A Fire Darkly: Chapter 1

by Louis Rakovich

Episode 1 of A Fire Darkly

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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Beautifully written, unsettling and fun to play, January 25, 2017
by SLane
Related reviews: dark, puzzles, beautiful writing,

I actually came back to IFDB specifically to review this game, because I like this author's non-IF writing.

The game starts with you (the second-person protagonist) in a dark forest, with no strong recollection of how you got there. The setting reminds you of "home," so you decide that's where you must be headed, and begin making your way through the forest.

The setting is beautifully described, and soon becomes pretty strange. You may encounter a few things that spark a memory of your past, so you can begin to figure out who you are.

There's a good balance between linear (though still affected by your choices) parts that advance the story, and parts where you have freedom to explore physical areas and must solve a puzzle to advance. On my first playthrough I encountered two major puzzle areas, but it depends on the choices you make. In my second playthrough I also found a small puzzle that's optional and that I couldn't solve, but after you finish the game you have an option to "learn more" which takes you to a page on the author's website, and it says there that you're not supposed to solve it until you played the future chapters.

Overall, this is a great medium-length game, and it ends in a satisfying place even though it's just the first part out of three. Perfect if you like dark, beautifully-written games that make you think.

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