As opposed to Western horror conventions, J-Horror is much more atmospheric, and the oppressive shroud of dread is masterfully recreated in Shadow Corridor on the Nintendo Switch. It’s simultaneously stressful and exhilarating to sneak through the dark halls when any second I might have to backtrack to a room to avoid the enemies that haunt my steps. It’s easy to see how this was a cult classic when it first came out on PCs in 2019.
The premise of the game follows the protagonist after they stumble into another dimension. To escape the shadowy corridors, they must utilize items such as lizard’s tails, mirrors, and firecrackers to survive. In pure darkness, surrounded only by the sounds of bells and the protagonist’s heartbeat and relying on the flickering candles, it’s always tense when the monsters wander near into my vicinity. Or perhaps, I should say, when I wander into theirs.
Though this is most likely not a universal problem, I found that the difficulty of the game came less from avoiding the spirits and more from finding where I needed to go. To complete each level, one must find five magatama and place them onto the altar. While there are compasses in the game to help me find the altar, there isn’t much to help me find the magatama outside of my own luck and over-reliance on Kurapika’s advice from Hunter x Hunter. When at an intersection, turn left. Surprisingly, it worked.
The Noh enemies ended up being more minor nuisances after a certain point, disrupting me from my path and making me temporarily confused as to where I should go. Granted, I was quite lucky with the items I found in the randomized dungeons. There is still, of course, something distinctly nerve-wracking when I’m in a hallway, away from a hiding spot, and I feel the telltale vibrations of a nearby spirit. Is it ahead of me or behind me? If I double back, will I accidentally run right into it? The insects were also never a fun experience, annoyingly nipping away at my health if I got too close.
One thing that I found noticeably distracting was that in certain levels, there were white flashes as I proceeded through the game. I had raised the sensitivity of my camera, and when I lowered it again, it got better. However, it still persisted at times. It looked like the game was trying to load resources and the environment while I proceeded through it. The game at times looks like it was over-sharpened, or like it doesn’t quite match the resolution of my screen. Some levels looked perfectly fine though, and I could not figure out what was causing the white flashes in-game. Thus, I recommend just keeping the camera sensitivity the way it is, as raising it messes with the graphics. It’s not a game where you should need rapid camera speed anyway.
Something that is unique to the Nintendo Switch version of Shadow Corridor is the GOHOME collaboration map. While the dungeon is visually the same as the Corridor of the Evening Cicadas level, Claudia and Mosaiko make cameo appearances. Of course, just like in their home game, Claudia announces her arrival when she sees you with a blaring rendition of Csikós Post by Hermann Necke.
Shadow Corridor mixes the atmospheric suspense of J-Horror with the jump scares that are slightly more common in Western horror. Its simplicity makes it easy to pick up and the natural time attack nature gives it great replay value. The randomized levels are always fun to replay, and I always immediately replayed the ones that weren’t just to beat my previous time. While not a game that I would personally play on a daily basis, it’s surprisingly hard to put down due to its episodic format.
Shadow Corridor is available on the Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.