I had heard the rules were pretty poor so the wife and I watched a video on Boardgamegeek in which a man and his loving and extremely patient wife played a few hands of the game while he explained the rules. The irony of the situation was lost on no-one and we launched in to a game.
Shadowrift is also a deckbuilding game. As the game goes on you add abilities, magical items, and resources to a deck of cards and then draw five cards from it each turn. One player might invest in healing spells, another might try and accumulate magical attacks or lots of resources. Each player isn't given a specific character class per se but the cards you choose will very much change how you function in the game. We definitely liked that aspect of the game.
The main downside to Shadowrift is the rulebook, which might be kindly referred to as not ideal. I think to play the game you'll need to watch the gameplay videos on Boardgamegeek. After a few rounds the game philosophy becomes clear enough and things move pretty smoothly.
Rulebook aside Shadowrift is a great game and a nice surprise. I've played similar deckbuilding games which seemed either too divorced from theme or lacking in exciting and meaningful choices. Shadowrift delivers its theme very well and each turn is full of interesting and fun choices to make.
And the wife is OK with it.