9 Years of Shadows is a metroidvania type game, realized in the convention of a platform action game. The game was developed by the independent Mexican team Halberd Studios and was made possible, among other things, by a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Among the sources of inspiration for artists there are cult positions like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Super Metroid and Mega Man Zero.
9 Years of Shadows takes us on a journey to a fantastic universe devoid of colors by a dark curse. The main heroine of the game is a warrior named Europa, who explores the secrets of Talos, a giant mechanical castle that used to be an orphanage. The protagonist's task is to unravel the mystery of missing orphans and to face the forces of darkness lurking in the shadows.
In 9 Years of Shadows the action is shown from the side. As we walk through countless corridors and rooms of the castle, we jump on the platforms, avoid traps and face various enemies, headed by powerful bosses. In addition to Talos, there are places to visit that are related to the memories of missing orphans; through the paintings that depict them we can move to, among others, oriental lands or the revolutionary Mexico City.
The battles are dynamic, and during them you should not only show dexterity and reflexes (for example, to make a timely evasion and a counter-attack), but also skilfully use the skills of the protagonist. Europe fights with white weapons, but can also launch magical distance attacks. As she progresses, she gains numerous improvements (increasing her combat potential and providing access to previously blocked locations) and armour, which she can change "on the fly", gaining additional powers. Collectibles in the form of notes deserve a separate mention; in return, two composers can lengthen the bars of life and magical power of the protagonist, as well as treat us with melodies maintained at 432 Hz.
9 Years of Shadows has atmospheric, dark graphics made in pixel art technique. The game is accompanied by a soundtrack composed by such celebrities as Michiru Yamane, Manami Matsumae (Castlevania and Mega Man series) and Norihiko Hibino (Metal Gear Solid series).