Home of the Underdogs
About News FAQs Contact HOTU GoogleGroup Music Manuals
Category Applications Action Adventure Education Interactive Fiction Puzzle Role Playing Games Simulation Special Sport Strategy War




Support the EFF
Welcome How you can help
Browse Games
Welcome Random Pick
Welcome By Company
  Welcome By Theme  
Welcome By Alphabet
Welcome By Year
Welcome Title Search
Welcome Company Search
Welcome Designer Search
Recommended
Welcome Freeware Titles
Welcome Community Group
Welcome Twitter
Welcome Facebook
Welcome File Format Guide
Welcome Help: Non PC Games
Welcome Help: Win Games
Welcome Help: DOS Games
Welcome Recommended Links
Site History Site History
Legacy Legacy
Link to Us Link to Us
Credits Thanks & Credits
Abandonware Ring

Abandoned Places

Creative Commons License


Game #1556
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Darker    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Action   Space combat

Rating: 8.9 (50 votes)

Darker box cover

Darker screenshot
Darker is a very atmospheric spaceflight simulator that, ironically, pays too much attention to atmosphere at the expense of playability. You are the Delphi, one of two races on a curious planet where one side is perpetually in daylight and the other is perpetually in darkness. Your task is to fight the Halon, the race which is in control of the light side of the planet, to wrestle control from them. The problem is, your race is hopelessly behind in the technological race, so your shuttle is comparatively slow and rickety...

The graphics in Darker are much better than most games of its time. The city you're defending is nicely realised, with convincingly varied scenery and attention to detail like the clock tower which chimes as you putter past. Once you get over the "oooh" effect, though, you'll quickly find that Darker is far from a walk in the park. Your shuttle is shoddy, and I do mean it: fire too many shots in a row, for example, and the power drain causes you to fall out of the sky. It's so much of a struggle just keeping your shuttle in the air, that when you finally shoot down hordes of menacing enemy fighters with unguided missiles, it feels like a real triumph. Your engineers are constantly striving to invent slightly better craft and weaponry, and the sense of urgency as you grimly try to hold on against the growing threat of the Halons comes across very effectively.

But atmosphere can only carry a game so far. All that you get to do most of the time is launch your ship, fly around at random looking for some enemies (you're told they're "near the canoe factory" or whatever, but not where the damn thing actually is), shoot them down and fly back to base and start again. Now and then you'll get a new weapon thanks to your engineers, and a new type of enemy to try it on, but basically you're just doing the same thing over and over against ever-dimming odds, and it gets very frustrating very quickly, even though you do have unlimited lives. At first, the damage system makes for an exciting addition to the game, as bursts of dogfighting are interspersed with lulls as you fly off to recuperate. But as enemies become more numerous, it rapidly becomes frustratingly and absurdly difficult, especially since the Halon's guided missiles are very difficult to avoid and cause irreparable damage. Worse still, you can't return to base for repairs - they won't let you back in until you've completed a mission, so if you take a couple of hits early in a mission you might as well crash into the ground and start again.

All in all, Darker is a good-looking game that requires superhuman effort, skill, and patience to finish. The game does try to liven up the gameplay in later missions, such as some tanks that serve as ground targets, and underground tunnels you can fly in. Unfortunately, most players will give up long before they see those new elements. Recommended, but only to the masochistic pilots and hotshots who scoff at the "hard" setting in X-Wing.

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Unknown
Developer: Psygnosis
Publisher: Psygnosis
Year: 1995
Software Copyright: Psygnosis
Theme: Science Fiction
Multiplayer:  
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links:  
Links:    
If you like this game, try: Star Crusader, Wing Commander: Armada, Frontier: Elite 2

© 1998 - 2015 Home of the Underdogs
Portions are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Please read our privacy policy.