THE DARK WITHIN
Developer: Nauris Amatnieks
Available on: Steam
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Release date: Late 2016
Here comes a little indie horror game called The Dark Within, first created by Nauris Amatnieks for a 72-hour game jam, inspired by the acclaimed Netflix series, Stranger Things, and now being crafted for a full release. The game is aiming to be greenlit on Steam , and here's why you should care:
The Dark Within is a 2D pixel-horror action/puzzle platformer in which a man wakes up in a new place, not knowing how he got there or why he's wounded. Strangely, that's exactly how Angel in the Dark begins, a game that I reviewed recently on HorrorTalk. That's where the similarities end.
This title, which is roughly halfway through development if Amatnieks' Twitter is to be believed, has a unique dimension-switching mechanic that takes its pixel visuals from bright and happy to dark and, well, much less happy. It is in that respect that The Dark Within is inspired by Stranger Things as it features its own version of the 'upside down'. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you need to get Netflix right now. Before you get to the 'chill' part of Netflix and chill, make sure you check out Stranger Things. While you're at it, check out HorrorTalk's review of the synthwave soundtrack by R.J.MacReady, which is just as good. Then you'll understand why dimension-switching is a cool, and frankly on-trend, feature for a game to have. It's not just for show, either.
Using the mechanic to switch between dimensions, players will be able to traverse the environment and solve puzzles. For example, in the creepy dimension there may be nothing ahead but a chasm of sure death. However, switch over the greens and blue of the family-friendly dimension and you might find a wooden bridge where the death chasm previously stood. Or, in another scenario, you might find a bouncy tyre which you can use to bounce up and over whatever is blocking your progression. It's an interesting idea, but if you're finding out about it on HorrorTalk, you're probably most excited about the darker dimension. You're not alone.
Also worth getting excited about is the game's apparently fast-paced action-platforming sections, with creepy environments and a haunting chiptune soundtrack. At least that that's what the trailer seems to suggest, which seems like a safe bet.
The Dark Within will be switching from the development dimension to the release dimension towards the end of 2016, and you can make sure it's available on Steam by registering your interest on the game's Greenlight page . As much as I'd like to link you to the original 72-hour game, I've been told that it would spoil the ending of the full version , and we wouldn't want that, would we? Then again, people have wanted stranger things...
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