Shadwen is an assassin on a quest to kill the new King of Rivendon. You play as the titular killer as she makes her way through the night-time streets of a peacefully sleeping town. You must decide if you want to trek through town killing the patrolling Guards, or are you avoiding them in order to make your way peacefully.

You also encounter Lily, a bright young orphan, who must join you on your quest. The relationship between the two of you will be decided by your actions: will she see you kill?

In this series, we’ve showcase different styles of playing Shadwen, and this last part illustrates a mix of our previously showcased playing styles: lethal and non-lethal.

Shadwen Playstyle: Best of Both Worlds

One of the more exciting aspects of mixing lethal and non-lethal tactics is that it allows you to advance in the game without letting Lily know you’re a killer. As long as Lily doesn’t see you kill, or doesn’t discover any of the bodies you’ve left lying on the streets, she’ll think no ill of you. You can leave Lily in the dark by hiding the Guards’ bodies after killing them.

In general, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t mix lethal and non-lethal playing styles in the game. Sometimes one or the other will suit you better in a certain situation, or perhaps distracting a Guard with a decoy may be more amusing to you than simply killing them.

Here are some thoughts on mixed playstyles from our game designers:


“Mixed tactics are the most fun. Distracting the Guards and leaving them alive gives you a satisfyingly stealthy feeling, but occasionally I like to amuse myself by killing off the Guards. Clearing a whole group of them by chain-triggering traps is especially rewarding. I don’t let Lily’s opinion of me bother me.”

— Kim from Design


“My game style always develops from non-lethal towards very lethal as I progress in the game. I think it’s fun to start the game attempting to prevent Lily from knowing what you are, but soon giving up and letting the cat out of the bag, and then embracing the unfolding drama.”

— Maija from Writing (durr that’s me)


“My favorite way to play Shadwen is what I call ‘semi-lethal’. I definitely don’t shy away from killing guards – after all, Shadwen is a master assassin, she has no reason to leave these grunts alive! Besides, using traps and objects to kill guards in all kinds of creative ways is some of the most fun I have playing the game. 😉

“But, at the same time, I don’t want to traumatize poor little Lily. So, I never let her see any of the murdering. As far as Lily is concerned, I’m the perfect model foster mother who never does anything evil… but oh, if she only knew what’s happening behind her back!”

“I really like this playstyle because it lets me explore all the different types of gameplay Shadwen has to offer. In fact, trying to hide all traces of my murders can be insanely fun in its own right! Trying to frantically pull a corpse out of sight, seconds before Lily arrives to see what’s happened, can actually be much more tense and exciting than dealing with the guards themselves!”

“I guess one can argue that ‘do whatever you want, as long as you lie and don’t get caught’ is not the best lesson for a little girl… but sometimes it’s good to be a little bit evil.”

— Ville from Design


“One of my favorite things about Shadwen is the freedom of choice! I often like to assassinate unsuspecting guards from above, lure them to my traps or watch them to take part in ungodly accidents (it’s the dark spirits). I don’t mind if they see me as long as I have the time to escape back to the shadows and hide the evidence.”

“My main priority is that Lily stays unaware of my actions, which to me makes the whole game more interesting and challenging. It means that I cannot just go in and murder everyone, but I have to plan my moves carefully so that Lily wont see anything suspicious! Sometimes it is even easier to distract the guards rather than to kill them. As a result, the gameplay experience becomes a nice balance of stealth, distraction, chaos and assassination, and I’m the one in control (most of the time)!”

— Anna from Design

Anna’s comment sums Shadwen up perfectly: You are in charge of balancing stealth, distraction, chaos, and assassination!

Don’t forget, Shadwen launches next Tuesday!