Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is a stealth-oriented real-time game developed by Mimimi Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment. It was released for Microsoft Windows, the Macintosh, the Steam operating system, Linux, the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One, on May 17, 2016.
Five years later, after the Steam release of this game (December 6, 2016), a sequel was released, titled Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun - Aiko's Choice or simply Shadow Tactics - Aiko's Choice. It is the anticipated standalone expansion to the original game. Set in Edo Japan, the premise of this expansion is to take control of Aiko and her friends to hunt down the ghosts of her past.
The player commands a small group and performs different demonstrations of undercover work, damage and death, like penetrating vigorously monitored strongholds and disposing of enemies from the inside, executing/catching uncommon targets, taking significant reports, catching discussions to gather data, or protecting different characters. Enemy watches have an obvious cone of vision which the legends should avoid to stay undetected. Missions for the most part require the player to deliberately murder enemies among them and the evenhanded, utilizing draws, traps, and manipulating to slaughter without raising the caution. The saints can move the assortments of killed gatekeepers to shroud them in brambles or behind entryways, with the goal that they may not be found. In the event that a saint is spotted or a dead body is found by the adversary, the caution will be raised and extra watches will be conveyed to get the territory.
- Hayato: being the main character of the game who is used for most of the missions, he has a shuriken which he can use to kill enemies, except samurais, at distance with little noise. He also has a grapple by which he can reach rooftops wherever an ear to catch the hook is present.
- Mugen: the second character of the game, he is also the only character who can kill enemy samurai in a straight fight. He can also lure enemy guards from their posts with a bottle of sake.
- Yuki: the third character of the game, she is a thief who can lay a trap that kills anyone who walks into it, except samurais. She also has a flute with which she can lure guards by sound.
- Aiko: she can disguise herself and walk freely around the map, and only enemy samurais can see through her disguise. She can distract enemy guards with casual banter and silently kill them with a hairpin.
- Takuma: he has a rifle with which he can kill enemies at great distances and with no noise, but his ammunition is very limited. He also has a pet tanuki which he can send to distract enemy guards with dancing.
- Civilian: A civilian is an unarmed enemy. They are often focusing on their job or going somewhere. When a civilian notices a hero, he will call the guards to fight them, and if there are no nearby guards, he'll run to the nearest patrol to inform them about the hero's position, hence making the guards wanting to search the hero. Any type of decoy or disorientation will work against them.
- Soldier: A soldier, or a guard, is a basic type of enemy. Throughout most missions, soldiers make up most of the enemies. Most of the time, they are armed a musket, but there are other soldiers equipped with a melee weapon called pikemen, or officers (sometimes with a flag on their back; but this element is strictly cosmetic). Most of the time, the soldiers are alone, but often, there is a part of patrols, comprised of 2 or 3 soldiers. All of the enemies are suspectible to the lures of heroes, and as a result, it is the weakest enemy to kill. If they detect the hero, they'll begin attacking immediately, and will call nearby guards to help him.
- Straw Hat: A straw hat enemy or a star hat guard is an enemy wearing a straw hat and is armed with a musket. Most of the time, they tend to spy on the heroes, so they rarely patrol the area. Straw hat guards are stronger enemies since they are resistant to most lures, except the sneezing power lure by Aiko. Meanwhile, other tools work for a short amount of time or not work at all.
- Samurai: A samurai is a heavily armored enemy equipped with a katana and a hand cannon. It is the strongest type of enemy, since Mugen is the only hero that is able to attack this enemy in melee range, but other methods to defeat them can including taking a shot at him with a pistol and then finishing him off using any character. They are resistant to most lures and are able to recognize Aiko's disguise.
Even though each character has three different tools to use to defeat/distract enemies, they all do have two other items in common:
- Pistol: Every hero has a pistol. This is a short-mid range weapon that can kill any guard instantly and loudly. It can be used to wound a Samurai and shooting him with it will make him vulnerable to a follow-up kill move. However, the samurai will look in the direction where the shot came from. This can be useful when Mugen or Takuma are not present in the mission. Moreover, the pistol is strongest with Mugen.
- Healing Kit: Every character also has single healing kit. The kit will revive three pips of health, which is enough to fully heal once. The only instance this would not fully heal is if used on Mugen after he has lost more than three health.
There are 13 missions in the first game:
- Mission 1 – Osaka Castle
- Mission 2 – Nakasendo Road
- Mission 3 – Imai Town
- Mission 4 – Tsuru Mountain
- Mission 5 – Lord Yabu’s Palace
- Mission 6 – Hida Village
- Mission 7 – Suganuma Village
- Mission 8 – Kanazawa City
- Mission 9 – Kage-sama’s Camp
- Mission 10 – Mount Tsuru (Prison)
- Mission 11 – Matsuyama City
- Mission 12 – Myogi Pass
- Mission 13 – Sunpu Castle
A board game adaptation of the original video game published by Antler Games was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2019.