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Game #570
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  James Clavell's Shogun    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Interactive Fiction   Graphical IF

Rating: 8.55 (45 votes)

James Clavell's Shogun box cover

James Clavell's Shogun screenshot
A faithful adaptation of James Clavell's hit novel of the same name, Shogun casts you in the role of Blackthorne, an English navigator hoping to find fortune in the 19th century Japan, only to discover that he must earn it the hard way by winning acceptance and respect from the wary Japanese.

Shogun captures the novel's plot and atmosphere almost perfectly, with excellent writing, well-paced plot development, and great Japanese-art graphics. The game is broken down into chapters, each of which is self-contained (i.e. every item you can find and use is only for the current chapter) and advances the plot little by little. The puzzles are definitely up to Infocom's usual standards – in particular, puzzles that require you to figure out how to communicate with the natives are brilliant.

Being based on the same engine as Zork Zero, Shogun also follows in that game's lead in offering new kinds of puzzles to make the game more varied. In this case, there are a few timed sequences, and an arcade-ish maze navigation in which you move Blackthorne around with the arrow keys. Overall, Shogun is Infocom's neglected masterpiece that belongs in every gamer's collection. Although the game should appeal to Infocom veterans more, novices should not be discouraged to try this one, as the built-in on-line hints are excellent. Thumbs up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Dave Lebling
Developer: Infocom
Publisher: Infocom
Year: 1989
Software Copyright: Infocom
Theme: Historical, Licensed, Oriental
Multiplayer:  
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links:  
Links:    
If you like this game, try: Heart of China, Geisha, Sword of The Samurai

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