''Shadowgrounds'' is [[TopDownView Top-Down]] ShootEmUp developed by Frozenbyte software (creators of VideoGame/{{Trine}}) and originally released in November of 2005 in Finland and Germany, making its way to the rest of Europe and North America in the ensuing months. It became available on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} in May of 2006.

It is the year 2096. The place is a [[{{Terraform}} terraformed]] Ganymede, site of the small but successfully colony of New Atlantis and a highly secure military facility. You are Wesley Tyler, former security officer who now works as [[TheEngineer a mechanic]] at the local repair station following a major accident at the plant he used to work at. He's hard at work one night fixing a truck, but after a mysterious power outage, Tyler takes his two technician friends to the nearby power facility. [[RedShirt Two dead technicians later,]] Tyler's landed himself in a full-on AlienInvasion.

The player proceeds to rescue survivors, acquire successively bigger and nastier guns and attempts to find out the truth behind the alien attack.

The game could be played alone or [[CoopMultiplayer cooperatively.]]

A sequel, ''Shadowgrounds: Survivor'', was released in 2007 and tells the story of several other people [[GaidenGame trying to survive the same invasion:]] IGTO SpaceMarine Luke Giffords, Pest-control worker Bruno [[LampshadeHanging Lastmann]], and [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous IGTO Special Forces]] [[FriendlySniper Sniper]] Isabel Larose. As the name might suggest, it added a [[EndlessGame Survival Mode to the proceedings.]]
!! This game provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: The Corporal you rescue early on.
* ASpaceMarineIsYou: For the most part. Played completely straight in ''Survivor'' with Luke, who is in fact a SpaceMarine.
%%* AlienInvasion
* AlwaysNight: Apparently, Jupiter's light is insufficient.
* ApocalypseHow: Class X-2. The [[spoiler:second]] occurrence was stopped at the last minute.
* AntiMatter: [[spoiler: "Gifted" to us by the aliens, [[NeglectfulPrecursors who did not at the time realize the danger it posed.]]]]
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: The aliens are basically atoning for their mistake of giving antimatter research to other alien races, and only attacked Ganymede when communications broke down.]]
* ArtificialStupidity: If Brutes lose sight of the player for more than a few seconds, they'll fall back into their normal patrol route. It's a very handy way to eliminate them one at a time with Railgun shots to the back, then retreating when the other Brutes come looking for revenge.
** There's also some really odd things that don't draw aggro from enemies, such as shining your flashlight in the room. Hell, you should be standing inches from an enemy, flashlight pointed right at them, and they won't notice you as long as their back is turned. They apparently can't see through windows, either.
* BaldOfAwesome: Bruno.
* BenevolentPrecursors: Played with. On one hand [[spoiler: the aliens spread the knowledge of anti-matter throughout the universe to help other races.]] However, this was before [[spoiler: their research into anti-matter destroyed their homeworld and the majority of the alien race.]] To prevent this from happening again [[spoiler: the aliens are willing to wage war on lower races before they can destroy entire systems in their use of anti-matter.]]
* BulletTime: Isabel's Special Attack. It's called "Killing Spree" and keeps a running tally of how many kills you make for the twelve seconds it stays on.
* CatScare: Happens to a scientist who thinks the aliens are breaking into his secured lab, when it's only his hamster.
* CheckPoint: If killed, you return a safer location within the level.
* ColossusClimb: Luke's special attack. Time freezes while he takes down Brutes using this method and a pistol.
* ComputerVirus: A virus was uploaded to the [=ISERcom=] systems, and gets purged by rebooting the mainframe.
* CutsceneDrop: Only a few inches.
* DeadlyGas: The GrenadeLauncher's SecondaryFire shoots a gas grenade. Bruno can throw gas grenades.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: [[BossFight The bosses.]]
* DeflectorShields: On some enemies, though they really just act like more health. Certain weapons such as the flamethrower will go right through them.
* DifficultButAwesome: In the first game, Tyler's Paralyzing taser from the Plasma Rifle upgrade. It has a very small range and reach but will paralyze all but bosses, even '''Shielded Brutes''', excelling in taking care of enemies which generally comes in small numbers. With good aim one can take care of the toughest enemies only with the taser and a pistol.
* DoNotDropYourWeapon: Played straight with humans, and justified with enemy weapons being surgically attached.
* EnemyDetectingRadar: Functions as a motion tracker. You always have it in the first game, but must buy it with skillpoints in ''Survivor.''
* EnergyWeapon: The Laser Rifle, as well as the LightningGun.
* EvolvingWeapon: Collect [[RandomlyDrops randomly-dropped]] "Upgrade parts" to buy upgrades for weapons. Each weapon has unique upgrades, but one of them is always a SecondaryFire.
%%* EverybodysDeadDave
* ExplodingBarrels: Often in densely-packed clumps for extra boom.
* FetchQuest: Rescue civilians in New Atlantis, then fetch the soldiers in the various outposts
* FireBreathingWeapon: The Flamethrower, of course. It can be upgraded to dump unlit fuel on the ground, allowing you to light it at will and create a fire trap.
* FreakLabAccident: In the first story's background, where Tyler takes the blame since he was on the security team.
* FrickinLaserBeams: One of the available weapons is a laser rifle. It fires distinct bolts of energy which are significantly slower than bullets. Unless you use the alternate firing mode.
%%* GameLevel
* GameplayAllyImmortality: During {{Escort Mission}}s, making them, well, [[AvertedTrope not really]] {{Escort Mission}}s. In a pinch, you can use you invincible allies as impenetrable shields.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Isabel mentions that she counts her kills to help keep calm. When playing as her, there's a counter ''tracking her kills.'' She even says "Don't interrupt me, I'm counting!" when first radioed by [=McTiernan=].
* GangUpOnTheHuman: Usually aliens attack you, but sometimes get distracted by turrets or allied troops. [[RedShirt Not for long, though.]]
* GatlingGood: The minigun is devastating, but makes you move ''very'' [[AwesomeButImpractical slowly while in use.]] [[ImpossiblyCoolWeapon On the other hand, it can be deployed as a]] SentryGun. It's also Bruno's best weapon, and unlike Tyler, [[LightningBruiser he isn't slowed by it at all.]]
* HarderThanHard: Two additional DifficultyLevels if you complete the game. This only adjusts [[NumericalHard health]], and doesn't affect other parameters.
* HuskyRusskie: Bruno, from the sound of it. Also possibly a CoolOldGuy, given that he's 49.
* IAteWhat: In ''Survivor'', Bruno takes a swig of his flamethrower's fuel. [[{{Squick}} It's also implied that he starts eating the aliens when he runs out of food.]]
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: All over the place.
* InterfaceSpoiler: The load game screen shows how many missions there are.
%%* ItsUpToYou
* KaizoTrap: After the final boss battle, it's possible to die after the cutscene showing the enemy being defeated.
%%* KleptomaniacHero
%%* LevelEditor
%%* LoadingScreen
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: In ''Survivor'', inexplicably.
* MiniMecha: Tyler fights some, Isabel gets to drive one. All of them mount twin [[GatlingGood gatling guns,]] Isabel's gets a GrenadeLauncher for good measure. If you choose Luke or Bruno for the final levels they also get a crack at it.
* MultiMookMelee: Though not on the scale of, say, VideoGame/AlienShooter. These often take the place of [[BossFight Boss Fights]] in ''Survivor.''
* MusicalSpoiler: Heavy metal is always a sign that a battle is about to start. This is fine, except for one part, where what would be a harrowing battle with [[InvisibilityCloak invisible Scytheworms]] is given away by the pounding music that strikes up as soon as you walk in, before.
* NoKillLikeOverkill: The shotgun's assault fire. Two or three shells takes care of most basic enemies. Assault fire blasts all twelve rounds in the magazine off in quick succession.
* NoticeThis: Pickups are always framed by highly visible green brackets.
* NonActionGuy: The scientists.
* NukeEm: Described as a "functional equivalent." The alternate fire of the Rocket Launcher spews all four rockets in one go, coupled with a uranium core. Makes a sizable boom.
* OneManArmy: Tyler develops into this over the course of the game. It even gets lampshaded towards the end.
* OneBulletClips: literal with the Railgun before its ammunition upgrade. Averted only for a few weapons.
* OneWorldOrder: The Earth government, called [[FunWithAcronyms IGTO.]]
* OrcusOnHisThrone: [[spoiler:The hostilities were a last resort, but attempts at non-hostile communication were perceived as such. When the protagonists aren't hampered by the attacks, they resort to an extremely detailed explanation.]]
* {{Overheating}}: Can be removed for two weapons.
* TheParalyzer:
** The Pulse Rifle's SecondaryFire acts like a StaticStunGun.
** In ''Survivor'' Luke's pistol uses this, while his pulse rifle gains a much more useful underbarrel GrenadeLauncher.
** Isabel can throw stun grenades.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: If you miss one of the more powerful weapons (either by choice or accident), you don't get a future chance to grab it.
* PointOfNoReturn: Within some levels.
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler: Attempts by the aliens to warn humans about the danger of AntiMatter technology were interpreted as threats.]]
* RandomlyDrops: Upgrade parts used to upgrade weaponry.
* RPGElements: In ''Survivor''. Earn ExperiencePoints, LevelUp, spend the resulting skillpoints on increased health, [[CriticalHit critical hits,]] etc.
* SavingTheWorld: Obviously this is what you're trying to do, [[spoiler: but so are the aliens! See TwistEnding below.]]
* TheScapegoat: Since Tyler was a security guard when the lab explosion happened, he was demoted to technician.
* SecondaryFire: Each weapon has one, [[EvolvingWeapon as an upgrade.]]
* SentryGun: Tyler uses [[Film/{{Aliens}} a few small deployable ones in the first game to protect an outpost from incoming aliens.]] Bruno gets to operate a huge one with a [[GatlingGood Gatling gun]] and GrenadeLauncher.
* SoleSurvivor: ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Survivor]]'' is all about this.
* ShoutOut: Many to ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', most obviously the assault rifle being called a "Pulse Rifle" and looking a lot like one, too. There's also a big one to Film/IndependenceDay in the form of [[spoiler: A small alien ship being researched by humans for a lengthy period of time and then being used to infiltrate a mothership.]]
* ShortRangeShotgun: [[AvertedTrope Averted]], it has full range like other bullet weapons, but could still miss by being aimed short (via free camera mode)
* SniperRifle: The [[MagneticWeapons Railgun]] functions as one, with the added benefit of penetrating multiple targets. It can be upgraded to have [[PinballProjectile rebounding shots.]]
* StandardFPSGuns: Pistol, [[Film/{{Aliens}} Pulse Rifle,]] Shotgun, GrenadeLauncher, [[FireBreathingWeapon Flamethrower]], [[GatlingGood minigun,]] [[StuffBlowingUp Rocket Launcher]], [[MagneticWeapons Railgun,]] [[EnergyWeapon Laser Rifle,]] LightningGun.
%%* SuspiciousVideoGameGenerosity
%%* TakeYourTime
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Think two shotgun blasts is fun? How about ''[[UpToEleven the entire magazine in rapid succession?]]'' Enter the Shotgun's SecondaryFire. Suffers from AwesomeButImpractical, as most enemies won't survive ''half'' that much buckshot.
* TenSecondFlashlight: Which scares off the weak bug enemies and reveals the cloaked Scytheworms. [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in ''Survivor.''
* TwistEnding: [[spoiler:The aliens were trying to ''save'' us from their antimatter ''gift.'' They only resorted to deploying bio-engineered troops when we ignored their warnings. [[HumansAreWarriors When that failed too,]] their only remaining option was to beg us not to activate the anti-matter bomb. It worked. [[AliensAreBastards Still, nice job killing almost an entire colony, aliens.]]]]
* UnwinnableByMistake: A door won't open later if you spawn at the wrong checkpoint. WordOfGod recommends using the console, but the worst result for purists is to restart the level.
* UniversalPoison: Isabel's pistol can be upgraded to inflict this, dealing damage over time.
* WeaponOfChoice: ''Survivor's'' characters have a much more limited arsenal than Tyler's, but each set is suited to that character's appearance and battles. Luke is a marine, therefore he primarily uses the pulse rifle. Bruno's apparently just an exterminator ([[BigCreepyCrawlies regardless of the size of the bugs in question]]) but wears fuel canisters around his belt and his nickname is "Napalm", so: [[FireBreathingWeapon Flamethrower.]] Isabel primarily uses the Railgun.
* StandardStatusEffects: The pistol's SecondaryFire is a low-damage shot that slows enemies. Isabel's pistol can be upgrade to do this with every shot, with no damage reduction.