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9 Years of Shadows

Halberd Studios , Freedom Games
Mar 27, 2023 - PC

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

PC Invasion
6 / 10
Niche Gamer
6.5 / 10
6.5 / 10
8 / 10
Hey Poor Player
3 / 5
Gamer Escape
9 / 10
video games are good
7.5 / 10
9 / 10
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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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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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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

I can’t pretend the glitches I encountered in 9 Years of Shadows weren’t frustrating, especially as a backer. I can only hope that Halberd Studios and Freedom Games take my complaints to heart and does everything they can to patch these problems as quickly as possible. Because underneath all the glitches, there’s a truly fantastic adventure, and one I still really enjoyed. If you’re a fan of Metroidvanias, definitely put this one on your wishlist. Just maybe wait on pulling the trigger until the developers have had a chance to make some necessary fixes.

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If it weren’t already clear from the review up to this point, I adored this game. 9 Years of Shadows is a rare delight in a subgenre that has become a bit overstuffed of late, a careful and fun romp that speaks to the best of its genre by at once feeling almost effortlessly engrossing and yet impossible to put down. Every time I stopped playing I couldn’t wait to get back into the castle, and even though I saw where the major plot twists were very early on I was still happy as they unfolded.

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9 Years of Shadows is a straightforward Metroidvania with some incredible theming, unique narrative lessons to pass on, and healing — or, at the very least, beautiful — music. It keeps things simple, sometimes to a fault, but manages to keep one thing at the forefront from beginning to end. Fun. It's a shame then that, at least at launch, the game's smattering of technical issues get in the way of letting its real art shine.

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9 Years of Shadows is an artful blend of fluid, challenging gameplay, beautiful environments, animations and user interface, and music that gets your blood pumping.

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