Systems – PC, Xbox 360 Indie’s (Reviewed).
Developer – Andrew Russell
Price – 80 (1.00) Microsoft Points
Genre – Puzzle/Platformer
Xbox Live Indie games have always been in a weird place for me. I’ve always viewed the Indie section as some sort of place for all the crazy weird, innovate stuff that plays with how and why we play games. Instead it’s filled up with shit like Flash game ports, screen savers, and massage ‘things’. I hate it. Xbox Indie games have been throwing away its potential for such a long time, no game on there has really lived up to the Indie mentality I expected after seeing the crazy shit on the PC indie scene.
Until Dark came out.
Dark is a puzzle-platformer where you play as…something that looks diamond-shaped. The game seems to begin with you leaving your house, and while on a casual stroll the ground beneath you crumbles away and you fall into a deep hole… I think.
It may sound weird that I really don’t know what’s going on, mainly because the only thing the game takes time to explain is the controls. From then on events happen in real-time that you have no context from the world you’re playing in. It may sound silly, but it works with the atmosphere it presents, which is amazing.
The game is very dark, you feel alone, and you feel confused as you wander around this mysterious world in darkness. The beautiful music builds up into something alien and dark that frightens you. You move away looking for a way out and come across a light source showcasing the games amazing lighting engine, its very bright, but at the same time creepy. Everything makes shadows, even your character which makes it very hard to even know what your character’s true shape is which adds even more mystery. Sometimes you’ll find what looks like other people in the tunnels, but all they do is watch you pass by, creepy indeed.
The game focuses on logic puzzles and exploration. Most the time you’ll be wandering the darkness with no guide, or objectives. It’s up to you to press on and figure out what is happening around you. So there may be people who dislike this game because of the lack of direction, but I thrived on it.
Puzzles come in the shape of things in the enviroment you’ll have to move around and mess with, or objects to be manipulated. The only real downside to this game is that it has some wonky physics that don’t work in the way they should at all.
Dark is what I’ve been waiting for to come out to Xbox Live Indie’s for a while, a unique and interesting experience that nobody I’ve seen so far has replicated on Xbox Live Indie’s yet. For a dollar you experience a deep, rich atmosphere, engrossing soundtrack, and amazing levels for you to explore. And unfortunately while the game also only lasts for about 20-40 minutes, it only costs a dollar so it balances out pretty well.
Everyone with Xbox Live connected needs to at least experience this game, you won’t regret it.