The Ultimate Struggle for the Ultimate Prize
Parker Brothers - 1983
2 - 4 Players; Ages 10+
2 - 4 Players; Ages 10+
Shadowlord! is a science fantasy game set in the far future. The Starlord, former ruler of the galaxy, has died. The Power Stone, which contains all of his power, has been taken by the Shadowlord and the galaxy thrown into anarchy and chaos. The players represent the four elemental Masters of Earth, Air, Fire or Water who are opposing the Shadowlord (and each other) in an attempt to claim the Power Stone and establish themselves as ruler of the galaxy.
Each player starts on their home planet with one of the Masters, one Warrior and one Diplomat. They also start with three "power rings" and three "spaceships". From their home planet they start to expand into the galaxy.
Power Rings can only move when one or more spaceships are inserted into the ring. When a Ring arrives in an empty space it must stop and explore. In this way the player may discover more character to join their side in the struggle. If the space contains a Power Ring or loose spaceships belonging to the same player the Ring may pass through without stopping.
When a Power Ring encounters a Power Ring of another player the two must attack (unless one is a Diplomat in which case they cannot attack). The Power Rings are moved to the "battlefield". The attack strength of each side is computed as the strength of the Character in the Ring plus the number of Spaceships in the ring plus the value on the Attack Card played by the player. The highest total wins the battle.
After the player has moved their forces they are allowed to move the forces of the Shadowlord. They can move the Shadowlord's Power Rings so that they attack other players or simply to move them away from their own territory.
Players can attack the Shadowlord itself by moving to the "Lost Fortress" in the middle of the board. If they do so and manage to defeat the forces of the Shadowlord that player gains control of the Power Stone and the forces of the Shadowlord are banished from the galaxy.
There are numerous other options for the players including building starships, attempting to bribe characters away from other players and a host of other options.
The game continues until all but one of the Masters have been defeated in which case the player controlling that Master is the winner. Alternatively, if the Shadowlord is able to maintain possession of the Power Stone then the Shadowlord takes control of the galaxy and all of the players lose.
This is a deceptively complex game. There are so many options available all through the game that it is sometimes hard to decide what to do next. (The game description above doesn't go into anywhere close to all of the options in the game.)
The game also has a strange double personality. In many respects it is a science fiction game, with spaceships and planets, but in others it looks more like a fantasy game, with Elemental Masters, wizards and warriors. The portraits on the individual character cards look like they would be more at home in a fantasy game. On the other hand, this combines to give the game a feel all its own.
This is a good game. It is nicely complex with a good flavor and a lot of options as to how to go about conquering the galaxy.
2 comments on Shadowlord!:
I too was lucky to find this at a thrift store. My brother about ten or more years ago found this at a local thrift in the city we where in and all these years later I was lucky to find it again on the other side of the country. love this game
I just picked this game up (Shadowlord) at the thrift store. I was very surprised, the game totally rocks!
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