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XBLIG Review - Dark

xboxboxartThis, like most "art" games is more of an experiment with something than a game. It has game elements (you jump and push things) and some slight puzzle elements. What sets this apart from the other art games on the Indie Games section is the overall look.

It doesn't try to get any kind of emotional response out of the player like the PC game Passage for instance, or the utterly TERRIBLE "Time Flows But Does Not Return" in the Indie Games section (what the hell kind of emotion was the developer trying to evoke from the player other than a "what the fuck is this?" look?).

The first thing you'll notice are the graphics and the fact that there really isn't a lot of color. It's mostly black. What colors ARE there are very bright and seem to light the room on their own. But that's where this game shines is the lighting, which is makes excellent use of and really lends itself to helping the overall gameplay. And it really helps the overall extremely simplistic graphics giving it a lot of personality.


The sound also adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game being very simplistic with soothing piano music going in the background that both fits the game perfectly. Which is actually a stark contrast to the dark and gloomy title screen music. I've got the game just sitting there paused right now just so I can have it going in the background actually.

The gameplay works just fine what it is : an extremely simple platformer with a great atmosphere and some excellent lightning. You use the left analog stick to move around, and the A button to jump. That's it. You go around each level and solve some very easy little environmental puzzles and collecting little glowing thingies (yeah. That's right. I went there.) that look like glowing moths to move on to the next level. There are no enemies, there's only 5 stages. The only other characters are little triangles with eyes that roll around like they're drunk, and I have no idea what they're for.


The game is extremely short, I made it through in about 25 minutes on my first playthrough, and now I can just blow straight through it. And the game doesn't hide the fact that it's short. It says right in the description for it that you'll get through it in 20 to 40 minutes.

7/10 - It's priced perfectly at 80 points. It's hard to say whether or not you should get it, but you should definitely play it. If you like the trial, and you have 80 points sitting there, it's definitely worth getting. It's a really cool atmospheric game with some great graphics and lighting, a really neat idea, and doesn't try to be anything other than what it says it is. But ultimately it feels more like an experiment than a game due to the fact it's so incredibly simple. I do hope a real game gets born from this idea, because the use of lighting and the way the environment reacts to it is really neat stuff and could be much better used.

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