What we do in the Shadows
Eminence in Shadow is an Autobattle RPG based on a currently running anime of the same name. It serves as a companion piece, fleshing out its world and letting fans get to know its characters better. However, the game doesn’t seem likely to entice new fans to the show
Most Gacha games make their bread and butter by enticing people to spend money. This can be through fun gameplay, interesting characters, or even engaging artwork. But there is a segment of the Gacha Games market whose main draw is being based on an existing franchise. These games range from titans of the industry, like Fate/Grand Order, and those that appeal to nostalgia or fandom like One Piece Treasure Cruise.
Eminence in Shadow comes from a relatively small franchise by comparison. The original has been around for some time. However, the game lifts most of its content from an anime that’ only premiered last year. This puts its status as a mobile Gacha Game in an odd spot. Given its small profile, the game really has to stand on its own with engaging gameplay. That, or hope that a soon-to-be two-season anime was enough to draw people in.
The game follows the protagonist Cid, who goes to a magical school for users of shadow magic. He fights others while building a harem of girls with brightly colored hair. In game terms, this means you control Cid and company in battle with the bare minimum of gameplay.
You first make a team with each character representing an MMO class niche. The typical roles are here with Damage/DPS, healer, and tank/damage absorber all accounted for. In actual battle, characters attack on their own until a meter below their name fills up. Upon filling you can unleash a super attack. These attacks are often the only interaction players have with combat.
If I had to compare it to anything, it would be the game Princess Connect, which features a nearly identical set of battle options. However, Princess Connect is slightly more refined than Eminence in Shadow and offers more interesting trappings. Combat in general feels like an afterthought and even the button presses necessary for Ultimate Attacks can be automated. This just leaves the player to stare at the screen as their doll-like character models strike foes for a minute. There is very little strategy beyond basic synergy for your team and keeping the correct ratio of character types.
Alpha and Omega
This lackluster autobattle carries most of Eminence in Shadows gameplay, so what is left for gamers to look for? Well, the graphics themselves are good for a 3D mobile title. Character models are expressive and feature some mildly impressive battle animation. But perhaps the most interesting element outside of combat is being able to hold conversations with unlocked characters you possess. This lets the player glean some interesting character moments that don’t exist in the anime. It allows a deeper dive into the characters’ personalities than you’d get from a TV show.
This neat little feature does suffer from a big problem in that the playable cast simply isn’t that big. The roster contains many versions of the main cast. This included different outfits, different time periods, and wielding different powers. Rare versions have elaborate outfits, while lower rarities are populated by characters in plain clothes which are a bit boring. Each character has a different dialogue. However, the more interesting options are locked behind a tiny percentage chance of obtaining them. This greatly diminishes the player’s incentive to keep trying.
Another real concern with this type of game, aside from a lack of gameplay, is how long it may be in service. Similar games based on recent anime, such as Bofuri, have closed within a year of launch. While it will be left to be seen how long Eminence in Shadow‘s mobile game will last. But there is a real possibility that, with the lack of content from the anime and competition from similar games, it may cease operation in the near future.
Overall, Eminence in Shadow seems like a way for existing fans to experience the franchise in a more in-depth way. With its lackluster auto-combat and minimal interaction, there isn’t enough gameplay here to really attract anyone unfamiliar with the anime. There are also plenty of better gacha games on Google Play. It is hard to recommend Eminence in Shadow to anyone besides people who were fans of the anime in the first place.
Is it Hardcore?
Eminence in Shadow is autobattler RPG that offers some impressive graphics and fanservice for fans of its source material, but little for those unfamiliar with the franchise.