Until Wednesday afternoon I was completely unaware of Heroes of Shadow Guard, a free-to-play dungeon crawler/designer game from Louisiana-based indie studio Iron 27. Then the limited edition keyboard was released.
Video game themed keyboards aren’t a new thing, but generally they come from large gaming keyboard operations and tie-in to big games like Call of Duty or Overwatch or Star Wars: The Old Republic. Heroes of Shadow Guard is not one of those.
Heroes of Shadow Guard is a free-to-play indie game for iOS, Android and PC in which players build and explore old-school 3D RPG labyrinths. Players build dungeons, other players attack them. They can form large guilds to battle together, or take on an extensive single-player campaign. It’s pretty nifty, and I would have completely missed it if a listing for the limited edition Shadow Guard keyboard hadn’t shown up on my go-to keyboard impulse-buy headquarters, MechanicalKeyboards.com.
My first reaction was, “Wow, those purple and orange LEDs look really amazing together.” My second was, “What the hell is a Shadow Guard?” The third thought involved spending $109 on a keyboard tied to a game I’d never played.
The keyboard, custom-made for MK by Taiwanese keyboard maker Ducky, is a very pretty thing. It’s a custom Ducky Mini with a unique mix of single-color LEDs, which makes the purple and orange really pop. It’s available with either Red (linear) or Clear (tactile) Cherry MX switches. It’s a lovely little 60 percent board for the money.
But how does a game with a relatively low profile end up with such a pretty custom board? I asked whoever was manning the developer’s Facebook account earlier today.
“The president of Iron 27 has close ties with MK and an obsession with mechanical keyboards, so we coordinated with them on making one for our game. It also seemed like a much cooler way to market our game than Facebook ads.”
They have a point. I wouldn’t have looked twice at a Facebook ad. I’ll be looking at this little Heroes of Shadow Guard glowbug a lot more than that.