Shadow Forest

The forest has been overrun by the Shadows who’ve cursed it with eternal darkness. You’re the Wizard of Light; you’re the only hope to break the curse.

Adventure / RPG Jam / Game 2023 Singleplayer-focused

Download (7.0 MB)
For Minetest 5.8 and above

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The forest has been overrun by the Shadows. They have cursed it with eternal darkness. You, the Wizard of Light, are the final hope. Find and destroy the source of darkness and bring back the light!

A game by Wuzzy made for the 2023 Minetest Game Jam.

System requirements

You need Minetest 5.8.0 or later to play.

How to play

Your trusty companion, the Light Crystal, is guiding you through the game. To attack the Shadows, use the Staff of Light by pressing the [Punch] key (default: left click).

Collect resources by walking over them. Hint: Break vases and use the campfire!

Credits

With the exception of translations, the entire game (concept, gameplay, code, graphics, sounds, music, etc.) was created by Wuzzy. See the README file for translation credits.

Reviews

Review

Do you recommend this game?

  • A hardcore but enjoyable shooter-platformer game

    A lot of games for Minetest, even the relatively well-made ones, feel samey, too derivative. Nothing is ever wholly unique anymore, but Shadow Forest is not the usual fare that I expect out of Minetest. It is truly an game. It's also the first time I've thought "maybe ContentDB needs a souls-like tag", even if that's not the most accurate way to describe Shadow Forest.

    You'll be running around at breakneck pace in this game, looking for the collectibles and dodging the baddies. The RPG elements, like Dark Souls, are gained at a campfire and are mostly there to help to help improve your stats if you are struggling. If you're good at the game, or speedrunning, then they're completely optional. You may want some damage upgrades though as the final boss can be a bit of a bullet sponge.

    The game is visually and aurally appealing. It has a proper aesthetic going. It has a moral to the story. It has nice and themed level design. The 1.0 Game Jam version had issues with being swamped with infinitely-spawning mobs, and a lot of high frequencies in the staff noises. The 1.1 release leaves the game hard in spots but not unbeatable, and the staff sounds are much better.

    Wuzzy is an expert with Minetest and it shows. Shadow Forest makes use of a recent feature that controls the fog distance independent of your settings. It also doesn't let you choose options like creative mode, enable health, and other things that can be left checked the wrong way for playing a Jam Game. One problem I had though was the dialogue didn't word wrap and ran off the right edge of the screen. This is at 1080p resolution fullscreen on my desktop monitor.

    Good game, I give it a 5/7.

    4 comments
  • Clever and polished details

    (Disclaimer: This review was made in the context of the game jam 2023. May contain spoilers. Edit: And most/all issues reported here were fixed in the meantime.)

    • Having a light orb in front of you for lighting is quite clever.
    • The damage indicator is really nice. Until yesterday, I didn't even know the compass hud element existed, and on the next day I already see a game use it in a hacky way.
    • The footstep sounds on the floating stone platforms in the stone level have reverberation. This is genius.
    • The dialogue text was cut off sometimes.
    • In the floating stone platform area, there's a spot where it's not deep to fall down, and you can see the ground. It's unexpected that one dies there, but unexpected in a bad way.
    • You can easily get out of the level in the first level, and directly go to the last level. This doesn't seem intended.
    • There are too many enemies at once. They spawn faster than I could ever kill them, even with full weapon upgrades. This makes the game too hard. There should be something like a limit of enemy count per space.
    • The goal and overall plot could be communicated better.
    • Picking up items by walking over them doesn't work reliably.
    • I haven't seen anything fitting the "unexpected" theme.
    • The boss fight was boring. There was no boss music, and all I had to do was run in circles and shoot for minutes.
    • There was no feeling of progress thorough the game. Finishing it didn't feel satisfying.
    5 comments
  • Takes spunk and stamina to beat the Shadow

    Another incredible game by Wuzzy - The storyline is great, the assets and textures are great, and it has a unique feel that makes the game fascinating. The sounds are awesome. Although this doesn't compare with Glitch for me (which is my personal favorite Minetest mini-game at the time of writing), this is entirely different, focusing on defeating darkness with weapons, skills, and collectables.

    The mechanics are pretty simple at first - find vases to get healing essence, and kill mobs to get shadow fragments, then upgrade at your local campfire. The strategy that works best seems to be running mad until you find a house with some amount of protection - then you can kill lots of mobs, gain shadow fragments, and upgrade at the nearby campfire. Unfortunately, I think this bypasses a lot of the fun of the game, which may have been geared more towards exploration, but it's often instead dodging mobs wildly and harvesting them in arbitrary ways. Light crystals are pretty rare, you've got to look for them hard! You need three of them to break the barrier which will eventually lead you to the boss. As the game progresses, it goes from a collecting game to a exploration game, looking for the answers and the boss, and exploring pretty amazing places (all the meanwhile dodging mobs). Once you've got most of the upgrades, you won't have so much trouble with the mobs, but you'll still have to run. The boss is super difficult, and it took me a few tries to defeat him. Keep yourself moving as much as possible and keep throwing light.

    As for unexpectedness, I can't really say I was too surprised by anything in particular - Despite that, this is my personal pick for best game of the 2023 Game Jam, and I hope it wins, because it simply feels the most complete and polished of all the games, despite the mobs :-)

    3 comments
  • Impressive game

    OVERVIEW - Very cool to see such a big game made in a small amount of time. Some of the visual effects were out-standing! +2 for the visual effects. The terrain was nice too. I think the game just needs a bit more drive in it, more purpose? More lore? Anyways, very impressive game :)

    RATING SYSTEM:

    1 - Not a fan 2 - Meh 3 - Okay 4 - Good 5 - Love it!

    GAMEPLAY - 3

    GRAPHICS - 4

    PLAYER-FRIENDLY - 4 (didn't know the goal of the game -1)

    PERFORMANCE - 5

    SOUNDS & MUSIC - 4 (really good ASMR)

    THEME - 2

    TOTAL - 24 (Love it)

    1 comments
  • Its too random, the concept didnt have enough time to mature

    It looks so good, but there is this huge problem: dominating part of gameplay is combat, the least polished part of the game. Mobs are not dangerous, they are annoying at best, mostly boring. It does feel like mobs are in the way of exploring, because of how basic and useless they are in comparison to how good environment looks. Shooting and hitting a target is not fun at all, does not feel rewarding at all. I would rather have either less enemies and more platformer stuff, or I would absolutely make the most dominating part of the gameplay the most fun

    1 comments
  • Pretty generic (plot-wise) collecting game with few obvious goals.

    The end goal is obvious: make the forest light again. But the game doesn't say how to get there. I can tell this was well-executed and the effects and theme are great, but without clear motivation or objectives, this just gets boring.

    Now that I have finished the game, I'm changing my rating a little bit. The end was interesting, and though I managed to defeat the boss shadow without dying, it wasn't quite the unexpected I — expected. I was expecting something more unexpected, and thus that makes this end unexpected? Gotta give Wuzzy credit...

    But the end could still use a little work, since I didn't know how to get to the last part of the game until Wuzzy told me

    Lists and ratings:

    Scores rate how good different aspects of the game are.

    Effects is mostly how the game looks and is built. If a game doesn’t have good-looking textures, particle effects, or architecture that is actually plot-relevant, it can get a low Effects score.

    Gameplay involves how good, fun, interesting or effective the gameplay is. If a game doesn’t have well-designed puzzles that are something a gamer actually feels they can figure out with obvious end results, it can get a low Gameplay score.

    Plot, of course, is how good the plot is, how well it fits with the game itself, and whether it is interesting enough to keep players interested. If a game doesn’t have an obvious plot or goals, it can get a low Plot score.

    Theme is how the game feels and is laid out. If a game doesn’t feel right, have a theme that fits its plot or gameplay, or is too bland or empty-feeling, it can get a low Theme score.

    Unexpected Theme is only how a game fits the theme of the 2024 Game Jam.


    All of these are rated out of ten (#/10), and the final result will be a combination of all these scores out of fifty (#/50).

    Effects: 8/10

    Gameplay: 4/10

    Plot: 7/10

    Theme: 8/10

    Unexpected Theme: 4/10

    Overall: 31/10

    2 comments
  • Promise Undone by Punishing Difficulty

    Rating Scale:

    1-10 for each of the 6 categories, 1 being a thumbs down, 10 being a thumbs up. Max total being 60.

    Gameplay: 6 | Innovation: 7 | Graphics (Content) 6 | Music & Sound (Content): 6 | Theme: 9 | Stability: 10 |

    Total: 44

    I can see that Wuzzy put some love into making this game and did their best to catch lightning in a bottle and win the Game Jam twice in a row, but I personally didn't really enjoy playing it. As some players have stated, it's pretty difficult and full on, which I suppose is fine if you're into that kind of gameplay. To me however, some mechanics felt ridiculously unfair, most particularly the way enemies spawn. I liked when the shadows seemed to appear out of crevices in the walls and such, but not when they literally appeared out of thin air a mere three or so blocks in front of me. It felt like a cheap way to crank up the difficulty.

    Looks wise, I think this game feels rougher and less aesthetically pleasing than Glitch. It felt more clear that to me this time around that I'm playing an ambitious game, but one very clearly built in the Minetest engine. The sound design also was a tiny bit underwhelming.

    On the plus side, Wuzzy has undoubtedly delivered a pretty complete game experience, with a proper narrative, distinct characters and atmosphere to the world. I can see some influence from franchises like Zelda and maybe a bit of Lord of the Rings and perhaps Studio Gibli films.

    It could have a promising future post Game Jam with a fair bit of polishing.

    1 comments
  • 9/10 save the trees! very fun magic shooter

    Ever played left 4 dead 2? Remember how in some maps the zombie spawn are so hopelessly large you're expected to just run for the exit? this game features a lot of that. very fast paced shooter. melee staby stab is not worth using at all lmao. in the first stage i sat around finding pots and when i went outside, the game is lagging from all those shadow saucers shooting at me. i died. i farmed some souls, uh i meant shadow shards and leveled up my character in bonfire as much as possible. the best stage is the mineshaft stage mostly for parkour + shooter. i never thought i would see this in minetest considering the state of most mob mods being pretty tame. i never expected damage indicators too. i never expected a very fast responsive light orb. i could list more, but there's so much polished features... it's best to play it yourself. my only request is that i'd love upgrades to really beat up the shadow mobs after destroying the boss :p

    1 comments
  • Run and pick up simulator

    The game started nicely, you can definitely tell the author tried polishing the experience as much as he could. However, once the "real" gameplay starts, things start not fitting together anymore. Infinite monsters preventing you to explore in depth, dialogues being displayed whilst fighting, a grind mechanic that it almost feels like a chore (too many collectibles): after the first death I didn't feel encouraged to continue and see what was coming next, which is a pity.

    Also, I don't understand what's the "unexpected" part ("unexpected" is the theme of the jam this game is competing in)

    2 comments
  • Enjoyable!

    I like the graphics as well as the gameplay. The trick is to not fight too much, but to make a run for it ;P

    0 comments
  • By far my favorite

    From the art consistancy to the fun, hard to break gameplay. This game is very tied together and easy to understand. It's perhaps harder to see the aspect of "unexpected" to it, though in my opinion that really takes a backseat to the quality of the gameplay.

    Well done sir.

    2 comments
  • What am I supposed to do?

    I spawned in and I didn't know what I was supposed to do other then save the forest from darkness, but I didn't know how I was supposed to do so. Maybe I didn't play for long enough or something. The look of the game was very good and it didn't look like an unfinished or a buggy game. Overall

    gameplay: 9/10

    innovation: 8/10

    content: 9/10

    theme: 4/10 (maybe I didn't play for long enough and there was something unexpected later on.)

    overall rating: 30/40

    1 comments
  • Meh (Game Jam review)

    Dialog boxes are too big and you can't re
    Also every upgrade is too easy to get (expect the health upgrade, I barely got the first level with all these shadows, I can't imagine how hard would it be to get the last one.)
    And I have found a place (66, 52, 492) where you can get stuck and basically softlock yourself.
    So, yeah, no.
    P.S. Sound design is also kinda mid

    1 comments

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