The Shrouded Isle developed by Kitfox Games is a lovecraftian simulation-management game where players take the role of high priest in a small isolated community. The high priest must select a sinner to ‘purge’ or sacrifice every season. According to the beliefs of the village, their God will be coming soon and they must prepare for its arrival. Hence all the blood sacrifices and purging of ‘sinners’.
It’s a very simple point and click game on the face of it however, it’s much more complicated than this. The management aspect comes into play as the player must manage five different families who are each charged with protecting a specific thing. These families influence and lead things such as obedience and ignorance in the community.
At the start of each season, the player must select a representative from each house. This person will act as the adviser for that aspect of the community. They will also be the ones who perform actions each season which influence how the community sees each of those aspects. If one of those aspects falls below the minimum level then you have one season to raise it again. Failing to do so will result in a game over and the village will descend into chaos.
There’s not much to the gameplay besides clicking on different options. As a result, it’s a fairly ‘slow’ game. Despite this, the tension of needing to keep the village secure while finding out who to sacrifice each season is quite entertaining. To make things more interesting, the player must sacrifice one of their advisers every season. Which naturally, can upset their house if there’s no grounds for the sacrifice. You must balance the negatives and rewards of every action and sacrifice. There’s lots to think about in this game.
The Shrouded Isle is an interesting game. It forces you to really think through your actions despite not being a strategy game. Sure, there’s not a lot of action here but it does create a tense atmosphere.