Dark Meadow Review
- Publisher: Phosphor Games Studio, LLC
- Genre: Adventure
- Released: 6 Oct, 2011
- Size: 546.8 MB
- Price: $1.99
- Luscious visual style; menacing without resorting to gory cliches.
- Top-notch vocal work; adds life where there is ostensibly none.
- Interesting approach to 'found' narrative.
- PRO TIP: Pay attention to what you see on the blackboards - it could be very helpful.
- Pacing shot in the foot by constant pauses; movement/post-combat etc.
- Lengthy random encounters quickly become tiresome.
- Poor handling of in-game learning; need to access an external website for finer details.
Dark Meadow a gorgeous and at times engaging take on the Infinity Blade style of gameplay, tempting players to delve ever-deeper, but quickly getting stuck in a rut all the same.
- Full Review
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Infinity Blade did something clever when it originally came out - and no I don't mean the graphics or oddly enough the gameplay itself, but rather the way in which it embraced the all too common trope of an amnesiac hero and spun it in to gold. While Dark Meadow by Phosphor Games Studio attempts to capture the engaging spirit of this new breed of RPG, it stumbles in key points, making it hard to truly fall in love with it.
The main character is a mystery - essentially without identity or memory after having woken up in a dilapidated hospital. You're quickly spurred on to wander the corridors of the facility, chasing after a violent spirit guarded by oodles of grim and nightmarish monsters. Should you take the time to explore (and you should), you'll uncover snippets of story as well as the occasional gem to collect (a full set rewards you with a healthy bonus to your stats).
These 'stats' can go a long way to determining your play style when encountering a random wandering monster. Initially fights start out at long-range with the crossbow being the weapon of choice here; headshots do extra damage, but you'll also need to dodge vomited projectiles as well. If the creature survives you'll switch to a melee combat system that keeps things simple, allowing you to dodge out of the way if you can predict a strike or otherwise block them. The game goes out of its way to tell you when the monster is vulnerable, making it easy to learn patterns even when they learn new moves.
Aside from stats that boost your battle prowess, weapons and amulets can provide additional effects such as stacking damage bonuses; damage over time; or a constant aura that burns creatures as long as you're fighting them. Cash earned via combat or in the world itself can be spent on better items, though the occasional item drops from monsters and In App Purchasing can shortcut the process.
All of this is well and good except for two features that work in harmony to completely kill your sense of momentum. Once a monster is dead you're forced to wait for a screen to flash up the experience, cash and items earned without the ability to skip or speed it up; combined with players being forced to respawn in the very first room when they die, this can result in painfully long 'resets' as you trundle slowly back to where you were.
Where Infinity Blade handled this problem by adding new content with each iteration (at least enough to handle a single, full playthrough), Dark Meadow starts to skip a groove early on and what was once a freakish monster becomes an annoying waste of time. The occasional 'special' creature such as the golden 'exp' monster or the speedy 'cash' monster make for a nice reward when exploring, but is too little an offering to offset the oft-repeated battles against a handful of monster types.
Fans of horror titles will dig the atmosphere and attention to detail in not only the gorgeous Unreal engine environments, but also in the story left behind. If you enjoyed Infinity Blade and you're after something to bulk up your repertoire of Action-RPG slashers, you'd do well to check out Dark Meadow, just don't forget to heal up - it's a long walk back to where you were.
DescriptionVISUALLY STUNNING, ENGROSSING STORYTELLING GAME ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE! UPDATED WITH NEW CONTENT!
*Nominated for Mobile game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
* IGN: "worth playing just to experience the game’s huge amount of eccentric dialogue, and to experience the unfolding mystery.... one of the best to hit the App Store in recent memory."
* KOTAKU: "at home in the halls of BioShock's Rapture...disturbingly gorgeous experience."
* DESTRUCTOID: "a very atmospheric and engrossing game with a delicious streak of dark humor coursing through its veins.. worth picking up for anybody with an interest in iOS gaming."
* JOYSTIQ: "It's a surprisingly funny, gorgeous game that's an easy recommendation... ram home the truth that mobile games are getting surprisingly good at creating big worlds on tiny screens."
* TOUCH ARCADE: "The Dark Meadow is a standout in almost every way. From look to setting to the touch-centric gameplay, it shines, and you can tell this title was crafted with much love "
* GIZMODO.UK: "a splendid achievement. The bar has been raised, the gauntlet has been thrown down, and the hyperbole has been exhausted. We can’t wait to see the next game that tries to go one better."
* MODOJO: "a cross between BioShock and Infinity Blade... a hauntingly beautiful and intriguing game everyone should play, as it offers both a compelling adventure and a glimpse into the future of smart phone gaming. "
* GAMEZEBO: "arguably the best title to come to the genre. It's gorgeous, it's creepy, and it's a blast to play. This is the perfect game to play during the Halloween season. "
A dark fairytale of intrigue and mystery, where the sins of the past must be paid for… So sets the stage for The Dark Meadow -- a visually stunning world of deep exploration, gripping story, and heart racing combat, created with the unrivaled power of the Unreal Engine 3.
You awake in a hospital uncertain of how you arrived there or why. An old man warns of a beautiful witch whose minions roam the halls seeking the living. It is only when the witch is destroyed that you will be released from this unrelenting torment.
Using fun and intuitive fully gesture-based controls, you explore the decaying ruins of Montclair Hospital, armed with your crossbow for long-range combat as well as your sword for up close and personal melee battles.
The best elements from role-playing games encourage exploration as a wide variety of items are secreted throughout the world – from hidden scraps of paper that reveal the mystery of your imprisonment, to weapons and items, to money which can be used to purchase better equipment and weapons.
- Visually stunning, photo-realistic world built with the Unreal 3 engine
- A mature plot, stylized as a dark modern fairytale with bizarre twists and turns;
- In-world storytelling and quality acting
- Gesture-based action: crossbow ranged combat with ‘pull back and fire’ mechanic, slashing melee combat with dodging, blocking, and combos;
- Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean , Italian, Simplified Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese languages.
What's New in Version 1.1.1-Fixed Retina support issues so graphics on mobile devices now render as they should
-Fixed a bug where health packs were not spawning in world as they should
-Adjusted enemy loot drops to be more generous
-Increased Sun Coin rewards from killstreaks
-Premium Game and upgrade now convert all costs of swords, crossbows, and amulets permanently into gold from sun coins (note: these will NO LONGER be available for sun coins after purchasing the premium upgrade or the premium version of the game)