Shadow Fight Brings Stylized Martial Arts Combat to Social Games on Facebook

Shadow Fight is a new game from experienced European social games publisher Nekki for the Facebook platform. The game launched in early May and since that time has made itself a regular on our weekly top 20 list of emerging Facebook games.

According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Shadow Fight currently has 398,425 monthly active users and 44,879 daily active users.

Shadow Fight is a martial arts competitive fighting game with a stylized “silhouette” aesthetic. Players choose a shadowy avatar to represent themselves and compete in a series of one-on-one battles against opponents drawn from their Facebook friends list. Players aren’t directly competing against their friends in real-time; all the choice of friend as opponent means is that following victory, the player is able to post a message on their friend’s wall saying that they “beat” them, thereby encouraging the friend to join in the game also. It is also possible to play with two people on one keyboard — the second player also chooses to represent themselves as one of the Facebook user’s friends, though this does not affect the other player’s statistics if they are also a Shadow Fight player.

Players can engage in a variety of different fight scenarios, ranging from one-on-one unarmed combat to tournament play. Competing in tournaments and winning increases the player’s tournament rating, which in turn unlocks more challenging tournaments. Players are ranked on a worldwide leaderboard according to their rating, so competitive players who want bragging rights will need to compete in tournaments rather than only engaging in single combat.

The fighting itself is controlled by the arrow keys coupled with punch and kick buttons. Gaining a “Dan” level, achieved by passing an examination battle, unlocks additional moves for the player to use, all of which are unleashed with a combination of directional keys and the two attack buttons.

Competing in fights of any kind costs Energy, with different types of fight costing different amounts of Energy. Dan examinations, for example, cost significantly more Energy than a friendly duel. Energy can be replenished by waiting, leveling up or by using items. Energy items can be acquired either by random chance following a match or purchased from the in-game store.

The game features a standard currency of Coins, which can be used to purchase three different traditional martial arts weapons for use in some tournaments. It also monetizes with a premium currency of Rubies for purchasing Energy boosts, stronger versions of the three weapons and magical items to assist in defeating strong “boss” opponents. Rubies can be acquired in several ways; they are awarded for inviting friends and completing a “daily checklist,” but can also be acquired by exchanging Coins or purchased via credit card and PayPal. The game did not support Facebook Credits at the time this article was originally written, but has since switched to use them.

Representatives from Nekki didn’t get back to us before publishing this article, but future expansion plans for the game are already clear. “Fatality” moves, inspired by the popular Mortal Kombat video game series are due to be added to the available techniques soon. It also looks like some premium player avatars will be available in the future. The modular nature of the tournament system also means it will be easy for Nekki to slot in more opponents and challenges for high level players as the community progresses through the experience levels.

Shadow Fight’s user figures are showing a healthy upward trend at this time. It doesn’t look from Nekki’s website that it has started a big marketing push for the game as yet, with the only mention of it being a press release from May 24 announcing the game’s launch. Once Nekki steps up the marketing efforts, it’s possible the company could have a successful — and unconventional — title on its hands.

You can follow Shadow Fight’s progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.