Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing?
Honest Video Game Reviews received a free copy of this title for review purposes, however our opinions are our own.
A new game and IP from Mimimi is just what the ship’s doctor ordered, and despite the rest of 2023 being stacked, I will certainly be making time to play Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew in its entirety.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Real Time Tactics
Developer: Mimimi Games
Publisher: Mimimi Games
Price: $39,99
Release Date: August 17, 2023
Supported Modes:

Mission Structure.

Unlike previous games by Mimimi Games, in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, players can freely visit (and revisit) various handcrafted islands and undertake a wide variety of missions from key story events down to random side quests and most interesting character-specific quests that help the player learn more about each member of their cursed pirate crew.

In addition, players are free to choose which crew joins them on any given mission, affording players a previously impossible amount of control over each mission and its outcome.

Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing? 12

Unique Setting.

Choosing to forgo the relatively safe setting of Feudal Japan or the Wild West for a unique setting is a bold move. One that I hope pays off for Mimimi Games, as while I find the setting of the Lost Caribbean Interesting and love the Sea of Thieves-esque pirate aesthetic, many people will not for various reasons, with some players already complaining that “it looks like a cartoon” before the demo had even been released to the general gamer population.

Mission Hub.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is the first game by Mimimi Games to offer players a mission hub in the form of their ship, “The Red Marley”, here players can undergo training, attempt challenges, interact with the ship/crew, revive dead teammates who had returned to The Red Marley in a downed/dead state, and select the location of their next adventure via the captain’s map table.
Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing? 1

Current Gen Exclusive.

As of August 2023, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew appears to have bypassed the 8th console generation entirely, something which is understandable for games where frame rate matters, with much of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew focusing on tactical manoeuvres over brute strength, I am not sure why Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew could not perform well on 8th generation hardware, especially when it is incredibly well optimized, and reaching running at 144fps/1080p ultra, on my 5700 XT, a capable, yet three-generation-old GPU.

Self Published.

While Mimimi Games are veterans of the RTT genre, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is their first self-published, which is likely why they were able to stray so far from their traditional narrative model and mission structure without interference from a publisher who may have cautioned against “fixing what isn’t broken”.

Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing? 10


Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew will undoubtedly prove to be the most controversial game made by Mimimi Games and perhaps be one of the most controversial games of the year due to the way that Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew’s antagonist faction closely resembles the Catholic Church in design, liturgy, and structure.

As anyone who has followed this blog knows, I am a Follower of Jesus Christ. Still, I am not catholic; however, deliberately portraying any real-world religion in such a negative light is problematic. I would say the same about any real-world religion, so this is not biased.

Offending for entertainment value is crass, and I feel Mimimi Games is better than this.

That being said, the Lost Carribean setting is very interesting, and the concept of the damned and the living coexisting made me examine what the role of the Church would be in such a setting.

Salvation vs Judgement.

In Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, the “church” is very antagonistic towards the cursed and quite literally seeks to  “sanctify them through holy fire”, something which always results in the cursed being destroyed soul and (what’s left of) body.

After playing Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, I began to wonder, in such an environment, how Jesus would have acted, especially when many of the cursed are not “evil” or demonic, but rather lose souls trapped between this world who are essentially not entirely dead, even if their bodies are little more than bone and in one case, part tree.

As for anyone who hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. - John 12:47

The role of the Church is to preach the Gospel (which means good news), not to judge the world, not condemn it; those who refuse to follow Jesus Christ will be judged by the Truth he spoke, in the same way that someone placing their finger into a power socket is harmed by the power within.

Jesus did not come to judge the world but to save it; however, those who do not abide in him, nor follow his teachings are already judged by their actions.

There is a judge for the one who rejects Me and does not receive My words: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. - John 12:48

With this in mind, I believe that if the Lost Carribean were real and that the Church existed there, it would be their duty to save the cursed and damned whenever possible. Also, any damned who wished to escape the curse of sin and death would have a saviour in Jesus, instead of the judgement doling Maiden, the head of the Church in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew.

Overall a very interesting setting, albeit one that will offend most Catholics and likely many evangelicals.

Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing? 4

High Production Values.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is an incredibly well-polished game, with every aspect of gameplay, from sound design to performance, being of exceptional quality, which is a big part of why Mimimi Games are some of the most respected developers in the genre.

Quick Save/Load.

While players are welcome to attempt blundering their way through each mission, wracking up a massive body count as they do so, veteran players and those wishing to play the game correctly will take a more tactical approach by skillfully eliminating small groups of enemies at a time and carefully disposing of their bodies before moving onto another group.

This play style takes split-second precision, and as such, most players will find themselves saving and reloading dozens, if not hundreds, of times while they are new to the game. To facilitate this better, the developers have incorporated a quick save/load functionality that allows players to save and reload as many times as they like seamlessly.

While this system has been present in both Shadow Tactics and Desperados III, for the first time in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, the mechanic has an in-game explanation, with the player’s flagship (The Red Marley) being responsible for every act of time manipulation (quick save/load), in addition to the characters being aware of this mechanic, often commenting about “trying again” or experiencing Déjà vu.

Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Worth Playing? 5

Mimimi Games’ Last Game.

Shortly after the successful release of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Mimimi Games’ Last Game announced that they would be wrapping up support for Shadow Gambit by the end of 2023 before disbanding, citing the heavy toll that development took on the mental and physical well being of the team and their family.

True to their word, Shadow Gambit received two DLC on the 6th of December 2023, bringing the game’s content to a meaningful close while allowing players to play once again as Yuki, a fan-favourite character from Shadow Tactics, the game that started it all.

Is Shadow Gambit The Cursed Crew Worth Playing

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew FAQ

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a real time tactics video game developed and published by Mimimi Games, it was released on August 17, 2023 and retails for $39,99.

Platform Availability.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is unrated and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is fantastic and a worthy addition to the RTT genre.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that Shadow Gambit: The Cursed’s supernatural setting is not as appealing to me as a continuation of the Shadow Tactics or Desperado Franchise however when it comes to a developer as respected as Mimimi Games.

Is Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew" a rating of 9/10, indicating that it is near perfect and suffers only minor flaws, and the average gamer will enjoy it immensely.

You Might Be Interested In: