D.A.R.K. is one of the most unusual games on Chillingo's stable of upcoming releases for a number of reasons.
For one, it’s hardly the most sunny of games - certainly not compared to others due to arrive from the publisher, like Storm in a Teacup or Quiz Climber.
It’s also, despite appearances, not your usual twin-stick shooter, as our short hands-on with the title aptly demonstrated.
D.A.R.K. is as concerned with creating a suitably tense atmosphere as it is with creating tense battles: periods of downtime punctuate the traditional wave-based shoot-outs.
While we were unable to see any of the plot elements in our short hands-on, we did get to experience a few locations from near the start of the game that demonstrate the title’s different focus compared to the norm.
Taking out creatures is accomplished using the standard twin-stick setup, with the additional benefit of selectable weapons (bought from glowing green Shop squares littered around the place) and an amusing ‘roll’ button, which sends your character darting about on the floor.
Once a predetermined number of waves - consisting of zombies, flying saucers, and other strange beasties - are destroyed, the gameplay then switches to the survival-horror-esque sections.
There’s no loading or to pull you out of the world. Instead, doors and exits open up at the sides of the room, allowing progress deeper into the ship.
It seems quite linear - there was only ever one exit available during the section we played - but hopefully the game opens up a little further down the line for some proper exploration.
Movement all over the place
Still, there’s plenty of time during these travelling periods to take in the sounds of space, which vary between creaking, distant noises, and excellent The Matrix-style trumpet crescendos to keep you on your toes.
There was even a moment where the view switched sides, displaying the corridor side-on as opposed to top-down for a brief section, used to create a claustrophobic atmosphere before the inevitable swarm of creatures when play switched back to a large, open area.
As to whether these riffs on an established genre will help D.A.R.K. stand out or not, we’ll have to wait until the game’s release in June to find out.