I’ve been contacted recently by Arif Games who asked if I’d like to review their new survival horror game Dark Fear. Firstly, I never turn down free games no matter what the source and secondly and more importantly, I love RPG’s especially when they have been stoutly thrashed with the horror stick. So, here it is my review of Dark Fear, an indie developed horror survival game.
“You wake up in pitch blackness… You have no idea who you are… where you are… or how you got here… it’s up to you to figure it out!”
That’s pretty much all you get. There are no great epilogues, or epic storylines before you even get to play. Dark Fear throws you into the game in a similar mental state as your character, confusion. The story does of course develop and you find things that any other self-respecting horror game should have, such as twisted forests, evil monsters and terrified yet surprisingly conversational shop-owners. Of course, you don’t stay clueless for long, as each step through the dark and horror-filled land reveals fills in more and more of the blanks.
Dark Fear is essentially a fusion between a point and click adventure game and an RPG. As you travel the land you pick up items, and can drag them directly on to the landscape objects to use them. Or you can drag them to other items in your inventory to combine items, à la Monkey Island. When you’re not solving puzzles you’re exploring dark and unknown places, ready to be attacked at any moment.
The combat is simple. To attack, select ‘Attack’ and then click when the pointer is in the green part of the bar. Your accuracy dictates the effectiveness of the attack. You can of course defend or drink a potion instead. When the creature is defeated you can experience and some gold.
You can now use this gold to upgrade your gear at the friendly and surprisingly informative shopkeepers.
If you want a better idea of the gameplay you can see me play the first ten minutes here. You can also see me having trouble with the intro, which is a little embarrassing.
Graphically, Dark Fear is straight out of 8-bit history with limited colours and blocky rather-basic graphics. The simplistic graphics are not a problem for me. I remember playing games like this for the first ten years of my gamer life. However, I can see how some of the younger gamers, those who aren’t old enough to have used 8 and 16-Bit systems to be a little put off by the sound.
Like the graphics, the sound is also retro. No multi-tracked orchestral music or voice acting. The sound has that NES / Sega Master System feel to it. Also, like the graphics, this simplified form of sound works brilliantly with the style and feel of the game. As you could probably imagine it works well within the graphical context.
Dark Fear definitely gets put in the surprising Indie Game pile. Despite the retro graphics and sound, Dark Fear pulls off a game that’s both enchanting and chilling. Simple controls and an engaging storyline cap the whole thing off.
- Storyline – 80%
- Gameplay – 90%
- Graphics – 50%
- Sound – 50%
Final Verdict – 80%
“Brimming with old-school RPG horror charm that’s guaranteed to chill.”