Free Games I Like: Black Shades

Written by Joe Martin

November 17, 2009 // 8:25 a.m.

Tags: #fps #free-games #free-games-i-like #games #gaming #indie #iphone #iphone-gaming #mac-games #shooter #wolfire

Black Shades isn’t a new game, it’s just a free game that I really like. It’s basically the opposite of Hitman, but reduced down to twitch shooter basics and presented in a typically indie way.

Rather than playing as a hitman, Black Shades casts you as a bodyguard for a VIP who's wandering aimlessly through a crowded city. It’s your job to protect him from the increasing number of assailants who will try to kill him.

What distinguishes Black Shades from that old trope of the FPS escort mission is that the VIP is pursuing a random path through a city which is basically an infinite grid of buildings. Also, the assassins who come from him are randomly generated and will use a variety of weapons and approaches. Oh, and nearly everyone in the city looks alike too – grey and white polygon figures.
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Thus, the game becomes an incredibly tense affair and each level (which tasks you with defending the VIP for a set amount of time) is different. Your one advantage is that you're bulletproof and can run faster than everyone else, able to dive into the path of bullets if need be – but that doesn’t help when there are three murderers on each corner.

At the same time as taking down gunmen, you’ve also go to keep up with your VIP too. It’s all too easy for him to get lost in the sea of blank faces or, as is more likely when you’re sprinting across the road to tackle a rifleman, stumble straight into a knife-wielding psycho.

Bodyguarding isn’t all that Black Shades has to offer though. There are zombies too, who show up in bonus levels where you have to defend yourself until the timer reaches zero. All in all it’s a rather lovely and charming shooter, which gets straight to the point and delivers an effortlessly simple and addictive experience without any of the usual faff and pretension you’d perhaps associate with an indie game.

Black Shades is a free download for PC and Mac and is also available on the iPhone.
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