What really elevates Mimimi's Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew compared to its previous titles, like Desperados III, is the complete abandonment of reality. Functionally, it's pretty much the same as those spiritual predecessors; you control a team from a top-down view, and stealthily make your way across a map disposing of guards on your way to completing an objective, like stealing something, or killing a specific target. But thanks to its supernatural slant, the powers each party member possesses are wilder, and the strategies you can employ are even more devious.
While you begin with only one pirate, as you progress you have the option to resurrect more of the old crew and each comes with their own pros and cons. You've got a dapper spirit that can possess guards that you can then control and force to do unsavoury things to their comrades, and there's a herbalist that can make bushes appear at will that your party can hide in before popping out to surprise enemies. Each party member has a use, and no matter which you take with you on a mission you'll be able to progress as long as you use their unique skills effectively.
Your pirate ship — The Red Marley — has a consciousness, and during missions it can save memories of moments at a tap of the touchpad, and then if things go pear-shaped you can revert to that point and try it again. Trial and error is a big part of the game and while this was present in Mimimi's earlier titles, this time it's woven directly into the story, and later in the game it's used in some unexpected and clever ways.
The coolest mechanic is the ability to pause the game and give each crew member instructions that they'll all perform in tandem with a tap of the triangle button. Planning a co-ordinated attack and then watching it unfold like clockwork is a pleasure that never gets old, and if you mess the whole thing up you can always just rewind time and tinker with your strategy until you get it right. These moments are Shadow Gambit at its best, and the game in a nutshell; it leaves you feeling like a tactical genius, even if it took you seven tries to get there.