A Dark Room

by Michael Townsend

RPG
2013

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Number of Reviews: 6
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun, but occasionally too slow, November 25, 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.