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iPhone  header logo

Darkest Fear (iPhone)

For: iPhone

Light on the survival-horror

Product: Darkest Fear (iPhone) | Developer: Rovio | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.1.0
 
Darkest Fear (iPhone) iPhone, thumbnail 1
The scariest thing that could appear on your iPhone or iPod Touch is the dreaded white screen of death. Handset held up by a software error or disconnected screen, it's ironically bright white that's more horrifying than inky blackness.

For the creatures of Darkest Fear, piercing white light proves just as scary even if they don't evoke fear themselves. A tame take on survival horror, this spatial puzzler is too slow and outdated to conjure any frights.

You play as Thomas, a father anxiously searching for his daughter who has gone missing following a course of freakish events in the hospital at which she was staying. Thomas's wife has also disappeared into the dark hallways of the facility and only by exploring each pitch black floor can you find them both.

Grotesque creatures hide in the shadows, and these tear you to shreds whenever you step into the darkness, which consigns you to lighted areas. Darkest Fear does away with combat in favour of puzzle-solving centring on the manipulation of light and dark.

Instead of suspenseful encounters with hideous monsters, you're opening windows, lighting fireplaces, and moving mirrors around to pierce dark corners with rays of light.

The game's spatial puzzle solving displaces horror with contemplation, giving Darkest Fear a slow pace. Enjoying it means relinquishing expectations of visceral survival-horror and approaching it like a puzzle game.

Once you accept that, there's some enjoyment to be had, but outdated graphics and limited controls cast a shadow over the gameplay.

Darkest Fear comes to iPhone from an older mobile handset release, and the presentation shows it. A splashy new title screen and revised interface can't make up for graphics that look ancient.

Unsurprisingly, the controls feel unnatural on the device considering the translation from mobile. Moving Thomas is a matter of sliding a finger in the direction you want him to move.

You can pick up objects by tapping on them and boxes are positioned with a push. To be fair, the controls are functional, but they never feel great. A virtual D-pad option could address this, though the game doesn't provide alternative control schemes.

Slow, often tedious puzzles combined with an outdated presentation ensure the best reason for playing Darkest Fear is to unlock OpenFeint achievements.
 
Darkest Fear (iPhone)
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 6 October 2009
Darkest Fear is without suspense, its slow-paced puzzle-solving and substandard graphics keeping it from becoming a shining light of survival horror
 
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Joined:
May 2007
Post count:
128
MattyLion | 15:28 - 8 October 2009
Shame to see this score low, I loved the original on mobile, a well designed, well thought out horror puzzler, great atmospheric lighting and soundtrack to add to the overall feel.

Maybe a little too subtle for the instant gratification generation but well worth a look for everyone else.
 
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