The original survival horror
One of the original survival horror games that inspired the likes of Resident Evil and the Silent Hill series, as well as several sequels, Alone in the Dark is a classic gaming experience. While it might prove difficult to enjoy for those brought up on modern games, with its slow, deliberate pace, complex themes and lack of action, it is an undeniably important piece of gaming history and deserves to be played. The story is heavily influenced by the writings of authors like Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, with several references to their work to be found, and finds the player trapped in a haunted mansion that also happens to be populated by zombies, giant rats and other assorted supernatural creatures. Gameplay is focussed less on direct action such as shooting or fighting, and more on exploration and puzzle solving, with a limited inventory available in which to store weapons and other items. The fact that your character is not the stereotypical hero, able to kill monsters with ease, really adds to the atmosphere and the challenge, and helps to make Alone in the Dark deeper and more complex than many other similar games. Despite the rather grim mood and plot, the graphics here are slightly cartoon-like, which is largely down to the technology from the period, but it does detract somewhat from the game's intent, creating a less-than-serious feel. The music contributes further to this, but the sound effects are suitably creepy. Although it feels somewhat dated now, there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had with Alone in the Dark, providing as it does a fair amount of challenging and exciting adventuring as well as an intriguing storyline. It is certainly worth playing just for its historical value.