In the early nineties, Cyberdreams created the gothic adventure game Darkseed, based on the fantastic and unusual artwork of H.R. Giger. The game features a world, and its parallel counterpart that is dark and creepy. It spawned a direct sequel, Darkseed II, and was released for many different gaming platforms.
The user plays the part of Mike Dawson, who was actually the lead designer and programmer of the game. The character’s sprite is even modeled after him. In the game, Mike Dawson is an advertising executive and budding author who has recently purchased a huge mansion in the quaint little town of Woodland Hills. First night Mike stays there marks the beginning of a dark adventure. His sleep is plagued by dreams of aliens placing a probe inside his mind, and he awakens with a nasty headache. As Mike wanders around his new home and the surrounding town, more and more things point to weird happenings. He has three days to figure out what is going on before the Darkseed that was implanted in his brain explodes.
As evidenced by the Darkseed’s time limit prior to eruption, time plays a huge part of the game, adding to the user’s sense of urgency and panic. Not only is there a predefined length to the game, but the game also features night and day, complete with actions that can only be performed during one or the other. For example, many of the town’s businesses, such as the library, close in the early evening. The mail always goes at midmorning, and the user is forced to be timely for set appointments, or he may permanently lose clues and contacts. Time is truly of the essence. The user will find a parallel world that is a mirror (though darkened) image of the actual world, and actions in one will directly effect the other.
The puzzles are great and interesting, if the user can find the time to complete them. The graphics are good animated. With Giger as the inspiration behind the dark parallel world, the user gets a real feast of the macabre. The game does a very good job of using Giger’s themes to create a distinctly unique and creepy alien atmosphere.
This is an entertaining and addictive game, made more interesting by the graphical detail. I highly recommend downloading it immediately! You’ll be satisfied.
Written by: ~Shannon