s worth playing if you’re wanting a metroidvania to play on a lazy Sunday.

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9 Years of Shadows' pixel graphics are gorgeous, its story is compelling, and its boss battles are worth the slower moments you have to wade through to get there. It's a fun adventure that offers enough surprises to keep Castlevania fans engaged throughout.

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Niche Gamer

Augusto A.
6.5 / 10.0
Niche Gamer

I was initially hooked by 9 Years of Shadows, and I still have nothing negative to say about the game’s music or visuals, but then I realized that the game didn’t have anything interesting to show me after the Poseidon armor. The predictable level structure, meaningless upgrades, uninteresting enemies, mechanically boring boss fights, and stale combat make it a repetitive slog to go through.

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Nine Years of Shadows is a good Metroidvania with an impressive presentation and intriguing world. Gameplay mechanics will be instantly familiar to any genre fans and easy to understand for newcomers. There aren’t too many surprises in the narrative but it is imbued with a sense of optimism that kept me engaged.

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9 Years of Shadows is a great game that fans of Metroidvanias will definitely love; it's just the problems with the game crashing and freezing that make me have to score the game lower than it really deserves.

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9 Years of Shadows may not shake up the world of indie games, but it comes as a metroidvania with quality, personality and a lot of good ideas. Recommended for fans of the genre.

Review in Spanish | Read full review