Described as the next step in social gaming, Shadow Cities is a location-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that takes the urban environment as platform. Neighborhoods and familiar streets are part of the game world that is visible on the screen of the iPhone. Familiar to the purpose of psychogeographic games such as Serendipitor, Shadow Cities enables its players to explore their surroundings with new eyes. It combines local, location aware gaming with global web gaming and aims to attach new meaning to once mundane places, “as you learn their magical properties. Your office building might just be the most important spot in the whole city”. Every city in the world transforms into a battle arena.
“You nearly trip yourself stepping out of the tram but your eyes never leave the phone’s screen. It’s glowing blue and you can see shapes forming around you. You knew the morning rush hour would bring enemy mages here so the traps laid late last night are exactly in the right place. You walk the last mile to your office drawing rune after rune on the device’s touch screen. Just as you are stepping in, the view lights up. The decoys have worked and now the traps are unleashing their payloads on the poor suckers that didn’t know any better. The screen flickers and grows dim again as last of the enemy mages has been defeated. This neighborhood belongs to you and nobody better forget it.”
Shadow Cities players can participate in two different teams, the ‘Architects’ or the ‘Animators’, to conquer their city, neighborhood by neighborhood and hunt ‘Spirits’ for experience. Players are able to level up throughout the game and choose what kind of mage they want to be. They have to decide to either help others in their tasks or concentrate on battling with their enemies. Each week teams battle for global supremacy in weekly campaigns. The team with the most energy wins the week, and every player receives the week’s campaign medal. The team that wins most of the 52 campaign weeks running throughout the year will dominate the cities of the world.
The game is currently available in Finland (where it shot straight to #1 top grossing app in the Finnish App Store), but the developers have promised it will be available for the rest of the world in just a few weeks time. Click here to download the game, and click here for the Shadow Cities Facebook page with the latest news.