In this radiant pixel art Metroidvania you play as Europa, a young warrior who refuses to continue to live her life in the shadows. With help from her mysterious healing teddy bear Apino, you must battle against primordial enemies and bosses to reach the source of Castle Talos’ curse to restore hope and colour to a grayscale world.
To succeed you must call upon elemental powers from legendary Gods like Poseidon, Gaia and Helios to boost your attacks, taking advantage of enemy vulnerabilities, granting new traversal options and adorning you with beautiful armour.
Set against a “breathtaking” soundtrack scored by Japanese composers Michiru Yamane (Castlevania series) and Norihiko Hibino (Metal Gear Solid series), you must traverse a handcrafted pixel-art castle that takes inspiration from ’90s anime and is filled with secrets for you to discover.
There are hidden paintings that evoke feelings of Hope, Despair, and Demise that hold the power to transport you to other-worldly temples that will test Europa and Apino’s bond. Whereas the soundtrack’s composers appear in-game and can teach ability-granting musical pieces.
“Painting the visuals of this world alongside the melodists behind the soundtracks that defined our younger years has been a surreal and defining experience,” explains Halberd Studios creative director Miguel Hasson. “We value the positivity and patience from our community and have no words to express our thanks. Hopefully delivering a high-quality Metroidvania will do more than just fine!”
9 Years of Shadows will release digitally on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch worldwide in Q3 2023.