A Dark Room

I don’t know if this counts as interactive fiction. It is classified under webtoys in Jayisgames and is part resource management, part roguelike, even part flash game. 

The premise is simple: you start in a dark room, and all you can do, for a while, is light and stoke a fire. After a while, though, villages move in into the huts you build and they’ll do various tasks for you. Some will build structures; others will gather wood- it’s up to you to assign them to their tasks. 

You get to build a village of your own, with villagers arriving from around the woods, and you build up resources by allocating different numbers of villagers to different roles. 

This game is not passive: spontaneous events pop up occasionally. In the rogue-like bit, you explore a monster-ridden, almost barren world. There is combat! Monsters! Villages to build! A whole world to explore! All oddly satisfying. 

A Dark Room creates a quietly foreboding atmosphere through its bare-bones descriptions. And though the PC builds a village, there is no real sense of interaction with characters: it is all really resource management. Combat can be frustrating as your weapon choice is limited by a ‘cooldown period’, in which a certain amount of time must pass before you can use the same weapon again.

 A Dark Room, however, has a coherent storyline, satisfying gameplay (for me, at least, because… well, hoarding!) and a very handy save feature, which made up for its awkward bugs.

EDIT: Those who enjoy the game are encouraged to try the mobile version. The user interface is very different, but very well-designed. I am led to believe that there are also more endings and more story in the mobile version.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s