The Consuming Shadow

The Consuming Shadow

The Consuming Shadow is a horror adventure game with roguelike elements developed by Yahtzee Croshaw.


England is consumed in shadow, and one of five demonic gods is going to be summoned in sixty hours. The protagonist is a paranormal expert who must discern which god is invading, and banish it with the proper ritual spell before it descends at Stonehenge.

Players are always timed, so effective time management is pivotal to a successful run.



In this single-player game, there are four major deletable elements: time, Health (life points), Sanity and currency (British pounds).

Sanity is mental health. It is easy to lose and hard to maintain. If the protagonist's Sanity drops below their average, the game starts to plague the interface. Symptoms include events like reversing player controls, disappearing enemies in dungeons, altered music and a suicide option flickering into the conversation or exploration GUI. Drugs can be used to stall insanity effects for a time but can never restore lost Sanity.

Four playable characters exist.

NameTraitsUnlocking Requirements
The ScholarStandard protagonist with melee and magic. Good relations with superiors, paranormal fans and family.Available by default.
The WarriorMelee only fighter with better range and attack. Can sidestep attacks. Wanted by police.Receive a text message asking for a Locksmith's Kit. Deliver the item to the location and finish the following dungeon.
The WizardMagic only, no melee. Higher insanity tolerance. Forgets runes and needs to relearn them. Bad relations with lover.Randomly save her from a dungeon that looks for survivors. Get a Pentagram Necklace and meet her again at the location she specified. Complete the following dungeon.
The Ministry ManStarts with 100 quid, the full ritual incantation, and the map with threat levels entirely identified. Only has 24 hours.Clear the game with Endings A, B or C (banish the correct god before time runs out).

There are seven possible endings. The good endings (banish the correct god) vary based on the protagonist's final Sanity rating. Bad endings occur when the protagonist is killed, time runs out, or if the wrong god is banished at Stonehenge.


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On the road, controls are simple. Players decide on a destination by selecting a location on the protagonist's smartphone located at the bottom right corner. Towns will receive colored markers on the map to indicate their status.

  • Green - safe area. Players can visit hospitals to resupply their health kit, buy drugs, or remove a status ailment if they have enough quid. If they are willing to sacrifice an hour of their time, players can also look for supplies to restock ammo and/or buy an item.
  • Red - hostile dungeons. Players need to enter these zones to obtain clues about the demonic gods and the banishment ritual.
  • Orange - optional sub quest related area. These areas are identified by text messages that are read. May obtain rewards for following through with the request. This is needed to unlock The Warrior and The Wizard.
  • Gray - already visited dungeon. Will not receive any new clues about the god.

Select a location and let the car drive. Driving automatically drains hours away from the clock. Players can stop the car at any time if they need to momentarily stop the clock for the pause menu.

Inventory can be checked by panning left to the glove compartment. If players need to heal, they can click on their health kit. Drugs can be taken within the car. Any discovered spells and runes can be checked in the spellbook.

The files notebook contains earned clues about the gods. Players can use the notebook's graph to chart their knowledge about the gods. It helps to narrow down which one is the invading god. Attributes for the gods are randomized in each playthrough.

While on the road, the player may be halted by an event or text message. It is up to players to decide to engage or ignore them. The effects of either occurrence fluctuate between harmful or beneficial to the player's journey; either one may lead to another dungeon sighting. Certain events grant immediate success if the player has a specific item.


Warehouse dungeon with The Scholar
Warehouse dungeon with The Scholar

Dungeons are randomly generated and exploration drains real-time from the game's sixty hour timer. Protagonists can move left or right across the screen. Up/down is used to interact with doors and objects.

There is one attack button. Use it at close quarters for a melee attack; use it at long range to fire firearm (except for The Warrior). Three different firearms are available, each with their own ammo.

Spells can be cast by initiating the spell screen and quickly highlighting and entering the right rune sequence before the timer ticks down. While they can be powerful and potentially game-breaking, they drain Sanity each time they are used.

Monsters appear during exploration. Failing to clear the room of monsters before leaving cuts away the protagonist's Sanity. If they inflict damage, their protagonist loses Health and Sanity. They also have a higher chance of inflicting a status ailment, most of which can be treated at a safe town's hospital for 10 quid:

  • Anxiety - decreases accuracy. Removed by driving.
  • Broken Arm - lose Sanity when attacking.
  • Broken Leg - lose Sanity when running.
  • Severe Bleeding - gradually lose health, even when driving. Can kill protagonist if left untreated.

Players can escape from dungeons through the pause menu. Fleeing from dungeons without meeting the dungeon objective drains 10 Sanity and may inflict a status ailment.

Occasionally, the protagonist will need to save someone from a dungeon. If the live victim pulls a gun on the protagonist as they approach, they have turned and need to be killed. Otherwise, press up or down next to live victims to free them. Killing a live sane victim punishes the protagonist with a Sanity drop. Players still need to interact with dead victims in order to successfully complete the dungeon.

When a dungeon objective has been met, there is a chance that players will be chased by a reoccurring monster. They drain large amounts of Health and Sanity if they hit the protagonist. It's encouraged to run away from them rather than fight them; fleeing from them does not affect the protagonist's Sanity.

New Game+

After every playthrough, regardless of whether players banish the god or not, an evaluation screen pops up and rewards points based on their progress. Level up the bottom gauge to earn birth stars, which can alter the protagonist's stats and other beneficial effects.

Starting a new game allows players to read monster data they have collected from monsters they have previously encountered and defeated. If they found diary pages during their runs, they will be collected in the diary found here.

Alternative playable characters become available at the starting screen if the player has achieved their unlocking requirements and finished that playthrough,