Developer: Flying Turtle Software
Publisher: Flying Turtle Software
Ratings: M (ESRB)
A review code of A Walk in the Dark was provided by Flying Turtle Software
A Walk in the Dark is a no walk in the park puzzle platformer with an interesting art style and a progressive difficulty during the first half of this title. Though as it reaches the second half, this new title from Flying Turtle Software definitely isn’t purrfect as it’s gameplay receives a large difficulty spike. In result, A Walk in the Dark‘s enchanting soundtrack, gameplay and environments plummet into an awful repetitive experience of monotony and aggravating game design.
Mechanically, A Walk in the Dark feels similar to some of the greatest platformers of the previous generation, like Rayman: Origins and Super Meat Boy, but it has a few unique twists to help make it stand out. As an agile cat in A Walk in the Dark you can wall jump and crouch under tight spaces but the game also adds a strange mechanic of walking upside down or right side up with the implementation of light switches. There also is the cat’s owner, a little girl who switches walking upside down and right side up on the fly. The game definitely feels fresh throughout the game as it constantly throws new ideas into the mix- such as gliding spiders, rotating saws and vicious hedgehogs. The first half of the game is extremely impressive as well, as A Walk in the Dark is able to teach the player organically without the use of tutorials or overly difficult situations. Flying Turtle Software was also able to mix up the gameplay even more by adding endless running sections which test your brain and skill in a rapid pace. It adds the mechanics from running upside down and right side up and turns these endless runner levels into a rewarding experience.
Despite some excellent game design throughout the first half of A Walk in the Dark, the game sharply increases the difficulty to an insane high to a point where it is nearly unplayable. Flying Turtle Software add too many spikes, rotating blades and rockets which make the gameplay less rewarding and more irritating. Rather than an enjoyable platformer experience that is in the first half, A Walk in the Dark quickly becomes a masochistic mess. At this moment, it came to me that the control system cannot keep up with the hectic gameplay and important subtle movements cannot be made. Also, the endless running segments make this game unbearable when Flying Turtle Software indelicately boosts the difficulty. The levels are too fast to comprehend what is going on and the obstacles in the game’s path are too much in numbers.
While the second half is a deluge of difficulty disasters, A Walk in the Dark has an awe inspiring motif to it’s graphical design. The game’s lighting system is perfectly crafted and accompanies well with each level’s shadowed design. There are also multiple implementations of environmental interactivity such as the grass swaying by the character’s and wind’s movements. A Walk in the Dark, in these cases, is spectacular. However, three environments (The Cave, The Forest and The Clock) are often recycled throughout the majority of the game and once again, the game drags on during the second half due to this and many other issues.
In addition to recycled but beautiful environments, the soundtrack is also used over and over again. At first, the chords of the piano-centric songs alongside the use of an echo effect truly pulls the player into the moments that A Walk in the Dark is trying to convey. As the game progresses, on the other hand, this music becomes repetitive and these once captivating tunes become irritating beyond belief.
A Walk in the Dark at first seems to be a wonderful puzzle platformer with a fantastic pace of new gameplay mechanics being implemented and progressive difficulty spikes alongside a captivating soundtrack and art style. However, when A Walk in the Dark reaches it’s second half, it quickly becomes a repetitive masochistic mess of a platformer. A Walk in the Dark should have ended mid-way and if you are fine with experiencing an enchanting hour of gameplay (and forget the extra tedious hours included) for the price of $6.99, I would recommend considering a purchase.