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You think you've seen darkness?

Taking its inspiration from the famous story of the same name, and created by the man who gave us the classic platform adventure Another World, this is a top notch experience that should be played by anyone who simply likes good games. The story is a bit bonkers, and bears certain similarities to another classic platform series, Commander Keen, and finds Andy and his dog Whiskey caught up in an epic adventure in the land of darkness. After Whiskey is captured, Andy jumps into his home made spaceship and heads to the Darklands, where he will stop at nothing to get his best friend back. What follows is a 2D platformer which mixes intense action sequences where you take out hordes of dark creatures with puzzling and classic run 'n' jump sections. Andy has a variety of weapons at his disposal, but failure is met with one of several surprisingly gruesome death scenes, so don't make the mistake of assuming that because of its cute looks, that this is just for kids. Heart of Darkness really is quite the unexpected delight. The story is familiar stuff but is very well told, with some nicely directed cut scenes that have a healthy does of humor. The visuals are quite lovely too, with some cracking level and character design that just leaps off the screen. The mix of gameplay styles adds much in the way of appeal, and there's a great sense of never quite knowing what to expect next, with challenging puzzles, exciting combat and platforming which requires some nifty timing and reflexes. All in all, this makes for a very entertaining time, for younger and older gamers alike.

A strange but beautiful platforming adventure

Platforming game Heart of Darkness is a pretty interesting take on the genre. It's a bit on the difficult side, but mostly because it is one of those rather adventure like platformers, like Out of This World where every other encounter is its own little minigame, scripted specifically for that one encounter, you know, instead of just being a set piece in a universe that is full of these set pieces. I don't know how clear I am, but I'll try to explain it again: the game requires that you learn what you need to do at certain places in the game; just jumping, running and gunning is not an option, you will need to learn what the game wants from you before you can progress any further. Graphically it's a better than average game, though the stiffness of some of the puzzles will make these beautiful landscapes feel like they don't matter, like they're not part of the game, due to the limited amounts of interactivity. But, well, if you like a challenge Heart of Darkness offers a lot of that. So, yeah, if you loved Out of This World, or the similar sidescroller (though actually an adventure game) Another World you will feel right at home within HoD.
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Heart of Darkness (pc game)
4.66 out of 5 (29 votes)

Images gallery:

  • Game introduction title screen - cover
  • Many dark shades to fight
  • Just one left
  • They caught you!
  • Well done!
  • Watch the one on your top
  • This way it works better
  • You'll have to jump in this scene
  • Big bones behind you
  • No one in sight
  • They were hungry...
  • Courtesy of Arena 80.