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Things From Another World
Air and Shadow
Air and Shadow
by South Quarter Independent Games (2014)
Player Count

Player Ages

Playing Time
2 hours
  • Adventure
  • Designers
  • Jonathan Harrison
  • Mechanisms
  • Role Playing
  • Family
  • Player Count: Solitaire Only Games
  • Rating: 0/10 from 0 users


    The roletaking game Air and Shadow uses auditory and visual cues and dexterity-based difficulty checks to represent the sense aspects of thieving, as well as on-the-fly continuity to induce internally consistent interactions within the framework of the large, sprawling city that serves as its stage.

    In Air and Shadow, the player takes the role of a professional thief working in a low-magic postmedieval environment. Gameplay uses continual die-rolling to create aural tension and physical fatigue punctuated by pickpocketing, lock-picking, eavesdropping, climbing, and other checks resolved using the player’s fine motor skills.

    Air and Shadow includes methods and a system of notation for discovering and recording a persistent city, and both micro and macro on-the-fly continuity systems designed to retroactively fill characters, locations, and events into previous narrative strands and twine them into a larger tapestry of rational narrative susceptible to influence and alteration by the player. Correlating in-game skills to real-life dexterity, acuity, and endurance allows the player to explore the city freely, subject only to his or her physical capabilities, giving him or her the chance to return to previously passed-over opportunities when greater skills create new options or make previously impossible avenues of approach viable. Similarly, the built-in continuity systems allow the player to delay, quit, or entirely ignore jobs and missions without stunting the game’s narrative flow (though not without earning in-game ramifications), allowing the player to pick and choose work as he or she sees fit in response to game pressures.

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