The Dark Prophecy is a 2D pixel art point-and-click adventure-type game designed to play on our fond memories of the style of games from the 80s/90s, like Kings Quest, Broken Sword, and Monkey Island, to name a few. The game has been developed by Start Warp and published by Meridian4 who both have offered up this dose of nostalgia, which was released on 28th February 2022 and is available now available to buy on Steam.
Gotta foresee it to believe it
I always gravitate back to point-and-click games, as they always take you back to where brainpower was key to advancing through the game, not just solely skill. Combining items and discovering items that maybe could work with something you discovered previously. It’s a great feeling that revelation and, dare I say it, thrill when you make that connection. The reward being able to advance to the next set of obstacles and ever closer to the final goal. Do you share a love of these puzzle-solving point-and-click games? Let us know in the comments below.
You get started out in Dark Prophecy without much of a tutorial, but soon learn the mechanics of how to navigate around and how to interact with the area you find yourself in. You find yourself scanning the area for things to interact with. With a touch of a button you are able to rotate through the action types; to look, talk, drag and drop or use action. Convenient in most scenarios and I found it easy to use. I soon found myself subconsciously easily choosing the right option for each scenario.
You, as your character Jacob, start off in that age-old fantasy game starting location lazing near a lake in the country. Not long after getting acquainted with the scene, you are contacted by an eerie visage of a wizard. This wizard appoints a young boy, Jacob, with a vital quest to deliver a message to Merlin. If he does not, Jacob’s home village and the lands surrounding will perish within a day. The interactions are short and to the point and before you know it you’re off on an adventure.
As I journeyed through the different scenes, I started collecting random items as I normally do with point-and-click games. It’s expected of you. As you leave the lake area you wander into Jacob’s village where you meet a Witch, Mira. She’s happy enough for you to go rooting around in her hut. Strange seeing as there are plenty of chances to cause mischief. Now… how to get in there…. and that’s how the addiction starts. You then have your first mission; to enter the witch’s hut to progress the game. Your logical mind starts to dart around with the character trying different combinations and methods. The puzzles themselves are not as impossible as the likes of the Broken Sword with its infamous Goat puzzle. In that one, it took random pairings and methods to complete it. These puzzles however will pose enough of a challenge for newcomers to the point-and-click genre.
Graphics & Audio
The 8-bit pixelated look you are greeted with from the off in the form of an intricately designed main menu won me over straight away. The animation of the swaying trees and smoke from the chimneys made it feel as if you were visiting a lived-in country. This continues on into the game with even more intricate scenes complete with charm and character.
The interaction with the NPC characters throughout the game is done via text with no voice acting. Perfect for those who choose to utilise their imagination to read the words in a voice of their choosing. Some newer gamers, who may be used to games always including voice acting, may find it frustrating however.
The atmospheric background music that plays through the 8-bit vistas and scenes is also in the same retro vein with a great sweeping score. The music is fitting with such fantasy adventure such as this with music changing from scene to scene. A magical style introduction music greets you to the game whereas a more subtle fantasy/adventure background music plays as you explore.
Dark Prophecy itself isn’t that long. I completed it in around 20 minutes. I explored thoroughly almost every place offered to me. There are seven different areas to explore. That may seem lacking however, the areas offered to us are more than enough to explore. It’s a nice bite-sized taster into a genre that is much loved by many and maybe something some prefer over the longer marathon-style point-and-click adventures.
What you have here is a charming love letter to the point-and-click genre. It faithfully replicates the feel and style of those types of games. I, as a veteran of the genre, would have preferred more challenging puzzles, more places to explore, and more NPCs to interact with. As stated above though it’s a great introduction to the genre of games for those who have never played the style before.
Overall, it’s a short, but very intricate adventure game with time and effort put into the graphics and sound. It’s bound to keep you entertained for a while as you explore its charming fantasy world. I give The Dark Prophecy the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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