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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Ribarro

From The Darkness




At A Glance

  • Released: 3/30/21

  • Reviews: 1,914, net very positive, as of 8/2023

  • English Reviews: 846

  • Localized in: English, Russian

  • Had Publisher: No

  • Majority of reviews:

    • English ~37%

    • Russian ~19%

    • Korean ~13%

  • Price: $6.99

  • Review report:

    • Negatives: puzzles were a bit confusing, lacking in story, not scary at all, boring, got stuck in some places

    • Positives: terrifying, purely atmospheric, ambience and audio are on point, insanely scary



Gameplay

  • One of the switches turned on then broke

  • Grabbed a key, hear breathing from a dark room

  • One of the doors is pushable

  • Got a key item, then another room illuminated on its own

  • Puzzle item was in the oven

  • I was previously being blocked from the inner apartment, but it unlocked when I got the puzzle item

    • Symbols hidden under bed and in mirror, not hard to find

  • Get a flashlight

    • The light doesn’t exactly follow the camera, lags behind (looks good)

    • Camera in general also leans into where the player is looking

  • Must walk around apartment, note says enemy dislikes light

  • Had to use a guide, didn’t realize I could interact with the wall and peel back a curtain

  • Had to pull teeth out with a tool

  • There is now a box of candles but i need a lighter

    • Entrance slams open, no need

    • Outside it is a nightmare world

  • There is a spot on bottom floor that leads to outside, but it’s an empty plane

    • Appears that the doorway was the main ending, but wasn’t supposed to be reached yet

  • Supposed to get in an elevator with scary guy, haven’t seen this done before

  • No credits

    • Also no way to continue, just stuck

Music

  • Music is interesting, like a dubstep heartbeat

  • No music, mainly a really intense droning, sounds heavy and foreboding

Sounds

  • Walking sounds odd, seems like the sound fades in/out when starting/stopping

    • Probably prevents popping

  • A ghostly wail played, must be on a loop or something because it played earlier too

  • Elevator noise from upstairs

  • Waiting a minute, I hear fabric ripping

  • Heartbeat plays after leaving room

    • Could also be feet on a carpet, odd beat

    • I can also hear where it ends/loops, abrupt

  • Heard a knock at the door, maybe some events are on a timer?

  • Sounds start playing, some guy eating flesh and moaning

    • Now the game has become terrifying

  • Baby crying after retrieval, closer to the room the crying is warped

Art

  • In-game you can see your body (no fancy rotations)

  • Camera moves a tiny bit when still, nice touch

  • Inside apartment there’s an airlock, might be used for loading

  • In apartment the screen is going black infrequently

    • Can’t tell if this is the light or blinking eyeballs

  • A post-process film grain is visible in one area of the house

    • Seems to be used for dark rooms

    • Power goes out, unimpressive sfx

  • Lights turned on/off at scripted intervals

  • Noticed a bloody screwdriver in closet

    • After trying to leave door closes

    • Figure is outside

  • Lights start going on and off

    • Appears to be on a timer

    • ‘Shift to run’ popped up even while staying still

  • Going to monster room there is some goblin eating something

  • In the room with broken light was a body on the toilet

  • The exit turned into a skin door

  • Wall graffiti says I’m doing something wrong

UI

  • No options menu, they are crammed into main menu

  • Default Unity UI was used

  • Theres a localization gap, but it’s readable

  • Load Last Save resets the main menu

Scare Factor

  • Knocking on airlock door a few times causes a loud bang

    • Could hear a bit of static coming from it

  • I could see an outline of the breather in the dark room

    • Nothing happened, but the post-process effect was intense

  • The room with missing switch has a mirror and a jumpscare doll

    • I saw the reflection first, and naturally, wanted to get a better look (then doll jumpscared)

  • Briefly saw someone's legs, but it was too quick to comprehend

  • TV went all scary then cut to a picture (not video) of an enemy in the shadows

    • ‘I do not want to go over there’

  • Album was in front of monster

    • Says to get out

    • Contains an image of main character walking in for first time

  • Room turns light on and off

    • Dolls eyes follow you

  • After running around, enemy shows hand from the darkness and crushes a light bulb, then he runs out of the room

  • Running toward kitchen I see nothing, then the light goes out and I see the enemy briefly in front of me

  • Under bed lights turned off, timer again?

    • Have to turn them on myself

    • Scary man in mirror, door closed

  • .went into the scary room, only a chair and broken noose

    • Door closed

    • F on wall, needed to turn off light

    • Light was forced off

  • Enemy was peering around corner, very tall

  • Had to grab tool from closet, turn around and big scary monster was there (no sfx jumpscare)

  • Scary guy was holding lighter, not dangerous

Extra

  • Made a similar game previously in 2019

  • Was clear about the game taking ~an hour

  • Game has done very well with seemingly no marketing

    • Had somewhat of a following on itchio, made first demo game in 2018

  • When opening game it goes straight in-game, camera on player

Overall

  • Masterclass in using a minimal environment to its absolute breaking point and still being terrifying

  • Brilliant at building tension and fear in such a small space


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