Look Of The Week: Shadowhand

Holy arse Regency Solitaire is getting a prequel. I think I may have just ruptured something.

For the uninitiated: Regency Solitaire took the unlikely game of Golf Patience and turned it into a smartly-written Jane Austen pastiche, deservedly becoming a breakout hit for Grey Alien Games earlier this year. While falling squarely in the oft (and often rightly) maligned category of ‘casual games’, it demonstrated that wonderful things can be done within the genre when the audience is given due credit instead of treated as an income stream to be exploited. In that regard it joins the likes of Emerald City Confidential and
Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble
among my all time favourites.

Given Regency’s success it’s not surprising that it’s getting a sequel-of-sorts, but the specifics are unexpected nonetheless. Shadowhand is going to be a collectible card combat game set years before Regency, following the exploits of the enterprising Lady Darkmoor (who just might be Regency’s Lady Fleetwood in a former life).

“Set in late 18th Century England, we follow the story of a beguiling young aristocrat who masquerades as the notorious highwaywoman, ShadowHand. Fleeing a crime scene and forced to act under the cover of darkness, Shadowhand will stop at nothing to retrieve an incriminating family jewel, and in doing so, safeguard a woman she holds dear. It’s going to kick highway ass.”

I thoroughly endorse this storyline, even if they did spell ‘arse’ incorrectly.

The other big surprise is that it’s going to be published by Cliffski’s
Positech Games
. Positech’s best known for putting out Cliff’s own stuff like the Gratuitous X Battles and Democracy series, but recently he’s branched out into publishing third-party titles, too. With Redshirt, Big Pharma and now Shadowhand, he’s quickly developing a reputation for getting behind unusual but consistently good stuff.

The official announcements are here (Grey Alien) and here (Cliffski). As seems to be customary these days, the devlog is also proving to be highly entertaining in its own right (though given the strength of Regency’s writing that should hardly be surprising in this case). Here’s a post discussing the game’s historical period and how it informed the costume designs.

Grey Alien are showing off the game at EGX, in full costume no less, which makes be doubly cross that I exist on the other side of the world and am therefore unable to attend. Instead I’ll just have to wait for the game proper – there’s no release date just yet, but I’d be sticking my money on ‘the tail end of 2016’. Till then!

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