Charts Genres Community
Charts Genres Community Settings
Login

Alone in the Dark

Developer / Publisher: Infogrames
1993
Alone in the Dark - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.04 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
133 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#2,675 All-time
#71 for 1993
Rate / catalog Rate / catalog another release
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Releases 4
Filter by: All 4 DOS 3 3DO 1
1993 Infogrames  
CD-ROM
XEU
1993 Infogrames I-Motion  
4xFloppy 3.5"
XNA
Show all 4 releases
1994 Infogrames I-Motion  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 40421 29038 3
Write review
Title
"...like the video game equivalent of outsider music"
Alone in the Dark's reputation as the prototype for survival horror games in general makes it easy to dismiss it for how clunky it feels and how dull the action is compared to Resident Evil et al. If you think of it outside the context of what would come later, though, it's pretty interesting - almost in a genre of its own. The extent to which the developers were trying to do something radically new is really apparent, and while their decisions were very hit-and-miss, they deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to experiment.

The combat is definitely the game's weakest point. It's really all over the place; often, you can't even tell where exactly you're aiming, and there's no lock-on system whatsoever. Different weapons, especially in the melee department, have your character wind up frustratingly slowly before striking, and trying to time these strikes relative to enemy attacks is the key to the whole thing. Most of them strike faster than you, though, and it's very easy to get stun locked even by the weakest, earliest enemies, since taking damage leads to recoil and adds even more time before you can strike back. Fortunately, there are clever ways to dodge and avoid quite a few enemies, and they walk more slowly than you can run, though it's worth noting that some of them, once triggered by your approach, can continue to pursue you through essentially the entire game world unless you manage to trap them in a room or dispose of them. In line with the Lovecraftian themes of the game, some of the enemies are bizarre and difficult to even describe, and you may not be able to kill them at all, or will have to find some sort of occult object to weaken them/finish them off. Movement in general is also clunky as h311; double-tapping a direction to run is really inconsistent, which can often make the difference between life and death.

There are a million different items to pick up, some of which do nothing or worse, but this is where things get interesting for me. Most of the gameplay aside from the crappy action involves playing around with strange objects trying to figure out what, if anything, to do with them. The inventory management is not limited by a set number of items nor their sizes but by weight, and you can't actually tell how much a given item weighs - only whether you've hit your capacity or not. You have to infer how much of a burden each is by how heavy it would probably be in real life. This mostly just creates irritating situations where you have to drop things before you can pick up something new you need, and god forbid you accidentally take one step forward after dropping something - you'll pick it right back up again. The better option is often to throw it across a room.

Speaking of which, in the style of early point-and-clicks, actions are separated into individual commands to open, close, push, etc, which have to be chosen from the pause menu, and sometimes you have to throw items instead of dropping or using them. I actually find this kind of refreshing in the way it slows down the action and makes you think more carefully about what you're doing. A number of scripted events make this a process of trial-and-error, because they can either block your progress or just plain kill you, which feels cheap at times, but hey - next time you enter that room you'll know where that monster is going to come out.

Overall, lots of counter-intuitive weirdness and nothing is explained to you. Couldn't get all the way through it the first time without a walkthrough - the actual gameplay and puzzling in Alone in the Dark is done like the storytelling in a Dark Souls game. All this being said, A+ for creativity, and it would be interesting to see some of these more obscure gameplay mechanics adapted in a contemporary context with the insights developers have gained over 30 years. I'm a little disappointed the reboot of the series in the 2000s took them all away and made it a conventional survival horror experience, which leaves less of an impression. Playing the original now almost feels like witnessing a strange attempt to experimentally re-invent survival horror by someone who didn't quite know what they were doing - like the video game equivalent of outsider music, which is actually pretty cool.
Body
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Supplement
tips
Formatting
[b]text[/b] - bold
[i]text[/i] - italic
[s]strikethrough[/s] - strikethrough
[tt]text[/tt] - fixed-width type
[color red]text[/color] - colored text (full list)
[spoiler]text[/spoiler] - Text hidden with spoiler cover
[https://www.example.com/page/,Link to another site] - Link to another site

Linking
When you mention an album, artist, film, game, label, etc - it's recommended to link to the item the first time you mention it. Doing so will make it easier to search for your post and give it more visibility. To link an item, use the search box above, or find the shortcut that appears on the page that you want to link. You can customize the link name of shortcuts by using the format [Artist12345,Custom Name].
Paste the address (or embed code) below and click "embed".
Supported: YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Vimeo, Dailymotion
Embed
Attribution
Requested publishing level
Draft
Commentary
Review
review
en
Expand review Hide

Catalog

Chridder Alone in the Dark 2024-06-16T23:26:01Z
2024-06-16T23:26:01Z
0.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
neandrewthal Alone in the Dark 2024-06-10T14:59:05Z
DOS • DE
2024-06-10T14:59:05Z
2.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pulbiber Alone in the Dark 2024-06-05T14:52:09Z
2024-06-05T14:52:09Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
666LILGILGAMESH666 Alone in the Dark 2024-06-01T19:40:11Z
DOS • XNA
2024-06-01T19:40:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
VirtualMima Alone in the Dark 2024-05-25T23:08:18Z
2024-05-25T23:08:18Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
yubay Alone in the Dark 2024-05-14T08:14:25Z
2024-05-14T08:14:25Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anitahegerland Alone in the Dark 2024-05-12T04:35:25Z
2024-05-12T04:35:25Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
daskull Alone in the Dark 2024-05-10T13:56:29Z
2024-05-10T13:56:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Zaknainyon Alone in the Dark 2024-05-03T07:03:14Z
2024-05-03T07:03:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Steam
crapballa Alone in the Dark 2024-04-30T22:39:48Z
2024-04-30T22:39:48Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
HeyJulien Alone in the Dark 2024-04-23T11:55:32Z
2024-04-23T11:55:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate Alone in the Dark 2024-04-19T17:27:49Z
2024-04-19T17:27:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x CD-ROM
Franchises

Comments

Rules for comments
  • Be respectful! All the community rules apply here.
  • Keep your comments focused on the game. Don't post randomness/off-topic comments. Jokes are fine, but don't post tactless/inappropriate ones.
  • Don't get in arguments with people here, or start long discussions. Use the boards for extended discussion.
  • Don't use this space to complain about the average rating, chart position, genre voting, others' reviews or ratings, or errors on the page.
  • Don't comment just to troll/provoke. Likewise, don't respond to trollish comments; just report them and ignore them.
  • Any spoilers should be placed in spoiler tags as such: [spoiler](spoiler goes here)[/spoiler]
Note: Unlike reviews, comments are considered temporary and may be deleted/purged without notice.
  • slib 2020-11-20 22:40:56.373153+00
    I'm sure this was mindblowing in 1993 and I am not being sarcastic or insincere about that
    reply
    • ... 2021-03-14 23:46:48.511812+00
      No, get it. I can imagine this being unreal and like nothing else playing it on release. Don't know enough about that era of gaming to know for sure, but this seems like it was basically the first proper 3D action-adventure game?

      I found it a hard slog nowadays though.
    • ... 2023-02-14 02:09:21.696543+00
      The Terminator on DOS is technically the first, but has aged far worse than this if you can believe it. This was a giant leap forward from that and less than two years later.
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • vodsel 2021-08-19 07:57:35.120929+00
    It is crazy just how Resident Evil this is. It has basically every element in place. And then Mikami, for so long, was just like, "nah it was never on my mind when making RE." LOL
    reply
    • Previous replies (2) Loading...
    • Aurochz 2021-10-30 18:53:22.190988+00
      I can read French, your interpretation seems to be correct. I don't doubt the influence now.

      As far as I know, an NDA can't stop someone from mentioning an influence even in more extreme cases where one side is alleging that a person/group "stole" the idea. Croc: Legend of the Gobbos/Super Mario 64 [スーパーマリオ64] situation comes to mind, developers at Argonaut have always maintained their 3D engine was an inspiration for M64 and they even allege that Shigeru acknowledged this in private. This seems like a far more litigious situation and yet they haven't been stopped from spreading this allegedly true story around. This seems like Shinji either evading owning up to the influence or him saying this in a French interview to appease a French audience now that he has nothing to lose.
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • charredwind 2022-07-12 00:50:55.596212+00
    dogcena420 would write "amazingly sucks"
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • Garjo 2022-12-08 05:46:59.376791+00
    Super impressive for its time, though a little dated now. Still worth playing for its historical value though don't feel bad if you have to pull up a walkthrough.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • DomMazzetti 2023-08-20 20:53:44.38445+00
    Money for Nothing game.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • NibiruShiranui 2024-01-10 10:06:31.394341+00
    This is to Resident Evil what Mother 1 is to the Earthbound series (franchise different aside). While in contemporany eyes the game may be a slug, iit set a lo of important precedents to its direct and spiritual successors. There just isnt any other game like this released in the same era
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • davidraccoon 2024-04-13 04:06:49.166118+00
    The CD version is actually really good. The voice acting makes the atmosphere way more asphyxiating and real.

    The only problem for me is that there are several dead ends that were never fixed, and you may have to start the game all over again just because of the developers' shortsightedness.
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • More comments New comments (0) Loading...
Please login or sign up to comment.

Suggestions

ADVERTISEMENT

Contribute to this page

Contributors to this page: Xydako xerosd WilliamSG IgorEmu nospr FayWasTaken
Examples
1980s-1996
23 mar 2015
8 apr - 12 may 2015
1998-05
Report
Download
Image 1 of 2