A Dark Room from CIRCLE Entertainment and Amir Rajan is an homage to old-school text-based adventures. Learn more about it in our A Dark Room review!
A Dark Room from CIRCLE Entertainment and Amir Rajan is a Nintendo Switch game that pays homage to the old-school text-based adventures of ages past. If you’re old enough, you might remember these from back in the 1980s, particularly of Zork, which was THE innovative text-based adventure on computers. A Dark Room is a hard game to review on Nintendo Switch, not because it’s not a fun throwback to a long-gone era, but because revealing anything about the game’s story would ruin your experience.
Your adventure will begin on a cold night, and your first action is the only action you can take: light up a fire. After doing this, the game will slowly open up step by step, giving you some new information on the left side of the screen, with your inventory displayed on the right side of the screen. A stranger enters your cabin, and she falls down on one of the corners. As you stoke the fire to keep the room warm, she mumbles something that you can’t understand. Since you’re running out of wood and keeping the fire lit is very important for your survival, you decide to leave her in your cabin as you go outside into the forest.
Once you arrive at the forest, you start to gather wood, hoping that the stranger is feeling a bit better and that she hopefully means no harm. It turns out she’s a builder, and she can use some of the wood you have gathered to build you a cart so that you can transport the wood more easily. You could also have her build some wood traps so that you can catch some of the creatures out in the forest, which will reward you with fur, meat, scales, and teeth you can use later for building other stuff, or for comfort. Perhaps you could have her build a couple of traps and a cart so that you can start to use them in the forest to get twice as much wood as you collect more resources?
You soon learn that there are other wanderers out there and that, just like this first stranger you’ve met, they’re willing to work and aid you. What do you after this initial gameplay sequence – which is as far as I’ll go about spoiling things – is up to you, and the choices you make will start to shape the type of adventure you have with A Dark Room on Nintendo Switch. What will you build next? Perhaps you can collect enough wood for her to build a small hut so that you can start a village. But once that’s completed, what will you do next? Will it aid you in improving the living situation of those around you? Will you be prepared to go out into the wild to explore new areas that will provide you with more information on what is really going on?
A Dark Room does a great job at setting things up for an old-school infused gameplay experience that will certainly appeal to those of you who actually got a chance to play similar adventures back in the day. The game has a minimalist presentation and simple gameplay mechanics that will not be for everyone, but if you give this one a chance, you will find a robust adventure, with a handful of twists along the way that will keep you busy for a handful of hours. A Dark Room is out on Nintendo Switch for a budget $6.99 asking price.
This A Dark Room review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provide by Circle Entertainment.