Dark Fall Doesn’t Fail

Dark Fall
Gameplay
graphics
audio
value
fun
Genre
Reviewed On
PC
Available For
PC
Difficulty
Intermediate
Publisher(s)
Developer(s)
ESRB
ESRB
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Dark Fall takes you to a sleepy little west-England town, where the train hasn’t gone for over fifty years. It was at that time that the staff and all of the guests of the station hotel vanished mysteriously. No bodies were ever found, and since then, from time to time, various ghost sightings have been reported, and others have turned up missing. Please make yourself"comfortable.

You came here because of your brother’s answering machine message, in which he said he needed your help. He is an architect in charge of the renovation of the hotel and station, and his message spoke of some"thing that he referred to only as "It."

You arrive to find a station and hotel in disarray. No one is there, but you get the feeling you are not alone. Disturbing whispers and other sounds leave you with the impression that there is something about"something unnatural. You must solve the mystery in time in order to save your brother, and perhaps even yourself.

The interface for Dark Fall is a very Myst-like one, where turning left or right, or going forward shows you a new slide of the appropriate scene. There is animation interspersed with the creepily-drawn scenes, and plenty of close-ups and interactive elements to keep you busy. A lot of the close-ups are just for show, to display a weird scene, and to hide the game-important ones better.

One main problem with the interface occurs when you had to type something in, like when you are asking someone something (I already told you there is no one there – you do the math). It doesn’t seem to recognize the enter key, so you have to click "Say" to say it. Also, it doesn’t erase what you just wrote, so you have to delete it before you can type a new question. Fortunately, this interface isn’t used very often, but as it is quite a bit toward the end, I felt it was definitely worth mentioning.

Each scene is really well-drawn and well-conceived, and they all fit together nicely to create one of the most disturbing environments I’ve seen in a computer game in a long while. There are places that are so poorly lit that you need to use a flashlight, and all that is revealed is a small circle of the scene. Most creepy.

What really makes this game though is the sound. You can’t go anywhere in this place without some nameless voices whispering, or a phone ringing, or the whistler on the train platform, well, whistling. All of this succeeds quite well at keeping you on edge, and scaring the living daylights out of you at times. I found myself torn between a desire to turn it up so I could here what the whisperers were saying, and a fear that I might succeed. Believe me, some things are better left unheard.

The game is a mix of post-War environment, modern technology (such as cell phones and digital cameras), and a nemesis older than recorded history. It will provide hours of enjoyment for both avid puzzle junkies and anyone who is looking for a good fright.

So, come, and get the bejeezus scared out of you, I dare you. As they say on the box, It is always waiting"

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