A downloadable game for Windows

Shadows Behind the Throne is a strategy game inspired by Crusader Kings, Pandemic and That Which Sleeps. You play as the omnipresent yet weak force of darkness, seeking to bring an end to the current age of light. Your tools are political intrigue and large-scale yet imprecise world-manipulation.

Take low-ranking barons under your control, and through political negotiations make them great emperors, secretly spreading your shadow across their entire kingdoms. Take a small county and, though natural rituals, bring a global ice age except for your own small patch of land, and bring the people of the world to you as desperate refugees seeking the last warmth. Or simply take a baron, start a plague, a couple of civil wars and take the world by force as your enemies are divided.

Made in a month and a half the game is more intended as a proof of concept and an interesting tech demo, so lacks both sound and the wide range of 2d graphics which could be desired from a "complete" version. This said, it's a decent strategic challenge, requiring planning and subterfuge, and allows for interesting gameplay.


Mouse + Keyboard.

Mouse handles camera panning, selecting (left to move/inspect, right to select), menu button clicking.

Keyboard camera panning through WASD or arrow keys, map-view lenses bound to 1,2,3 and 0.

Mouse wheel or z/x keys for map zoom

Left shift for quick change between world and societal views

Right click on a city to jump to city view, or use the "inspect hex" command with a hex selected to view all armies and cities in that hex.

Minimum specs


2D graphics and turn based nature require little in the way of CPU or GPU power. Prefer screen resolutions of 1366x768 or above, but tested and functional on lower. Memory footprint around 200m.

V4 Features:

Disabled a few rituals and buildings temporarily to bring focus and balance to this update's core theme:

Fishmen cities now exist, variety of different buildings possible, able to send fishmen on three different types of coastal raiding missions, and progress through an actual upgrade tree in your cities. City will now visually change to reflect fishy nature.

Lightbringers also arrive, to counter you. Glowing men with flowers on their faces, they hate the darkness and will try to convert others to their cause, making them immune from the shadow. They can also begin to pass anti-dark legislation, to fight evil politically, and will turn on any lord they consider to be in league with the shadow (you may possibly be able to fool them, of course). They have their own cities, hated cathedrals of light and marble.

New view, with "4" key, tracks worldwide suspicion, so you know who knows.

Version 5:

Threat screen allows a worldwide view of the issues you're facing, and suggests possible fixes.

Egg devils re-introduced as parahuman option, allowing living bombs to wander into enemy cities and erupt into nests of rampaging worms.

Shrine to the Crippled God allows a few powers to help you reduce opposition, from both your people and fellow lords.

More information

Published26 days ago
Tags2D, 4X, supernatural, Turn-based Strategy
LicenseAll rights reserved
Average sessionAbout a half-hour


aStrategyGuide.doc (11 kB)
shadowsV3Fix3.zip (18 MB)
shadowsV4FishAndLightsFix2.zip (18 MB)
shadowsV5MindsAndWorms.zip (18 MB)


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Hi. Also joining the fray of account creators to register my interest in following up the development of the game.

As regards Kickstarter, I think that That Which Sleeps' sinister shadow may be something you might be wary of.

Hey, also created an account just to say really liked the initial demo and the potential it showed for a really interesting game. Occasionally I had a few problems with the UI and getting actions to work (not sure if it's my setup?) but got their eventually. Enjoyed the initial enthral, rebel and then generally cause chaos & upset and going to continue to play around with rituals.

What are your plans for the future with this? How do you see it developing?

Thanks for the response, again, flattered that I'm considered reason enough for account creation. UI actions are sometimes problematic. I thought I'd found the cause, but apparently not. Unity's interface stuff is still new to me, so there'll be a few issues till I really get to grips with it.

I've got plans for a kickstarter. Didn't initially, but it's gotten a much better response than expected, and I've found myself with more free time than expected, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Short term plan is to release approximately weekly updates here, till it looks "Kickstarter ready" then try to raise money for art/music/polish the UI/final features.

I'll post updates on twitter https://twitter.com/bobby2hands if you want to be notified when I release something.

Thanks again for your time

(Edited 1 time)

Created an account just to comment. Pretty fun game! I realize it's not exactly meant to rival EU4 in complexity, but I could see this game getting there with a few thousand hours of dev work XD It has the potential, however far you want to take it. Anyway feedback:

Stalemate wars suck. There doesn't seem to be much you can do to influence them or stop them so once they're going you're stuck. There should be some way to stop a war after X turns, with whichever cities were conquered switching sides. If that means white peace so be it.

Endgame becomes a little trivial if you just wait, With 400 power, you can almost instantly enslave mid sized countries of 4-5 cities. Because dark forces are so powerful after weakning the world via famine, this allowed me to win a game after my initial dark uprising got crushed (I did all that waiting because my initial little shadowed empire wasn't doing so hot). Either limiting how quickly you can thrall/shadow/enslave, or some kind of cap on power (50 maybe?) would take a step to making this less trivial.

Edit: I've actually thought of a potential solution: Thralled characters that are then part of an enslaved city count permanently towards your thrall limit. That way you can't just keep spamming new dark towers once your original ones fall without increasingly higher costs.

Thanks. Honored you'd take time out to register just for a comment.

I'm definitely taking it further, maybe quite a bit much further, if things go well. We'll have to see.

Wars are indeed a bit of an issue right now. I was planning on putting a Paradox-style war score (I'm a Crusader kings man, rather than an EU4 man, personall), which would handle wars a bit better, with an auto-time-out feature if the war drags on for too long. Current wars only end when someone takes the other's capital, which was quick to code but needs to be replaced soon-ish.

Dark power does need to be reigned in a bit. I'm planning on making the forces of light (the lords which have realised that the darkness is coming) a bit more agressive. They'd actually try to stop you, so you'd have to spend power to stop them. This said, I like the idea of you being weak at the start and slowly grow more powerful, giving you a sense of your reign of darkness being an unstoppable force of nature towards the end.

As an aside, dark towers and all that might be replaced soonish. Code I'm working on right now allows for non-human populations, and human populations to be slowly replaced with non-humans (fishmen, souless husks, insect-infested wretches...), so you won't need to replace the city with a dark tower, just transform it into a city of non-humans.

1) Can I scale global map? If not, that's pretty bad.

2) Esc may be pretty great for exiting Society view. And there are no reason for main menu button, preferably use Esc for that.

3) There are no charts about cities, armies etc. That would be pretty great.

And except for that 3 things - that pretty interesting game, I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate it.

1) You can now. Added into the version 2. Mouse wheel and/or "z" and "x" key. You're definitely right, though, it was sorely lacking.

2) I've currently got it as "left shift" in version 2, but that may change to a different key. One day, I may even implement user key-bindings, it's on the very long todo list.

3) Charts are also planned. I was planning a cities chart, I'll also add an armies chart based on your feedback.