Reviewed: July 14, 2011
Released: June 23, 2011
App Store Price: $2.99
D.A.R.K., Gamelabís newest creation has you in control of a space marine trying to survive a zombie, alien, robot and plant invasion on the space station he is stranded on. Now, Iím all for the addition of surprising enemies to spice up a game but in this case it was just a bit too much. D.A.R.K is a dual-stick shooter with RPG elements such as a level up system and the ability to change your characters equipment, usually a different colored armor. Unfortunately in their attempt to make an awesome game, they made a mediocre game with a short lived campaign.|
You control the nameless marine who has a striking resemblance to every marine from StarCraft that was sent out to investigate a disturbance on a ship and was stranded on a creepy space station. You obtain a machinegun within minutes and have your first fight against a zombie, because zombies in space make sense now, and realize this isnít your ordinary abandoned space station. Along the way to the control room you find a survivor who tells you of a way to escape out of the station. During your journey to the escape pod you gain money for killing all sorts of enemies that show up that you use to buy new weapons and armor to further increase your stats, primarily defense and health.
The RPG element shines best when you start to level up and can choose from four different upgrade paths such as Health regen, Hit points, speed and the power of your weapons. Along with your character leveling up your weapons also gain experience and become even more powerful. Suddenly that little machine gun you start out with becomes a godsend with its unlimited ammo and decent firepower when all your other weapons are spent.
Usually in a game with zombies and robots I hear a lot of noises such as moaning, beeping or the sound of metal grinding together but I will say if that was in the game I didnít hear much. We get the battle music when you start a new wave of enemies and a bit of rustling when zombies show up but all in all not much is going on, canít say much here. Hopefully in episode two they add in a bit more to the sounds and music.
My biggest issue with D.A.R.K was the control scheme being employed. One stick controls your character, the other the direction you are shooting, usually that isnít a problem for me but given the smaller screen on the iPhone I could barely see what I was even supposed to be shooting at while trying to aim and shoot. Along with those two buttons we have yet another, the roll button, I never used it during a fight and probably used it only to have a different way to move around rather than just holding the direction I wanted.
D.A.R.K would probably do great on the IPad because of its bigger screen and ability to play the games in HD. unfortunately the game is short, an hour just doesnít cut it for me at least not for $2.99 but there is talk about the addition of a second episode and arena mode to play online. Switching weapon was easy; you just slide your finger over the weapon emblem till the one you want shows up and start firing if not a tad bit hard to do while moving and trying not to get killed.
Overall D.A.R.K does a good job with its dual-stick shooting and RPG elements but could use a little work in the controls department. With the free updates coming out to unlock second episode and arena mode the price tag isnít too harsh. The level up system was easy to use and really lets you build your character just the way you want him. So if you have an hour to kill and want to seriously put the hurt on some space zombies I would recommend D.A.R.K for you.