Games

Beloved indie strategy game dev gives us a final, free parting gift as it closes its doors

Writing about Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew always fills my heart with a mix of warmth and sadness. The tactical RPG is one of 2023’s best strategy games, a culmination of the formula honed by indie developer Mimimi Games through its previous games Shadow Tactics and Desperados 3. However, it also marks the studio’s final release, as it steps away from development after 15 years. Now, in a final parting gift, the team passes the torch to its community with a free update adding mod tools to Shadow Gambit.

Following the launch of two DLC expansions for Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew, Mimimi Games is closing its doors, with founders Dominik Abé and Johannes Roth citing the “heavy personal toll” of development but noting that they are “proud of what we were able to accomplish as a studio.” It seems one final surprise was waiting up the team’s flowing sleeves, however, with the launch of mod tools for the fantastic strategy game.

“Ahoy, cursed pirates,” the team says in its latest update, “We know, we said the Shadow Gambit DLC would be our last update. But we actually have one more thing to share with you. Since Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, many of you have been requesting some sort of modding level editor for our games.” Following its first set of ‘level editing cheats’ for Desperados 3, the team has now launched its modding tool for Shadow Gambit.

Included as part of a free update, the Shadow Gambit modding tool lets you create your own custom missions and tell your own stories. “Spawn characters, enemies, and NPCs throughout a level. Have fun placing different objects and interactive elements to create a new dynamic landscape. Set animations, establish routines for enemy guards, and even add your own dramatic flair with (non-voiced) dialogues and cutscenes. Just let your creativity run wild!”

Mimimi notes that there are “some limitations,” but hopes that it “will offer a really fun way for you to get creative and to keep the Shadow Gambit flame alive.” You’ll be able to export your creations and upload them, and the team has even created a dedicated modding space where you can share your creations with the community. Going one step further, Mimimi has uploaded a “comprehensive guide series” to that mod page to help you get started, with video tutorials and tips to help you make the most of the new editor.

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I’m so glad that the spirit of Mimimi will continue to burn on through its community, and perhaps in a few years the next great tactics game will come from someone who got their start with these mod tools. “This is our very final parting gift to you,” the team says in closing. “We really hope you’ll enjoy this new feature, and we can’t wait to see what you will come up with. Let your modding adventures set sail in the vast seas of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew.”

We’ve picked out even more of the best turn-based strategy games on PC for your perusal, along with some of the best indie games that are well worth your time in 2023.

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