Shadow Warrior Review

By , on January 3, 2013

Shadow Warrior
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • A faithful recreation of the PC game.
  • Having cheats enabled in the pause menu can help out a lot.


  • Such a fast and frenetic FPS of its era does not work well with the slow, imprecise touch screen controls, and the experience suffers due to it.
  • Tinny sound.


If you really wish to experience Shadow Warrior we recommend getting it working on PC, as this iPhone port's control issues severely hamper the experience.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Back when AppSpy was planning its launch in 2009, Duke Nukem 3D was ported to the App Store. It was of significance not only for being a well known game, but it was one of the first major ports on the platform, trading in its mouse and keyboard input in for touch screen buttons. It didn't fare too well, and it was one of the first negative reviews we gave. Now at the end of 2012, 3D Realms' other big shooter release, that is probably more infamous than famous has been ported to the App Store as well. This is the tale of one Lo Wang, known as the Shadow Warrior.

In essence this game uses the same template as Duke 3D, but given a martial arts flavor. The Shadow Warriors are contracted killers for major corporations, and when Lo Wang discovers that his employer is summoning demons to take over Japan, he turns on them. What follows is fast and frenetic gun play, with lots of gore, special weapons, and a bunch of silly one liners. The game itself is pretty reprehensible but has the same tongue in cheek sense of parody and sophomoric fun that Duke contained. It's just that this type of speedy shooter from the late 90s suffers greatly from having to use a touch screen.

There are multiple button placement layouts and aiming sensitivity options, but even with this, having to aim at a demon shooting an uzi at you when you speed around the level like The Flash is frustrating at best, and unplayable at worst. During review play, the first enemy of the game ended us on more than one occasion, and even with the menu options to enable god mode, and all the weapons and keys, traversing the levels was never enjoyable and more importantly, never smooth.

Perhaps more than being a product of its time, Shadow Warrior is also a product of its platform, being the PC in this case. Shooters were more high adrenaline in the 90s with no time to aim - you plowed forward and blasted anything in front of you - but on the iPhone, even getting the enemy right in front of you and keeping it there till dead is not an easy task. Our advice would be that if you want to play this game, you can grab it for a decent price on your PC at sites like Good Old Games... but if you must have the game on phone or tablet, just be prepared for a steep learning curve in coming to grips with the movement and shooting mechanics.


Screenshot 1 of 10 Screenshot 2 of 10 Screenshot 3 of 10 Screenshot 4 of 10 Screenshot 5 of 10 Screenshot 6 of 10 Screenshot 7 of 10 Screenshot 8 of 10 Screenshot 9 of 10 Screenshot 10 of 10