[Multiplayer] Chase the Shadow - 1vs1 Arena Game With Wizards

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UPDATE: 24. Feb 2018

Patch 1.2.0 is live! Please click here to scroll down directly to the update comment.


ORIGINAL: 30. Jan 2018

Play Link: Chase the Shadow


A casual, lighthearted 1vs1 Arena Game. Play online in your browser against a friend or anyone waiting in the lobby!

Play Link: Chase the Shadow


Welcome to this unique little multiplayer game! Built with Phaser CE.

You control a wizard with the purpose of defeating the enemy wizard (another player). You are both hiding in the shadows and can use powerful spells!

Game Features:

  • Play online 1vs1 against a friend or any person waiting in the lobby.
  • Control a wizard & defeat the enemy wizard.
  • You have 3 spells at your disposal: Fireball, Lightning & Blizzard.


  • You can see the enemy's shadow. Predict his movement and hit him with your spells!
  • Select the right spell for the situation.
  • Move into the right position to aim your spells.
  • Trick your enemy with unpredictable movements.
  • Win by defeating the enemy before he kills you!


  • Click your wizard to move.
  • Click on the spell scrolls to activate a spell.
  • Plan your next move during your enemy's turn & pay attention to his shadow!


I know it can be hard to quickly jump into this game if there is nobody online to play - or no friend available to try it out. I still hope some of you can get to play a match and let me know what you think!


Side Note: Why did I build this game? (Not sure if this paragraph is interesting for anyone)

 I've been doing a lot of client work lately and so much work had to be done on Node.JS. Yet, I always wanted to create a browser multiplayer game running on an Apache server with PHP!

Thus, the motivation for "Chase the Shadow" was born.

I definitely don't regret doing this in PHP but it does require a lot of thought and planning - something I could have done much better. Either way, the game is done now and I'm happy I did it!

Will I do another game in PHP? Probably not for a while. I wanna stay away from multiplayer games in general for now.



The game was developed solely by me. All assets in this game were either done by me or from the CCO assets linked below. These sources are also credited inside the game:

UI background
Author: Jetrel, https://opengameart.org/users/jetrel
Download Link: https://opengameart.org/content/castle-platformer

Map Tiles:
Author: ansimuz, https://twitter.com/ansimuz
Download Link: https://opengameart.org/content/rpg-town-pixel-art-assets

Author: Kenney, https://opengameart.org/users/kenney
Download Link: https://opengameart.org/content/ui-pack


Spreading the Word!

If you would like to support this game,  posting the link below on any of your Social Media accounts would be much much much appreciated! (If you would like to tweet it, you can mention me with @thejamespierce on Twitter.)



Play Link: Chase the Shadow



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Quick Update:

18 logins in the first 12 hours since the "Chase the Shadow" release: Thank you so much everyone who clicked the link!

I know in numbers this is not a lot compared to any successful game; but this is a biggie to me. It feels amazing seeing real people have logged in!

Even if it's only 1vs1, it is still a Multiplayer Game and being alone in the lobby must have killed the buzz for anyone who wanted to try it, I apologize :( Grab a friend if you can!

Player List Screenshot:


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Quick Update:

  • Added a bouncing pixel-arrow to the "Guide" button to show new players they should click it.
  • Changed the chat color from black to white; much better on the eyes now.
  • The "Toggle Audio" button now also turns off the piano music from the intro, if it's still running.
  • Added a message to the intro screen to contact me for a match if you are alone in the lobby.

So people are still logging into the lobby regularly, which is incredible! Originally I had my counter-query limited to 50 rows because I thought it was going to take a while but this number has already been surpassed.

However, looking at the login times shows that still a lot of players must have been alone in the lobby. I hope the bouncing arrow over the "Guide" button will clarify the multiplayer nature of the game; maybe one or the other will then invite a friend to join a match.

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It's quite an interesting game, turn by turn. Requires a little strategy and forward planning to win too.
I'd say a video tutorial in-game would be good too, and perhaps allow the player to use both turns to move if they want, to avoid being an easy target the next hit.

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@Umz Thank you so much for your feedback & playing the game!

I think you are spot-on with the video tutorial. I was thinking if I should remove the chat all-together and add a more in-depth tutorial in that area.

However, the movement is purposely restricted to 1 move per turn. You are right, you are exposed if you move before casting a spell. But when I play tested it, games would become unnecessarily long and spells would miss constantly if more move-turns were possible (it's supposed to be quick and easy duels). Moreover, after many plays it became clear that you are actually not at an disadvantage because the game is turn-based. If you hit first, you are already at an advantage, even if the enemy hits you back right after. The turn-based nature always rewards the player that lands a hit first.

The real problem with the game is that the player who has to play the very first turn of the game is actually at a real disadvantage (that's the red wizard). It's something I haven't been able to find a good solution for. If you are the one doing the very first turn of a match (red wizard), you are forced to cast a spell first and then move. You have no indication whatsoever to make an educated guess about where the enemy could be until he completed his turn right after you. And if you don't move after casting your very first spell of the game, and the enemy is in a lucky position, he can hit you first and start the duel with an advantage.

There is so much to be expanded on the game. Right now, I am brainstorming how I can use what I've learned from Chase the Shadow to build a deeper & polished game. The platform I've set up for Chase the Shadow isn't very flexible unfortunately. I was too focused on getting a multiplayer game server running with PHP, and the lack of polish in the other areas is coming to the surface now.


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Play Link: Chase the Shadow

There have been close to 1'500 players since I released this game 3.5 weeks ago and because people kept logging in, I decided to make an update for "Chase the Shadow". Here it is!

Patch 1.2.0 is Live!

  • Real-Time Combat
  • Solo Queue
  • Rankings & Leaderboards
  • Lobby Village
  • Chat
  • Accounts

Play Link: Chase the Shadow

I've rebuilt the game to implement all the feedback I've received, which concerned these two areas: (1) Being able to move more and (2) leaderboards.

Real-Time Combat:

(1) Being able to move more meant players wanted to be more free during their turns. So what better way than to remove the turns altogether! So I've changed the whole combat system and there are no turns anymore - you use your skills freely however you want!

To balance the spells I had to reduce the range of the Blizzard spell by 1 square. The Fireball & Lightning spells still work the same.

Leaderboard & Accounts

(2) To create a leaderboard I needed to add two main things: ranking points and accounts. I've kept account registration to the absolute minimum: Username & password. That's it. Once you've registered, you have an account with which you will climb the leaderboards.

Your ranking points is all your wins minus all your losses. The more points you have, the higher you are on the leaderboard.

Finding Matches

Finding matches is now as simple as clicking the "Search Game" button. The new Solo Queue will immediately connect you with another player, who is also currently in the queue.

Also I am tracking when the last player has logged on. This should give you an idea about the times when others are online & how long you might have to wait until somebody logs on.

I hope all these changes allow you to easier find matches and connect with other players!


I am sure there are still many hidden bugs. Any bug reports would be much appreciated as it has become hard to test real-time combat by myself on two screens xD

Play Link: Chase the Shadow

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