First Impressions

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  • Pix

    Alone In The Dark is another old favourite of mine so I can’t offer a true first impression any more. Going back now, I do like the look of the game still with the strange camera angles and painted backgrounds. The 3D models are incredibly primitive by modern standards but they leave things open to the imagination which is in the games favour. It has a really good atmosphere of dread with a constant threat hanging over the player. There are so many ways to die, many of them brutally unfair. Save early, save often! There is one room in particular that has one of the more effective scares I’ve seen in any game. I won’t give it away, you’ll know if when you see it.

    There isn’t a lot of it but I like the adlib music on the floppy version. It’s not what you expect which lends an off-kilter macabre atmosphere to proceedings, particularly the combat music. The combat itself isn’t massively entertaining but works well enough for what it is. Most of the fighting can be avoided if you know how. AITD1 is more of an adventure game at heart.

    What really strikes me going back, is the obtuse nature of a lot of the puzzles and the lack of indications for what you can interact with and what you can’t. I still remember the route through the game but I’m not sure how well I’d cope if I didn’t. There are clues to be found reading between the lines in the books, but not enough necessarily. To be fair, I did beat this without a walkthrough years back but I’m sure there was a lot of trial and error involved which is no doubt why I still remember it to this day.

    I’m really interested to see what everyone else will make of this. I’m unsure as to how well it will stack up for anyone new to it but AITD was unlike anything else I’d played back in 1992. Whatever else, it’s a whole lot spookier than last years October game.

    I’m going to give the sequel a go. I finished that as well years back but don’t remember it anywhere near as well. I do remember it was even harder and I spent a small fortune ringing one of those 0898 hint lines at some ungodly rate per minute to get through the toughest puzzles.


    As a kid I remember thinking this was a trial-and-error style of survival game. Little to the puzzles make sense and I’m pretty sure I found some clues on a dial up BBS that was the only way I made it to the end.

    I remember buying the second game and just being completely stuck. Combat became harder because of the projectiles and trying to aim while the tank style clunky controls stayed the same.

    I intend to go through and I will try without a hint book but I’m guessing I’m going to have to resort to it at some point.


    Oh man, this game is so brutal. I’ve only tried it a little bit as a kid, but I never really got beyond the first room. It’s so unclear what the options are and how it all works!

    After watching how to deal with the first monster on YouTube, I sort of got the hang of it and managed to play through the starting floor tonight, even getting rid of those weird beasts that guard the staircase.

    But man, if this is just the beginning, I don’t know if I’ll manage without a walkthrough, haha.


    First impressions:

    Wow, this is a strange camera/control setup; I’m intrigued! Hmm, she walks very slowly. The 2D art is very pretty. I quite like the odd juxtaposition of pixellated 3D models on this background. Oh no! A… thing! I must use the action menu and fight it. That… doesn’t seem to achieve anything. Oh dear, I’m feeling weak. And now I’m dead. Goodbye, cruel world.

    I think I’ll need a walkthrough 😀


    I’ve started too! I have never played any of these games, so I’ve been excited to jump right in. I think I’ve finally wrangled the controls. They seem pretty simple for the most part.

    Needless to say I was killed by the first two monsters because I could barely figure out how to attack, but once I restarted after figuring everything out I’ve started to make my way through!

    I found a sword and gave it a few swings, and the blade broke off! Not sure if I that always happens or if my “testing it” whacked it against a wall and broke it.

    I do enjoy the look of the game. The monsters are awesome. I must say… the scariest monster I’ve seen so far… is the face on the female protagonist. 😉 That mouth and lips are sooooo wide! She looks like the damn joker!

    When I restarted I discovered the first window was the character select screen, and I switched to the dude.

    All in all, this seems like the perfect October game!

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