Journey to the afterlife with ‘Skulls of the Shogun’

By Ricci Kearney, GamerHub.TV (MCT)

The dreams of becoming a Shogun Warrior were shared by many men on the battlefields of Japan. Once the smoke is settled and the blood begins to dry, Gen. Akamoto is ready to take the mantel. On the eve of his final battle to become a Shogun, he is betrayed, murdered and thrust into the afterlife. It is here where players take control of Gen. Akamoto and battle for supremacy through the afterlife. This turn-based game has an interesting set-up, but is it worth your download?

The presentation of “Skulls of the Shogun” is interesting. The story is told through beautifully animated cut scenes. The hand-drawn art style is refreshing and allows for the humor in the game to shine through. The color pallet of some of the environments is basic, which allows for the colors of the warriors onscreen to pop and stand out. Other environments are lush, with a pop of color that separates them from the others. The variety in environments keeps the game interesting. The attack animations are also colorful and add to the overall presentation of the game.

The gameplay of “Skulls of the Shogun” is fun. The game does not do anything new to the turn by turn formula, but that is not a bad thing. There are different classifications of warriors that have different types of attacks. Archers are great for long-range attacks, the cavalry are good for striking and retreat, and the infantry are strong strikers that are best used on the front line. The goal of gameplay is to defeat the enemy and protect General Akamoto. Bringing your warriors close together forms a spirit wall that can protect warriors with low health or the general himself. Warriors can also eat the skulls of their fallen enemies. Eating three skulls turns the warrior into a demon, which strengthens attack and defense powers.

“Skulls of the Shogun” is a fun turn by turn strategy game that should appeal to both old and new fans of the genre. The story and dialogue are fun and the gameplay will keep the player engaged. Battling through the Four Seasons of the afterlife is fun, but the gameplay does become repetitive. “Skulls of the Shogun” is a great game to introduce a gamer to the turn by turn genre, and those familiar to the genre will have a blast with its simplified control scheme.

Skulls of the Shogun
Platforms: Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Strategy
ESRB Rating: T for Teen