Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is the third game in the Stealth Strategy / RTT genre developed by Mimimi Games after the critically acclaimed Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun and Desperados 3. It launched to overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam and is also available on EGS, GOG, PS5, and Xbox Series.

My work on Shadow Gambit

I was part of the development team from the early stages of pre-alpha until release and held many responsibilities in the process. In general, my work centered on the following tasks:

  • Create and maintain a Global Progression & HUB system that allows designers to: build and iterate on the non-linear narrative structure of the game; generate dynamically loaded quests and additional content and allow for the revival of new Crewmates.
  • Rework the Camera infrastructure to allow for better and faster iteration cycles and iterate on different camera control modes in close collaboration with our Creative Director.
  • Improve the game’s performance by reducing CPU and GPU load to reach stable and satisfactory FPS on PS5, Xbox Series, and Steamdeck.
  • Work in close collaboration with Designers and Artists to create new gameplay systems or rework, refactor, and iterate on gameplay systems from previous games that required major changes.

For a more technical insight, I’m writing a few dev-centered posts on my work on Shadow Gambit:
links coming soon

Why Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a big deal for the genre

While it generally builds on top of the previous two titles, Shadow Gambit changes the formula by focusing on increasing the players’ freedom through some key new features:

  1. Multi-linear storytelling through the usage of a recurring HUB
  2. Crew and Spawn point selection for most missions
  3. Island-centric level design instead of traditional level-centric design

All of these elements combined drastically increase the replayability of the missions and result in what many praised to be “the best modern installation in this Genre”.

The release of the game also marks, in my opinion, the first real formula change of the commandos-like subgenre. Other games until now, including the previous Mimimi titles, kept the same overall structure and focused solely on improving/polishing the second-to-second gameplay. Contrarily Shadow Gambit is an attempt at real change to bring this niche genre into the modern world without sacrificing the genre’s identity.

For more on Shadow Gambit, check out the IGN review below or other reviews on opencritic.