A third of the way through Desperados 3, Mimimi Games’ excellent sneaky tactics romp, the Wild West gets a bit weird. A new playable character is introduced who deviates from the usual cowboy cliches thanks to her ability to possess animals, control the minds of her enemies and link living creatures together Dishonored-style. These occult shenanigans are a consistent highlight and demand a follow-up. Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, the team’s latest project, is more than happy to oblige.  

This is the Golden Age of Piracy, but not as we know it. In this alternate history, death has taken on a new meaning for the pirate crews that sail the high seas. In a nod to Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Afia is on a mission to gather a crew of undead ne’er-do-wells, using magical artefacts known as Black Pearls to transform them into their best selves—all in an effort to pull off a big heist and thwart the forces of some anti-magic killjoys: the Inquisition of the Burning Maiden. 

Dead Sea

(Image credit: Mimimi Games)

The foundation established in Shadow Tactics back in 2016—itself a riff on the classic Commandos series—remains intact. You’ll command your crew of undead pirates in real-time missions, viewing the action from a top-down perspective, all while avoiding guards with their large but easily-obscured vision cones. Completing the tricky missions necessitates creative use of your crew’s eclectic abilities, as well as the environment itself, and save scumming is very much expected. But this new setting brings with it a lot of new ideas and twists on familiar mechanics. 



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