A downloadable Playdate Game for Windows

Buy Now$9.99 USD or more

Shadow Gadget is a passive creature collecting idle game that transforms your Playdate into an online-enabled specter catcher! Hunt by yourself or collect all 140+ ghosts using the Ghostnet online trading platform!

Over 30 new ghosts have been added to Shadow Gadget, along with a new catch rating system and Miracle Swap crafting system. Gen2 is out now! For free!

Strangest.io is releasing a physical edition of Shadow Gadget and Shining Gadget together! What you see here is no mere game, it is the future of paranormal science. The Shining / Shadow Gadget Physical Edition is guaranteed to rid your home of ghosts, ghouls, and demons; all while providing countless hours of handheld entertainment. Each copy of this blessed bundle has been thoroughly exorcized by ordained priests, and includes a poster and ghost stickers that ward off evil spirits. 


Spooky ghosts have crossed over from the shadow dimension and into YOUR HOME! Harness the power of your Playdate console to spot ghosts of all kinds, and contain them for further study! Shadow Gadget is the ultimate on-the-go companion for avid ghost hunters and collectors alike!

Brimming with over 140 ghosts, Shadow Gadget has a specter for every collector! Gather all kinds of spirits that are sure to haunt, confuse, and amuse your sixth sense! From demonic clowns to adorable spectral kittens, you never know what will float by next! Compare and trade your library with other users, and amass the ghastliest collection possible! Remember, each ghost you encounter will be 100% real, so don't screw up! 

Take your Playdate with you to abandoned buildings, historical sites, and cemeteries; or just kick back at home until you feel a shiver down your spine! Leave the device on or close the game and check back later to see if any ghosts have floated nearby!

Take aim at ghosts and suck them into your Playdate using the built-in crank! Keep your tractor beam on target to weaken it and crank for maximum pull! Your precision and reflexes will be put to the ultimate test as you collect ancient and powerful spirits! After you've caught a new ghost, be sure to visit the gallery to read up on its demented history and admire your collection! Recommended by some of the world's most qualified paranormal investigators, Shadow Gadget is the antidote to all things that go bump in the night!

  • Engage in a battle of wills with ghosts from across reality!
  • Tremble in fear at over 140 unique ghost designs!
  • Amass a collection so great and terrible that you lose your sanity!
  • Feel the power of your state-of-the-art Phantomizer as it whirs and spits pure energy!
  • Protect your home from ghosts and other malevolent entities. 
  • Swap ghosts with friends and rivals using the Ghostnet online application!

Missing a ghost? Tired of looking at your least favorite? Shadow Gadget features patented Spirit Swap technology that allows you to trade for your favorite ghosts using the included Windows application: Ghostnet! Complete your collection with friends or blaze your own path, the road to becoming the ultimate ghost hunter is full of possibility! 

Trading ghosts is as simple as connecting your playdate to your PC and launching the companion application for Windows! Once there you can trade ghosts, view leaderboards, and download limited-time event ghosts to complete your library! Please refer to the included instruction manual about the steps required to connect, as well as important safety precautions when utilizing this online service. 

Which side are you on?

Shadow Gadget too gruesome for you? Try Shining Gadget!

Strangest.io’s prime directive is to empower outsider artists to tell interactive, subversive and powerful stories. We partner with independent artists on all of our projects. We believe that the best stories and ideas come from the fringes of our society. We are not here to make things that have been done before. We are here to break the mold, leave a mark, and feel good about the work we do.

Any support you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Submit feedback for Strangest.io games here.

Twitter   Discord   Patreon   Our Site

Interactive Services, LLC.
Release date Oct 06, 2022
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(14 total ratings)
Made withPlaydate, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Unity
TagsArcade, collection, Cute, Dark, Ghosts, Horror, Idle, passive, Pixel Art, Playdate
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Mouse, Accelerometer, Joy-Con
AccessibilityColor-blind friendly, High-contrast
MultiplayerServer-based networked multiplayer
LinksCommunity, Twitter, Instagram, Website, Patreon, Support Us


Buy Now$9.99 USD or more

In order to download this Playdate Game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $9.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Ghostnet For Playdate (Windows Application) 27 MB
Shadow Gadget (Playdate Application) 12 MB
Shadow Gadget + Ghostnet Manual 1 MB

Development log

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I bought Gen1, do I need to pay to get Gen2?

Just download the latest version and install, no need to pay. 


I purchased Shadow Gadget directly on PlayDate catalog. How do I get access to the GhostNet application? That's all I wanted to ask.

Other than that, I'm loving this game & the Gen 2 updates. It's really fun to have a portable ghost busting device in your pocket.

Same here. 

I tried to connect to GhostNet with 0.4 version of the app that was on catalog web page, but the app constantly searching for connected PlayDate and not doing anything... :(

Having the same issue

Also having the same issue. I emailed support but have not heard back yet. 

You can download via link in "More cool info" on the page: https://play.date/games/shadow-gadget/
Unfortunately, I was unable to make ghostnet work - seems to be down. 

My game keeps crashing on launch on 2.01


What an odd game. And actually, it's not even a game. But it's something that I revisit daily, at least twice and I always enjoy. So what is it? A toy? An app? A Pokemon clone? Neither. It's something unique, just like the Playdate itself, which is why every Playdate owner should get these two. 

The entire premise makes me wish for another update, where battling could indeed be introduced. Maybe through the PC application or one for Android? It just feels like it should be there.

It reminds me a lot of Catcha Beast: 


This is such a great game! It’s silly and quick and I find myself checking back in often to see if I’ve seen a ghost!

When you’re looking at the collections screen, I’d love to be able to turn the crank to go through all my ghosts like a Rolodex. It would be great, too, to see the scores and stats on them somewhere. Or maybe pressing A brings up more details?

just a few thoughts as I’m enjoying my time otherwise. Team Shining!

(I also add to the request below for a list of ghosts between the games.)

ghost net says device drive verified and then attempting to find playdate drive mounting point over and over again for about 10 min before i close the program and eject the device.  using shadow gadget and ghostnet .4

Not sure what time you tried this but it's working now!

i just tried again and I get the same message over and over again.

Weird, I'm using the itch version sideloaded through the playdate website. I added ghostnet to my firewall and ran as admin and followed the instructions. Past that I'm not sure :/

I am having the same issue

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Ghostnet seems to be dead currently, just an fyi for people wanting to purchase this game looking to trade.

Ghostnet is working again!

Hello, I bought this game on the Playdate catalog, but now realize that it needs to be sideloaded in order to work with ghostnet? I don't think there is a way to get a zipped .pdx file anywhere from the playdate store is there? Is there any way around this?

I want to choose my version based on the exclusive ghosts. Is there any list that show the exclusives to each version? Yeah, I know I can trade and get the exclusives from the other version but still.

yeah i would also like to know this too


oh yeah


What happened to the setting to turn off the voices?  Also, are you implementing the option to catch ghosts using the dpad and buttons? Thanks.

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Hold B for five seconds at the title screen to disable motion controls. Still need the crank though, can't really see that going away since it's a big part of the game, but who knows. 

Thanks, I didn't know about that. Dpad and crank is ok. Found the option to disable voice over too.


how did you disable the voice over? still cannot find it


Start the game and press the settings button while you're on the title screen.


with the Gen2 update, is my game supposed to frantically shake as I am cranking to catch a ghost? That is what mine is doing.


yes :)

(1 edit) (+1)

Cool just checking :)

(1 edit)

What should I do if Ghostnet doesn't recognise my Playdate? I've followed all the steps yet when I plug my Playdate into the PC it says "sharing DATA segment as USB drive" and Ghostnet is stuck on "Please wait while Ghostnet connects to your device...".

EDIT: For anyone who stumbles across this, it turns out you need to press A to get it out of disk mode. Once I did that, it connected pretty much instantly.

tu estilo es increíble <3 

Is there a plan to be able to use a username in the future, so that the ghostnet leaderboard or trades can show a user name rather than the long code?

Howdy everyone!

Shadow Gadget has been updated, more info and patch notes are available here:

If you pick up both games, is the collection shared? Or would you have to double up on each ghost in order to have it everything visible in both of them?
Also, if you *do* need to collect each ghost for each version, is there a way to trade with yourself (either via ghostnet, or internally) rather than having to involve another person in some way

Hey DarkkOne,

There is no reason to have both games as Ghostnet will only recognize one version. With the current system, you can not trade with yourself - you will need to trade with others.

This may change in the future, but there are only a small number of users who have both versions.

We just patched the game if you want to update: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/441572/shadow-gadget-114b-ghos...


After doing a couple trades on ghostnet, now whenever I try to scroll through my collection it crashes my playdate.  Anyone else having this issue?

Same problem. My collection screen locks up the game. Unfortunately this means the game is unplayable because if we can't look at our collections we can't do much.

Hey! Sorry about that, do you mind reviewing the support info in the manual included with the game? 

You will need to send us a summary of the issue, your Playdate serial number and crash + error logs. We can troubleshoot the issue from there! 


Hey - this should now be resolved, patch info is available here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/441572/shadow-gadget-114b-ghos...

Make sure to redownload the game from itch.io and sideload it through Panics side: https://play.date/account/sideload/


Hey! Sorry about that, do you mind reviewing the support info in the manual included with the game? 

You will need to send us a summary of the issue, your Playdate serial number and crash + error logs. We can troubleshoot the issue from there! 



Sent the information to your email.

Hey - this should now be resolved, patch info is available here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/441572/shadow-gadget-114b-ghos...

Make sure to redownload the game from itch.io and sideload it through Panics side: https://play.date/account/sideload/



The patch resolved the issue, thanks!

Thanks for confirming! 

(2 edits) (-26)

im not paying striaght 10 dolla to play a game like this what do you think this is, i'm keeping my mola and also can you change the Black and Orange, gives out vibes to this one site.

Edit: Why downvote, because i said i didn't wanna play the game ya'll do this? bro ya'll mad lol


Game look sick tho ngl


It's ok to refrain from posting about how you don't want to buy a game on the game's store page.


the.. console’s screen is black and white… It can’t go orange


It also has orangeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,


Oh the itch page, yeah they used orange there but I think it looks fine ¯_(ツ)_/¯




Giving away that you spend too much time on Grindr?




Is there a list/count of how many ghosts are exclusive to each version? I'm trying to figure out how many more I have left to catch on my local version.

I am wondering the same.  Would be nice to have a list of the ghosts and version exclusives for trading

Hey check our comment above! :)

Hey, they have a list going on the community Discord.

We could give everyone the full list but it’s more fun for the community to come together and figure it out - here’s the link: 



Howdy everyone!

Shadow Gadget has been updated, more info and patch notes are available here:


Loving the game so far! I have tried to use ghostnet for the last three days, but it says its under maintenance any time I try to open it.  Is this a bug on my end, or do you have an estimated date when ghostnet will be back online?

Very soon - hopefully by this weekend. Please be on the lookout for a patch.


Hey- please update your Shadow Gadget to 1.12, more info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...

Ghostnet is back online!

Ghostnet works great, really cool way to interact.  I got my two event ghosts as well!


Love this little game/app, I've collected nearly 60 ghosts the last few days! Sadly like another comment has mentioned, the last update (1.04) seems to have broken things for me as the app now crashes each time I try to launch it. These developers seem responsive though so fingers crossed it's fixed soon, I'd love to get back to collecting ghosts!


Patch inbound as soon as possible, we are working with Panic to resolve the issue.

More information to come as quickly as we can get this resolved.

Thanks for the reply! You guys are the best, and I have no doubt you'll have things patched soon. Can't wait to get back to ghost hunting :D

Hey! 1.12 is out now - can you give that a try and see if it resolves your launch issue?

More info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...


This fixed it, thank you so much! Already caught a couple more ghosts :)

(2 edits)

I got the update, and it worked fine for a while. I increased the sensitivity to max for gyro controls, everything was working good but it sometimes would randomly crash. i was like ok its fine ill just go back on. but now my game crashes every time I launch it now. I tried uninstalling the game and re-installing it but it did not work. i can't play it anymore :(

Hey we just put out another hotfix, can you give that a try?

If you are still having issues, please reach out to us via the support email in the included manual! We will need your playdate serial number and crashlogs to get started! Thanks!

it still crashes at launch with the new fix. ill send a support email shortly with everything.


I've sent the email now.

Hey Jen,

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for helping us solve this issue!

Can you try updating to 1.12 and see if that resolves your launch issue?

More info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...

Yes! it's working again! Thank you so much!

no problem!

Really enjoying the game. Great work! Is there any chance we could get an alternative D-Pad control when catching ghosts? While the PD screen is really reflective, tilting the device can still make it difficult to see what is on the screen clearly.



Be on the lookout for another patch coming towards the end of this week! Thanks,


DPAD controls are now available, more info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...


Howdy everyone!

Shadow Gadget + Ghostnet have been updated, more info and patch notes are available here:


Love this! I was hoping there would be a battle aspect too with the ghosts that you collect.  Like if you encounter a  ghost that you already caught, you battle it instead. Also wished there was an option to speed up gyro controls and to keep the playdate from going to sleep.  Still it's a cool collecting game, I just finished getting the two event monsters.

Thank you for the feedback! Be on the lookout for a patch soon!


when I fail to catch a ghost and press home to get back to playdate menu of games and start shadow gadget again playdate crashes

(1 edit)

Hey! Thanks for letting us know. The support process is outlined in the manual that comes with the game! Please check that out and shoot us an email! 

i cought a ghost, then got stuck on the shutter screen so quit out,
now even after update it crashes on launch  :(
Il try deleting and reinstalling

Hey Alistar, can you try updating to 1.12 and see if that resolves the issue?

More info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...

Hey Sgungilee, 1.12 should resolve this issue - more info here: https://thestrangest.itch.io/shadow-gadget/devlog/439430/shadow-gadget-112-ghost...

Can you please update and let us know if the issue is resolved?


This is such a cool idea. It works great except that the microphone and LED don’t seem to work after the play date has been slept and woken again. 

Hey thanks for letting us know - we will get this resolved soon!

Just to let you know this has been resolved, please feel free to update when you get a chance!


Insane that you have done this! Such a great idea. The Playdate needs more monster collectors!

Thank you for the kind words!


Holy crap, this is awesome! You guys are doing some insanely creative stuff on the Playdate. I tried out the Windows app in conjunction with the game even though I don't have anything to trade yet, and was really impressed at how it works. Also love that there's events with exclusives, since it's really fun seeing what crazy art and descriptions you came up with. 

The only thing I'd request is more options (I like this as a passive thing I can run in the background, so the as great as the music is it would be nice to turn off). Also, I noticed that simply not resting the Playdate flat on its back seems to count as "walking" with the ghost signal strength increasing noticeably faster. 

Really love what you guys are doing with this hardware, thank you!

Hey thank you for the feedback, be on the lookout for the next update!


Fun idea, can't wait to try it out! Can you mark the Windows companion app as a Windows application in Itch so that it can be downloaded via the Itch client?


Done! Thank you for letting us know!


Looks cool, but wish there was an option for trading if you didn't have a PC (Mac/Linux/Android (for chromebook)). Could a windows app be adapted to xbox, somehow?


Or something with QR codes maybe? With screenshots and/or the already-cross-platform Mirror app perhaps?


Hey ty for the feedback - we are looking into options for non-windows users. But we cant promise anything just yet!