ReviewDark Scavenger

  • November 30, 2012
  • One of the oddest games you’ve never even heard of
  • by: Psychphan
  • available on: PC

Dark Scavenger

Developer: Psydra Games

ESRB: RP

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I love the indie gaming community because developers tend to feel free to experiment with gameplay and narrative. Sometimes things are a bit disjointed. Of course, this is to be expected considering that the majority of developers lack the budget to make their games shine like the majority of console games. So this makes Dark Scavenger the entire game cooler to me.

Dark Scavenger follows you, yes you, as the protagonist. The game begins with you mysteriously floating in outer space when a massive amorphous blob approaches you and it has decided that it is going to devour you until you put up a fight. After losing spectacularly, it leaves you for dead and until a mysterious group of “aliens” known as the Dark Scavengers rescues you. It’s also at this time that you learn that the ship is low on fuel and you have to explore the mysterious planet below for some sort of fuel source. This is where the craziness begins. 632396_20120502_640screen003

Graphically, the game is well-done, realistic clip art done in a psychedelic sci-fi theme. No, I’m not joking about the clip art bit as none of the animations move as there are no little special effects to seal the point home. They just get flipped around. This isn’t to say that the environments don’t look interesting or even well-defined — the same is even true for the enemies you’ll fight, it’s just underwhelming. What helps are the well-done and immersive descriptions. This gives the game an old-school RPG feel where language was necessary to fully immerse the player in the world.

Gameplay is a mixture of a point-and-click adventure and turn-based RPG sensibilities. You click on the scenery, figure out how to properly solve each situation, which ranges from safely removing a spear from an electrified statue to getting yourself out of all sorts of problems. Doing so usually nets some sort of reward that one of the three aliens back on the ship can transform into a weapon, item or ally. And you need them in order to solve the puzzles and to properly defend yourself. There’s even a reusable potion that slowly refills itself every time you stun the enemy. There’s catch: each weapon, item and ally have a limit for use during each of the chapters. So you need to be smart about how you approach each situation. 632396_20120502_640screen005

Sonically, the game is solidly built though disappointing in the end. You can hear generic weapon swings, gurgling of gissa (a strange living acid substance), and solid battle music. The down part is that there aren’t many tracks to enjoy.

Ultimately, whatever problems you have with Dark Scavenger can easily be forgiven due to its short length. This is a game that can be beaten in a rainy afternoon as the game is so darn intriguing because you never know what odd visual or event will occur next. And the new game+ feature isn’t a bad addition either.

The thing is, this is a game that is intended for players who miss the “good ol’ days” of gaming where description was king and the setting was meant to spur the imagination. If you fit the aforementioned group in any shape or form, then you seriously owe it to yourself to at least download the demo and discover strange world of Dark Scavenger for yourself. And it costs $5, so it’s a fairly easy pill to swallow since it can be bought off of Gamersgate and the official website.

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About the Author, Evan Csir (A.K.A Psychphan)

Hi, my name is Evan. I’m an RPGaholic and hard core gamer. I graduated from college in 2007 with a BA in English (Gasp!) and psychology. I’ve been playing video games since the age of three. My first game, ever, was Super Mario Bros. So yeah, I’m pretty darn good at this video game stuff. And persistant. I like RPGs the best because I can look at it as literature. This is especially true for the Shin Megami Tensei games and The Digital Devil Saga. I enjoy horror games due to their psychological nature, like Silent Hill 3. I don’t like FPS or anything that relies too much on the first-person perspective; they make me dizzy and nauseous. Ironically, I love Metroid Prime and Half-Life 2. Hmm... Where’s Alanis Morissette when you need her? I really like it when games are creative and technically pull everything off. In this case, my favorite game is Ico. I loved it due to the presentation and the way the characters interacted with each other. Yorda and Ico didn’t speak the same language, so they had to rely on gestures and other forms of communication. I also occasionally enjoy bouts of Mario Kart: Double Dash and Smash Bros. Melee. Overall, I’m rather boring. I stay home, read my homework, occasionally write, fool around on the computer, eat, and sleep. Except for those days that I travel to school. I sometimes am inspired to write poetry (if you really want to read it, just ask). I play piano from time to time. And my favorite book genres are psychology books, occasionally poetry, and most of all, mysteries. And I’m “addicted” to herbal teas and Starbucks coffee.