Photoshop is a wonderful tool. Sure, with enough training and experience you can make ugly people look attractive and make all of the shame disappear with a few brush strokes. It’s a powerful thing. But any random kid using it can make something way cooler, like this.


You’re God damn right I made that myself. That’s some fucking skill there, man. That’s all me.

Photoshop is full of fun little tools that can make it look like you know what you’re doing when you really don’t. That’s why you need to pay for it or, you know, just find a free copy somewhere. Just lying around. I found it. So it’s mine.

And it looks like someone else found it too, because they made something pretty dank.

This is it. This is the whole game.

It’s a game! One whole game.

Nice job with the gradient tool, guy. You made some nice circles. Nice going. You did it.

This is… uh… well. It’s a game, yeah, but… the title is… well, uh… The title is a little embarrassing to say.

How do I put this lightly? Ha, that’s kind of a pun. Light. Heh. Because the game’s name is Shmadow.

This is a real thing someone is charging money for.

Shmadow. Fucking Shmadow.

Shmadow? Really? REALLY now? That’s what you’re going with? Shmadow? Of all fucking titles you’re gonna name it like you’re naming your Sonic original character? Is this named after your fursona, Shmadow the Shmedgehog? This is by far the stupidest title I’ve ever seen. If you named the game “Black Ball Assault” we would’ve gotten the same idea. The idea that you made a shitty game and dared to charge real money for it. I bought this game purely because of the name, and well, let me tell you. I was not disappointed in the least, it was exactly what I thought it was.

Well, what is Shmadow exactly? Besides the stupidest sounding word I’ve heard since “twug”, which is apparently short for “Twitter Hug” according to the nice white people on a morning talk show that were trying to tell me about the hippest new young people slang, Shmadow is a little PSchee game on Shteam. Shmadow, according to the developer, is a portmanteau of “shoot-em-up” and “shadow”. Because that’s what this game is, summed up in a word. Kind of. I, personally, would’ve named it Shmashteroids. Because it’s a shitty version of Asteroid.

It’s got the basic building blocks of a shoot-em-up. You move around the screen, aiming your nonstop barrage of white particles around with the mouse to hit all the black things coming at you. Like an interracial porno. The little white circle is you, the good guy. The little black circles are the bad guys, because they’re black. You need to stop them from mugging you, or banging your wife. Or voting. You can acquire power-ups and charge up special attacks to help you take down the bosses that’ll randomly appear. They’ll be made of a fancier gradient, and shoot bigger balls at you. Very fun sounding, I’m sure. Maybe not so bad for a dollar or two.

Look, there's even a boss. It's like a real game. Give us the money now please.

But Shmadow plays like a fancy version of Asteroids. Only instead of jagged triangle shapes they’re just big black balls. There’s no structure, bosses just kinda drop on you randomly and in no particular order. Things are just kinda flying at you from all directions, and your only real purpose is to get points. It’s like someone’s final project for their Flash class, but they waited until the last minute on the character design and just said “Fuck it, we’re doing circles”. “Inspired by light and shadow”, yeah right. “Limbo-inspired graphical style”. Sure, buddy. And Shmadow the Smegma is actually a knockoff of Shmonic the Smegma. Totally not original at all. You got it, buddy. Whatever you want us to believe.

It’s shmallow and dull. There’s not even an interesting hook to the game, unless you think a black background with a white circle as the main character is a totally killer art style. You could easily google “Asteroids” and find a free version of it to play online, which would probably entertain you about as long as this does. I’ve played better on Flash game websites. I’m not even knocking it for being arcadey, I’ve played some really fun arcade-style games. It’s just not fun to play, it’s not shmatisfying at all. If I waved around a flashlight in a dark room for a few minutes I would’ve had about as much fun as I did playing this game. You can find better shoot-em-up games on Steam for around the same price, that are actually worth the dollar or so. I bought this on a Steam sale and still feel ripped off. If you’ve seen the screenshots, you’ve essentially seen the whole game. There’s nothing else to it.

What I find most offensive and off-putting about this game is that the name probably came first, and then the game. I can totally see someone sitting at their desk, thinking of the name “Shmadow” and saying “Oh my God, thish ish the funniesht name I’ve ever come up with, I better make a game about it right now”. Was Shmadow really the best you could come up with? Really? I shudder to think of what names didn’t make the cut. Were there worse names? Is it possible to have a worse name than Shmadow?

There’s a lot of better things you could do with a dollar and some change. Like use the dollar as a little scoop to scoop the coins into your mouth. At least then you’re getting your daily required copper and zinc. Important nutrients for a growing body.

And maybe if you’re lucky one will get caught in your windpipe and you’ll get the rush of choking to death.