|Dark Fall is also one of the very few games billed as "horror" titles that
manage to be really scary. Essentially a one-man, self-published independent game,
Dark Fall has achieved what many commercial titles have failed, and its superb
quality defies anyone who thinks that it takes a million-dollar budget to create an
atmospheric adventure game. Returning from work you are met by a frantic and cryptic
message from your brother, a talented architect developing the old station at Dowerton,
in Dorset. April Fool's Day had been and gone, so you decide that something is up.
Boarding a train at London's Paddington Station you travel to the old station alone,
wondering what adventure may greet you. But while the plot is somewhat predictable,
the beauty lies in the masterful execution and astonishingly effective atmosphere.
The graphics are appropriately dark, and various sound effects are put to good use.
You will be startled more than once while playing this game, and playing it at night
is a genuinely creepy experience. The gameplay is similar to Myst, but with a more
"traditional" emphasis on inventory-related puzzles. You navigate the gameworld -
in this case, the train station and hotel environs - from a first-person perspective.
Along the way, you will come across strange symbols that are reminiscent of H.P.
Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. These symbols together form the "meta puzzle" in the
game: the core puzzle, similar to the sun map in Fool's Errand, that you won't be
able to solve until the very end. It is the unravelling of the plot - and the ghosts'
identities - that will keep you glued to the screen. The depth of the gameworld is
remarkable, and many puzzles imaginative. If you like adventure games, you simply
can't pass up on Dark Fall. It is engaging, atmospheric, and much more fun than
countless commercial games. In 2009 a revamped Classic Edition of the game was
released which adds support for Windows XP and Vista, new sound effects and other