Shadow Fight Arena is a free-to-play multiplayer fighting game for mobile devices. It’s the fourth in the Shadow Fight series, but it’s not numbered first. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time on Shadow Fight 2. Shadow Fight 2 mainly played against AI and had a wide selection of weapons. There aren’t many weapons to choose from, but in the end it will improve. Like the arena, it’s also F2P, and the characters are mostly dark silhouettes, fighting against detailed backgrounds.
Shadow Fight Arena is a great game, although it may give up the fighting silhouette in favor of high quality character models and question the “shadow” part of “Shadow Fight Arena”. Whether it’s foggy mountains or bamboo grove, the background is just as clean and you can’t see the jagged edges. Importantly, this is useful because the fighter animations are fluid and very smooth, and reading them is an important part of the game. Especially, music that changes from a slightly calm sound to a track led by a distorted lead guitar without changing the mood so much is a good sound.
Shadow Fight is a relatively simple game. I don’t use long combos or special moves that cause a lot of damage. Instead, there is a simple move set, where success revolves around timing and patience. When you enter Shadow Fight Arena’s button mashing, you can hit a brick wall and stay there. Players who can avoid or block attacks and know what they are doing treat you with a steel-filled face. Your move set is limited, but it’s not naked. There are several options. You can attack with a weapon and kick. Each of these movements changes when combined with the direction buttons and includes diagonal lines. Some fighters also have a simple ranged attack from the bow to spit fire, and there are special attacks that can be used when the meter is full.
Gameplay is incredibly satisfying, often slow, a little too early or too late to wait for an unavoidable counterattack, which can lead to sudden panic. But even after that counterattack with little health left, if you can measure them correctly, you are just a few well-thought-out moves from victory. Dodging the arrow and hitting it a few times will increase tension, sending a sword with a quick stub that catches the skull in the middle of the flip and falls to the ground, much like an enemy enters a fairly flashy flip. This is how Shadow Fight feels. It’s simple enough to be easily accessed, but it’s deep and strategic enough to come back long.
The arena has also improved several points. The biggest change is to choose a fighter instead of a weapon. To be exact, there are three. The match is 3v3, each chooses one fighter at a time, the loser moves to the next fighter of choice, and the winner regains some strength.
Each fighter has its own weapons and attacks, so you can strategically choose a fighter. Did your opponent destroy the samurai with some knives? If you take out a man with a spear, you can attack outside the range. Or do they have a spear? Use a knife to quickly bring the distance closer to prevent swings. This allows you to make further adjustments to how you play, adding another layer of strategy to the rest of the match.
However, as mentioned earlier, this is a free-to-play game and comes with all the regular F2 Pfoibles. Fighters unlock cards by randomly finding them not only once in the loot box, but multiple times depending on the rarity of the card, and level up in the same way. There are two currencies, gold and gems, both of which can be slowly accumulated in the game, but gems can be purchased with real money and coins can be purchased with gems. Gemstones range from £ 0.89 for 80 gems to £ 93.99 for 14,000. In terms of what you’re getting for your money, a Mythic Chest, priced at around £ 20, puts you 180 random cards in a bag. This free play monetization doesn’t work well here, hinders progress, and is a bit too early for microtransactions.