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[personal profile] healyg
Hello, all and sundry! For the next couple weeks I'm going to be reviewing a game from this year's IF Comp every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Up next, it's Marco Vallarino's Darkiss - Chapter 1: The Awakening.

Darkiss is a short puzzly game about a vampire who's trying to escape from his hideout after being ganked by his nemesis. The vampire and horror stuff comes off as very Halloweeny (all those rants about serving evil and darkness and yadda yadda yadda), so it's hard to take the protagonist's atrocities very seriously. Conversely, it's also pretty hard to sympathize with him; after all, he is a jerk and a vampire. I greeted most plot developments in this game with a flat "oh cool, whatever".


Darkiss is very much a game that lives or dies by its atmosphere, which luckily it has in spades. Most of the game's environments and objects get at least a paragraph of description, if not more, and while it can get pretty text-dumpy at times, the game usually reserves long text descriptions for important plot events. The writing itself is pretty good, although a little stilted (likely due to its translation from the Italian); I ran into a couple spelling and grammar issues but nothing fatal. I ran into some trouble with the puzzles, though, and played through most of the game with a walkthrough. I still enjoyed the game, but it would have been nice if it had better in-game hinting.


Conclusion: If you wanna play a nice Halloweenish vampire game, you could do worse than Darkiss.

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