It’s still Thursday in Alpha Centauri.

I think I would be hard pressed to come up with a game that’s a bigger violator of what I call the “Google Rule” than Dark.  Let’s put it this way.  I searched for “Dark” on Xbox.com and set the results per page to 90.  Dark falls all the way to 88th, the very bottom of the first page.  And once you get over to Google, good luck.  The word “Dark” alone brings up nearly two billion hits.  And then my point was lost as I typed this, because when I searched for “Dark Xbox” it was the second result.  Ah ha, but then I added “Indie” to “Xbox” and it somehow dropped Dark completely out of the top 100 results.  My point is, it needed something other than Dark.  May I suggest adding “Crap” to the title?

Dark is really, really awful.  It tries to mix Limbo-esq minimalistic presentation in platforming with Little Big Planet-style manipulable environments.  Well actually, this came out before Limbo, so another point is lost.  Meh.  Off my game tonight.

The problem with Dark is the physics are horrible enough that I couldn’t get the floor to correctly break apart the way it’s supposed to on the second stage, after multiple attempts.  With no direction given, I’m not entirely sure I was doing enough to accomplish this.  As best as I can tell, I was supposed to push a large rock off a cliff and let gravity take over.  The problem is, gravity didn’t put in enough effort and the flooring got sandwiched between the rock, then stopped moving.  I tried jumping on it to smooth things along, but my dude had no weight about him and I somehow got pinned between the two things, unable to move at all.

Given that each section of the game could take as little as a minute to finish, it seems odd that a chapter-skip option is included.  After three or four failed tries to break the floor properly, I realized why it’s there and skipped to chapter 3.  About five minutes later, I finished Dark, because the whole thing takes like ten minutes to beat.  So what did I think?  Didn’t find the graphics impressive despite what others would say.  Bad play control.  Unclear objectives.  Physics that don’t work.  A final puzzle that took me literally under ten seconds to solve on my first try.  It’s maybe the biggest waste of a dollar I spent this year.  It’s between this and some novelty chewing gum I bought for a buck that dyes your tongue black.  I gave it to an intern at work to screw with them and they didn’t care about being the butt of a joke because “whatever, it still tasted good.”

Screw it, I only played this because my buddy Mark at GRcade told me I could finish it quickly if I was short on time for a Katch-Up.  Which I was.  Now I can pretend this never happened and move on to Fez.  I would tell you not to play Dark, but actually this game came out three years ago and probably would have been totally forgotten if I had just left it alone.  What can I say?  Oops.

Dark was developed by Andrew Russell

80 Microsoft Points were absolutely shocked to read the critical praise this game got.  Well, different strokes for different folks I suppose in the making of this review. 

There’s some cool buttons right below this review that allow you to share my stuff on all kinds of social networking sites.  Help my site grow by taking twenty seconds to click one and share.  If you don’t, I will switch the Puppy of Sadness‘ food from his preferred Kibbles ‘N Bits to a generic, off brand food, causing his sadness to reach weaponized levels that I will then unleash upon the masses, ridding the world of joy forever.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

5 Responses to Dark

  1. So what you play as a diamond stuck in a cave? Is he trying to find his/her/its way out? Looks like bad graphics with some lighting effects thrown in. It’s like pouring ketchup all over dog food. It may taste better, but your still eating dog food.

  2. Matteo says:

    The lighting engine is terrific! Sorry chick but I didn’t get if the game mechanics has anything to do with the lights or not… Also the physics look sloppy in the trailer, i can only imagine how bad they can be in the game.

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