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“Lost in Shadow” Plays Tricks with the Light

“Lost in Shadow” Plays Tricks with the Light (photo)

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Video game characters didn’t always cast shadows. Back when 8-bit graphics and 2D side-scrollers were the norm, anything approaching real-world lighting and perspective was technologically impossible. The advent of games set in virtual 3D worlds-like the watershed “Super Mario World”-started the realistic implementation of lightsources and shadows.

“Lost in Shadow” takes some cues from the 2D era of video games and wraps them up in an intriguing premise. The Wii-exclusive title by Hudson Entertainment chronicles the adventures of a boy whose shadow has been separated from his physical body. In a twist, players control the shadow–and not the real body–as it tries to find out the cause of the separation.

Boy #1, as he’s called, must venture through a medieval fantasy landscape to reach the Tower of Shadows, where the mysterious power The gameplay is typical platformer stuff-running, jumping and sword-fighting-but it all happens in the background as if projected from a distance. It’s quite a beautiful effect and makes things seem more fragile.

Certain levels will require you to find collectibles called Monitor Eyes to proceed. Along the way, you’ll find fragments of Boy #1’s memories. Picking them up increases his weight, which is how his health is measured. It’s a nice metaphor for becoming more substantial. You can see the real versions of the spikes and platforms in the foreground and in some cases you can manipulate them. Boy #1 will be accompanied by Spangle, a sort of shadow fairy with whom lets you scan the environment by pressing the B button and scrubbing the screen. You can then point the Wii remote at hotspots to pull and turn parts of the architecture. As a result, new shadows get cast that let Boy #1 move around freely. Once you get to the Tower of Shadows, you’ll ascend upwards through a s eris of floors. Some will have Shadow Corridors, which are hidden areas with platform puzzle challenges. You’ll also be able to become solid again, too, through a feature called materialization. Passing through glowing gates on certain floors will imbue your body with light and let you move to the foreground, where you can move things around. But materialization is on a timer so you need to be quick about your lightform’s business. Other floors will have lightbulbs on tracks that you can move, to grow, move or shrink shadows as needed.


Overall, “Lost in Shadow” creates an ethereal storybook vibe that’s kind of like a negative image of Peter Pan. It also calls back to the look and feel of the PS2 classic Ico, with its “lost boy in a giant castle” framework and shadow motif. The lead designer supposedly got the idea from watching kids in a playground jump on each other shadows and it’s got a nice combo of unique charm, clever ideas and moody tone that separate it from a lot of other games. “Lost in Shadow” hits the Wii in January 2011.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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