Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. While Shadowgrounds might not win any big awards for originality, the nonstop action absolutely gets the adrenaline pumping throughout as it offers up a planet's worth of beasties to blow away.
  2. With strong gameplay, outstanding design, and intense action, the game definitely fills the void left in many players by the somewhat-disappointing "Doom 3."
  3. Excellet budget-priced action game. Looks good, plays well and sounds awesome. [Dec 2005]
  4. This is definitely a game action fans, Aliens enthusiasts, as well as players who enjoyed classic games such as Alien Syndrome – a real classic in the top-down genre – will enjoy immensely.
  5. A louder, meaner, faster futuristic version of "Gauntlet."
  6. A good example that games with forgettable stories and acting are still worth playing. Rich storytelling is always welcome and I’d love to see more of it, but these are games after all and playability is a lot more important.
  7. Even with its limited replay appeal and some lackluster voice acting, at $24.99, Shadowgrounds delivers a noteworthy value-to-fun ratio. [Aug 2006, p.35]
  8. Shadowgrounds is a great game that is very fun to play and nice to look at. Players looking for a cheap action packed game or some nostalgia would be well advised to give Shadowgrounds a try.
  9. There have been a lot of games throughout the last two decades that have pulled off great run-and-gun gameplay. The old school title Alien Syndrome comes to mind, as does Crusader: No Remorse. If you are looking for an updated version of either of those two titles, you can’t go wrong with Shadowgrounds.
  10. I have not felt so freed from the artificial complexities of modern releases -- and so nicely transported back to the pure joy of the old days -- for a long time.
  11. It may be unoriginal, but it's got the atmosphere. [May 2006, p.90]
  12. 75
    The experience just isn't deep enough to sit down for as long as the game's mechanics require you to, nor is its story especially well-told.
  13. The developers were clearly inspired by other games, but that's Ok - they changed things up by turning it into a top-down run-and gun-game with tons of action and ammo. Take a gander at this one if you like your games bloody with some doses of dread.
  14. If I had to describe in one word the high point of this game, it would be Atmosphere. This game has it by the mega tonne.
  15. Shadowgrounds is a pretty solid game if you treat it as what it is, a game where you collect and upgrade weapons, and use them to blow away aliens.
  16. There really isn’t a lot to this game. You run around in the darkness, you shoot things, rinse and repeat.
  17. The game is best enjoyed in the same manner as it delivers its action – in short doses. As a budget title it’s not bad as a mindless alien-blasting diversion or a walk down memory lane for older gamers who grew up in the top-down view era. If you’re looking for deep immersive gameplay you won’t find it here, but it fits the bill when you’re in the mood for some quick and easy action.
  18. I have no desire to punish myself repeatedly trying to beat a game. On the other hand, if you do crave that kind of challenge, I cannot think of a game better suited to deliver than Shadowgrounds.
  19. 70
    This game is fun, but flawed and it makes no effort to stand out on it's own or to do anything innovative.
  20. The story is derivative, the aliens are clichéd and stupid and the gameplay is pretty bog standard for the most part.
  21. While Shadowgrounds doesn't do much that's new, within its restrictive confines it's engaging and competent. Gaming lite, but still a nice snack. [June 2006, p.85]
  22. To view this package as a whole, it's not the most amazing thing in the world. A weak plot, been-there done-that cutscenes, semi-generic weapons, and a view perspective that has been rarely seen since 1990 make it sound worse than it really is.
  23. Despite a name that sounds like a new blend at Starbucks, there's a lot to like about Shadowgrounds. [Oct. 2006, p.70]
  24. It's like Doom 3 done top-down in Shadowgrounds, a shooter with an old school sensibility but not much in the way of captivating gameplay.
  25. A decidedly old-school design keeps it from entering the ranks of today’s great shooters, but it does well what it sets out to do: give us visceral action in dark environments.
  26. Given the game's low price point and the extras that Meridan4 has released in support of the game like the level editor, there's no reason not to pick this game up.
  27. Shadowgrounds is a fun game in the old-school, third-person shooter tradition. It's not innovative by any means but if you're looking for a shooter that's not totally mindless then you might want to give this one a shot. Pun intended.
  28. Shadowgrounds is a pure top-down shooter that just doesn’t seem to come together to achieve the effects it was going for. Spooky games are spookier in first-person than they are top-down, so Shadowgrounds isn’t spooky.
  29. A refreshing return to the past, and for that reason it's slightly too generic to recommend strongly. It's only ever just pretty enough, and there's seldom anything really breathtaking.
  30. 60
    For a relatively inexpensive game available on Steam, Shadowgrounds makes for a nice diversion, especially if you have some buddies over and a few controllers to use. It’s fun solo too, but it gets repetitive quickly and even freshly upgraded weapons won’t keep your interest for long.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 191 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 74
  2. Negative: 15 out of 74
  1. ZEUS_GB
    Oct 24, 2006
    Shadowgrounds is a 360 top down shooter like you used to get in the late 80s and earlier 90s. The game that springs to mind straight away is Shadowgrounds is a 360 top down shooter like you used to get in the late 80s and earlier 90s. The game that springs to mind straight away is the legendary Alien Breed. The graphics aren't the best in the world but for a game like this there awesome. The developers have made great use of lighting that adds really good atmosphere to the game and makes it really creepy in places. Another good use of the lighting system is the torch, some of the aliens are scared of the light and will run away but others are attracted to light. The sounds make this game creepy as well. It's not uncommon to be walking down the corridor and heard the aliens before you see them. You'll hear their sounds, you'll be checking all round you, you'll be checking the radar but all you'll see are blobs everywhere. Hehehe! The background music is really good as well. It adds atmosphere to the levels and bounding music when in a battle. The weapons in the game are the best i've seen in this type of shooter. They are well thought out and imaginative not just thrown in as an after thought like in many games nowadays. For your shooting pleasure there's a pistol, pulse rifle, shotgun, rocket launcher (what game would be complete without one?), lasergun, grenade launcher, railgun :D, electric gun, flame thrower, minigun :D. Another great thing about the weapons is the ability to upgrade them. Upgrade points are dropped by aliens after you kill them so that means the more aliens you kill the better weapons you get! This is a great budget release that really shows off what smaller developers can do. Full Review »
  2. Nov 27, 2011
    The only reason to buy this is if you don't like online games, because Alien Swarm is the same thing, but there are three major differences:The only reason to buy this is if you don't like online games, because Alien Swarm is the same thing, but there are three major differences:
    1. Alien Swarm is free
    2. Alien Swarm is online
    3. Alien Swarm is better
    Not saying much either, because Alien Swarm isn't that great.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 26, 2013
    WTF is with the save system!? It only saves after you beat a level which their are 11 in total. Each time you start a new level you get 4WTF is with the save system!? It only saves after you beat a level which their are 11 in total. Each time you start a new level you get 4 retries. So die 5 times in a level and it redo the level again. The voice acting is so wooden its facepalm to the point I actually lost interest in the plot half way through. Only the combat and weapon upgrades held my interest to the end of the game. Full Review »