Dark Meadow Review: I can still remember it like it was yesterday, it was a dark summer evening and I was sat alone in my room with just the light from the TV lighting my room. My face was basking in the light from the TV screen as I started my love affair with one of the biggest gaming franchises ever, one Resident Evil.
I specifically remember this first edition that I played on me gray PlayStation One because it was the first game ever that not only made me jump out of my chair but also forced me to turn over the game, turn on all the lights and find some trash TV to take my mind off of the horror I had seen.
Since that I have been hooked on the survivor horror/zombie genre, not just the Resident Evil franchise but all similar games. With that said to get Dark Meadow in my hands for the first time was a treat indeed. Reading the description as the almost 1gig in size file downloaded I was eager to get in and play what Phosphor Games describe as “a dark fairytale of intrigue and mystery”.
The game starts by setting the scene as the camera floats around, dreamlike in nature around what you will soon find is the Montclair Hospital which is about to become your home, or should that be prison, for the next few hours.
The atmosphere is set immediately with the dark and intense mood of the introduction and this continues as the games starts as you awaken from your slumber. You awake in your room and are immediately introduced to an old man in a wheelchair who disappears as quickly as he arrives.
You will soon find that this man is on your side as you attempt to unravel the mystery of this abandoned hospital and escape from the hell that you find yourself in.
The scene is set wonderfully and this continues throughout the game, You piece together the story by finding pieces of newspapers and books that describe what has been going on, the old man also imparts his knowledge to you via the hospital intercom whenever you are in one of the safe rooms.
These safe rooms can be found throughout the hospital and as well as hearing from the old man you can also be assured that you won’t be attacked by one of the many creatures that lurk the hallways of this old building.
Moving around the hospital is simple enough as your character moves from fixed spot to fixed spot, and it’s during these movements when danger can and will attack. More often than not as you wander the hallways gathering gold, first aid kits and other paraphernalia a demon will appear down the hallway and you will leap into combat mode.
Now, none of these encounters made me jump as much as those similar encounters of that very first Resident Evil game did but the whole game still does have a wonderfully eerie overtone which keeps you on edge throughout. This is only diminished slightly due to the repetitive nature of the battles meaning that you pretty much know what to expect around each turn.
The combat method is straight forward enough especially for those of you that have played other Unreal Engine powered game, especially the iOS game Infinity Blade which set the standard for graphics in mobile and tablet devices.
Due to the demons appearing down long hallways your first option is to use your trusty cross-bow to get a few shots in, however you must also dodge the ectoplasm that is flung your way as you do by utilizing the dodge buttons on either side of the device.
If you are unable to kill the approaching demon before they get close you will enter into close combat mode there your cross-bow is replaced by your sword as your choice of weapon. Using your sword is a simple matter of slashing across the screen with your finger just like Infinity Blade, or for those of you coming to this type of game for the first time imagine playing Fruit Ninja but with a ferocious demon instead of soft fruits!
Successfully dodging each attack sets you up to attack the demons and before long you’ll be powering you way past a variety of dancing, dodging, horned and furred beasts. As mentioned previously this does get a little repetitive and you shouldn’t have any trouble defeating them until that is you come across she who shall not be named.
Death when it happens is not too bad, you’ll still have everything you had before you died, the only slight frustration is that you are placed back in your room where your adventure began having to go through all the same corridors that you have previously traversed. Given that there is also no map of the hospital this can be quite annoying.
Wandering around the hospital is a pleasure though. Sure it’s not as dark and as creepy as it could be but it looks amazing and has a great deal of detail for the gold and other artifacts to be hidden. While for most of the game you will be stuck inside, there are moments of daylight and again the environments look stunning.
The universal game looks and plays great on both the iPhone and iPad and comes highly recommended despite the lack of replay value. There are 32 achievements available via Game Center integration those achievements are simply achieved via progressing though the game. Instead they include random things like “play with a baby toy” and “Experience 31 awakenings”.
If you are in the market for a new game for your iOS device you needn’t look much further than Dark Meadow, a dark, intense, gothic horror game that will keep you awake if not prevent you from falling asleep!
What we like:
- Gorgeous environments
- Great story and acting
- Easy to learn
What to know:
- Repetitive battles
- No map
- Limited replayablity