Dark Hope is, well, dark… literally, I feel like I picked up blindness playing this. I know it’s supposed to fit into the scary, horror-type trope, but it borders on unplayable. The world has no map so you can’t track your location. That combined with the general sameness of the landscape makes for a confusing, bland world that feels lost .
When you can see the clues, playing just feels like a fifty-year torture sentence. In fact, calling the game ‘Dark Hope’, makes sense. When I start a game I have hope. Here it quickly turned dark. The sad thing is this game seems redeemable if you boost lighting. Puzzle games are very reliant on a “whole world” context. With the exception of games like Portal, where each level is in a isolated chamber, the open-world puzzle genre requires an ability to see and contextualize the full environment, something that’s hard to do if you have to think nearsighted like you’re legally blind.
Puzzle logic doesn’t really flow too well either, because I lack the context to the full scope of what I’m doing, I can’t make a connection between the components needed to escape and what order things need to go in. This whole game feels like a backward skeleton key where nothing fits (hence why I’d suck at breaking out of jail). Puzzle games have two stages: the planning and the execution. Here the execution is a slog. I hate puzzles where you have to click things repeatedly in a certain order like you find in pipe puzzles. You do one thing wrong and you have to start over. For Hell’s sake, I’m a game reviewer, not a bomb squad officer.
The game has no story, so I guess we have to piece together how this game was made which, frankly, I wonder after playing. I really hope the dev gets en-lightened well before their next game.
Dark Hope was developed by Bunny Box Studios
Point of sale: Steam
A steam review key was provided by the developer
djf1107 did not award Dark Hope the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.