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A Dark Room

by Michael Townsend

RPG
2013

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(6)
4 star:
(8)
3 star:
(7)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 22
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- _firexe, December 10, 2019

- Shchekotiki, June 4, 2019

- suchamazingdoge (Austin, Texas), May 16, 2019

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A fun time waster particularly if you enjoyed the old BASIC games, May 9, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
A brilliant minimalist RPG that hearkens back to 80ís games made in BASIC only with the polish and creativity of todayís designers.

I have a soft spot for games that are light on exposition and throw you into a scene. The opening here has you in a dark room with the ability to build a fire, your other goals unknown. From there the most complex the game gets visually is an overworld map using ASCII characters. Despite this the story develops at a near perfect pace with ample doses of hope and horror. To say more would be pointless, other than itís accessible to anyone and isnít terribly difficult if youíre patient. Iíve also played it through three times because itís that damn good (there's also more than one ending depending on your strategy).

I've only played the iOS port by Amir Rajan which I hear is a bit more polished and fleshed out.

- sleepbox, December 31, 2017

- Naeemah, December 23, 2017

- beriaearwen, October 11, 2017

- Wanderlust, August 3, 2017

- Xavid, April 14, 2017

- TheAncientOne, March 25, 2017

- Greg Frost (Seattle, Washington), February 11, 2017

- SLane, January 27, 2017

- Hawkmoth, January 25, 2017

- E.K., January 24, 2017

- CMG (NYC), January 17, 2017

- John of Thornwick, January 17, 2017

- Sobol (Russia), January 17, 2017

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Google Translate is great!, January 17, 2017
by IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan)
Related reviews: Easy English
This minimalist idle game is available in lots and lots of languages. Not-so-unfortunately, after reading through the start of the Mandarin and Spanish versions, I must deduce that they were created using Google Translate. (I may be wrong, and I'd gladly eat a humble pie from Michael Townshend.) That's actually not so bad, as this game is one of a handful that make the most of a few short phrases. Julian Churchill's Tiny Text Adventure is another.

- LayzaSkully (Italy), August 21, 2016

- dream, November 29, 2015

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun, but occasionally too slow, November 24, 2015
Fun to play in short bursts or to give you something interesting to do during a long commute. The UI works decently well for mobile, unlike most parser-based IF.

There's not a lot of text or descriptions in the game (by IF standards). There's no graphics. There's just words, numbers and sometimes ASCII symbols. Despite the lack of text content, I myself still able to paint a mental picture of what was occurring. In some ways, the lack of concise description makes this easier and invites you to participate more in immersing yourself in the world.

As far as actual gameplay (without spoiling much), there's a lot of variety in what you do as you progress through the game. Not just in terms of the actions you take in the game, but in how you interact with the game itself. There's lots of downtime, especially as you get further in the game, while you wait for timers to tick down. As a pacing device, I think it works okay, since it gives you long moments of not having to make tough decisions or having to focus too hard on what's going on. However, I still felt a bit bored by the amount of time I was expected to wait for certain things to get done. It's hard to explain this "waiting around" mechanic well - I feel like there's some positive aspects to it that I'm not able to describe. Usually, I have no patience for games that make you do repetitive tasks for long periods of time. However, there's something about the presentation and text-heavy nature of this game that makes this more forgivable and somehow seems to enhance the game. I feel it wouldn't be as substantial or enjoyable if they cut all the timers out.

Anyway, if you're looking for something you can play on your phone that actually works comfortably on such a device, you should give this a try. You can play it whenever you have downtime and, despite the inherently repetitive nature of the "incremental" gameplay, it will still mete out just enough new content and story that you'll probably want to keep playing to see more.

I give this 3 stars because I had fun playing it. However, I had points where I was outright bored by having to sit there and wait for timers to tick down. Also, this isn't really a substantial experience compared to other IF. There's really not a lot of text content here and I felt the story was pretty sparse. More content and variety would've bumped up the rating, for me.

- Ryan Veeder (Iowa), November 22, 2015


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