Dark Earth Microprose / Kalisto Entertainment 1997

One of the few action/adventure games that truly succeeded in appealing to fans of both camps, Krisalis' highly underrated Dark Earth is a great game that makes up for the short length with captivating artwork, a smooth interface that works well for both combat and adventure, and a very interesting and unique sci-fi/fantasy combination storyline. The world's first "realtime" adventure, attempts to redefine the genre by replacing killer puzzles with arcade-like combat sequences. On one hand, this decision has created a far more open-ended game and has eliminated the frustration typically associated with hard puzzles. On the other hand, it makes the game somewhat short - fully exploring this game is the work of days, not weeks. Fortunately, the story and setting are both excellent, and the combat system is fairly entertaining as well. 350 years in the future, the world has become completely unrecognisable following an encounter with a swarm of rogue meteorites. Centuries of sun-obscuring clouds have thrown the land into a perpetual icy twilight, leaving little more than strange, twisted creatures to roam the land. Dark Earth begins in the Stallite Sparta where Arkhan, member of the city militia, lives out a fairly routine existence. Not long into the game, fate places him in the midst of an assassination attempt - a plot he is able to foil only at great personal cost: in saving the ruler of his city, he finds himself exposed to an insidious poison. With the venom consuming both mind and body, Arkhan must search Sparta for a cure even as he slowly transforms into a creature of darkness. Along the way, his newly acquired monstrous powers will come in handy as he works also to stop an evil plan to extinguish the source of the Stallite's light. It cannot be overemphasised how well the graphics bring to life the detailed setting of this adventure. Throughout the game, backgrounds, objects and characters blend smoothly together to create scenes which are unique and strangely beautiful.
Full Demo 125MB (@ Fajnegry)
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Full Demo with DOSBox 911MB (uploaded by The Collection Chamber)
2CD ISO Demo (upped by Egon68)
v1.1 No-CD Patch for modern o/s 468kb (uploaded by Tranit)

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