GHOST SMILE: SHADOWS is a game in the GHOST SMILE franchise created for TechBreloom's Series Swap Day 2015 by Dreams Inc. and released on the Wii U.
The story starts with Smile travelling through multiple universes alone after the ending of GHOST SMILE II, in one of them, a "Shadow Universe" where everyone is a shadow creature, he comes across a strange creature, a small shadow with what seems like a white mask covering the upper part of his face (with his mouth still exposed, allowing him to talk), the creature begs Smile to help it with a problem, Smile asks what's the problem and he responds by saying that his brother is trapped in a dungeon and that he wants to save him but can't since he's too weak, Smile agrees to help and the little shadow jumps on-top of Smile's back as he travels to the place where the dungeon is located.
After traversing through the dungeon and getting to the center, he finds that the shadow's brother is nowhere to be seen, and at that point the little shadow jumps off of Smile's back and lands on a small obelysk in the center of the room, Smile asks what's he's doing but the shadow doesn't reply, instead he begins chanting "Potuistis indica mihi draco potestates!" over and over again, making the obelysk glow, Smile realizes that he was tricked and tries to leave but the room's door is locked, the shadow keeps repeating the words and glowing more and more until a bright flash engulfs the room, knocking out Smile.
When Smile wakes up, he's in the same dungeon as before, but the room looks more destroyed, Smile notices that the door has been destroyed and decides to escape, but as he looks around he finds the dungeon completely destroyed and burnt, with all of the enemies either scorched completely, or almost dead, and once Smile finds the exit, he finds a nearby town in flames. Smile runs over to the town and helps the town put out the fire, when he asks what caused the fire the town responds "Contour" in fear, Smile is confused but a giant shadow dragon appears behind him with a white mask similar to the one the small shadow had, and as soon as Smile looks at him, he realizes who he is, Smile tries to fight him with his Marksman Spirit but finds that Contour is too strong for him and is knocked out once again, Contour tries to finish him off but some of the townspeople manage to distract him long enough for the rest of the townspeople to run away and carry Smile with them.
Smile wakes up in a bed in what seems like a tent and walks out, seeing that he is in what seems like a camp, as soon as he heads out of the tent, he is greeted by a shadow named "Kurt", Smile asks who Contour is and Kurt tells him to sit down as he tells him that Contour was a shadow with strange powers, like pyrokinesis and telekinesis, but didn't know how to control them, so he sometimes harmed people without wanting to, and was treated as an outcast because of that, so he lived with a corrupted view of society, one day he found out about the dungeon and snapped, wanting to use the power to wreak havoc on the world for how they treated him, but people found out and managed to drain him of his power before he could use the obelysk to get unlimited power, after that he was ostracized from the town and couldn't get to the obelysk because of how weak he was due to him being drained of his power.
Smile understands and asks if there's a way to stop him, Kurt says that there is but that it's a long trip from the camp, Smile says that he doesn't care and the two head out to "Gloomopolis", where they find that Contour has already attacked the place, the two meet up with the "King of Shadows", a shadow known as "Shroud", who's down on the floor in his wrecked castle, the two help him back up and he reveals that he was the one who took away Contour's powers originally, but that he did it with the power of his "Blight Scepter", which gets his power from the "Sap Diamond", however, Contour busted in unexpectedly and crushed the scepter and the diamond, causing the shards to fly off into different dimensions as a defense mechanism. Smile reveals that he has the power of "Universal Shift" and King Shroud asks him if he can help their world, to which Smile says yes, starting another adventure through the universes.
The game is a 3D platformer collectathon, the player controls Smile as he tries to collect the shards of the Sap Diamond, in the process gaining access to different Spirits which have different abilities which he can use to his advantage. Smile can travel to multiple universes, which have similar landscapes but differences in terms of characters, enemies, appearance, etc., for example, in one universe a mountain may be there, but in the other that mountain has a cave inside that has been dug up by that universe's inhabitants.
GHOST SMILE: SHADOWS also features a crafting system of sorts, when you drop enemies they can drop materials, these materials can be given to the "Craft Master" in Gloomopolis (or you can unlock the optional "Crafting Spirit" to do it at any time) to craft armour, upgrades to attacks. Even Spirits can be upgraded by defeating enemies and using the loot they drop to upgrade the Spirits, making them become stronger, some Spirits even have multiple upgrade paths.
One of the new mechanics in the game are "Smile's Slime Forms", which are forms which Smile can take by morphing his slimy body into different shapes, these abilities are taught by different people throughout the game, like Spirits some are mandatory while others are completely optional, some of these include Smile taking the form of a spike ball to roll around, taking the form of an anvil to drop on enemies and later gets wheels, allowing you to sink underwater and explore the sea floor, and even taking the form of an umbrella to glide through the air.
Another mechanic in the game is more playable characters, while in the original two you could only play as Smile now you can play as other characters, which have different stats and abilities, even though they can't use Slime Forms like Smile and some are restricted to specific Spirits.
There are a variety of universes this time around, with the Shadow Universe acting as your main hubworld this time around instead of the Spirit World, although the Spirit World is unlocked later in the game as a universe you can explore.
Your main hubworld throughout the game, a wasteland-ish area with high mountains and cliffs, few signs of plant life or wildlife in general apart from dark monsters, habited by creatures known as the shadows, the shadows look a bit eerie but just like ghosts in the first two games they're never way too creepy.
The Shadow Universe contains areas such as "Obelysk Dungeon", which has been reduced to a ruins due to Contour, however, a lot of powerful warriors and monsters go to this place to train, and its destruction is not gonna change that, you can find a lot of strong warriors here. There's also "Cloak Camp", which is the main area where you can rest to heal yourself back up and talk to the survivors of the attack at the town, and then there's the town itself, "Dusk Ville", which has been taken over by Contour, contains extremely powerful enemies and if you manage to get through all that, you still have to face off against Contour, you can technically do this at any time but Contour will be way too powerful for you, although while he does have the highest attack and HP (a whooping 1.000 HP) in the entire game, he's not truly invincible, what would happen if you were to beat him in this state? And of course there's Gloomopolis, which, even after being attacked by Contour, contains tons of shops and is home to the "Gloomopolis Dojo", a place for training your fighting skills, and the famous "Craft Master", who can craft upgrades for you if you bring him the right materials.
A universe that seems like it came out of a child's imagination, everyone is always smiling and the universe itself is filled with crazy stuff such as waterfalls made out of chocolate, it's also home to weird characters such as "Range O' Candy Corn", a talking candy corn and "Bobbie the Lion" a talking anthropomorphic lion that's always smiling and can only speak in generic childrens' cartoon lessons.