Project Dark was developed by Red Meat Games, who graciously provided me with this game. It is an immersive audio game that uses binaural sounds to create its experience. Players will get to choose their own adventure and overcome challenges that take place completely in the dark. Vocal narratives drive the story, as players listen for certain verbal queues to know what actions to take. Project Dark‘s audio gameplay is a unique approach that Red Meat has developed exceptionally. The narrator tells players to close their eyes to get the full experience, and doing so creates a more dynamic atmosphere and brings a sense of horror to certain stories.
Project Dark is an ambitious step in the video game industry and provides players with new ways to tackle obstacles. There isn’t much in the way of replayability, but I had a blast going through each story the first time around. While I do personally prefer more graphic-heavy adventures, I have been known to check out a few visual novel games, and Project Dark gave me a very similar feel. The split-up stories are the only thing holding it back, in my opinion. One long journey in total darkness would have made Project Dark feel more cohesive.
Project Dark is available now via Steam, Nintendo Switch, Google Play Store, and Apple App Store.
Story: Choose Your Own Adventure!
Project Dark features a “choose your own adventure” format that allows players to select their story. Options include going on a literal blind date or defending against a home invasion. Others include surviving with your crew after a treasure hunt or choosing strangers to be eliminated in a horror-type game. Unlike other games that have a long story, Project Dark has several separate stories to choose from. While this format doesn’t create a wide, detailed story, each adventure has its own unique settings and experiences that players can enjoy as single scenarios. Project Dark is a story-telling game, not unlike a visual novel, however, visuals and reading have been replaced with audio and listening.
Though I enjoyed my time with Project Dark, I can’t help but feel this game would be better with more RPG-like traits. The stories are broken up into scenarios, and I feel one main story with a few side stories along the way would have created a more captivating experience. I would have liked to see a larger adventure taking place, with NPCs telling the player where certain items are located. This would allow more engaging actions as players would need to remember item locations and travel to obtain them all while strictly using sound. Boss battles could even be implemented, relying on their movement sounds to react properly.
Gameplay: Simple and Relaxing
Each story in Project Dark follows a similar format for gameplay mechanics. Audio plays a key factor, so paying close attention to words and sounds is mandatory. The narrator will explain the scenario and advise which actions to take when appropriate. Gameplay largely consists of swiping on the screen with the mouse, choosing left for “no” and right for “yes.” Occasionally, the player will have to use the mouse to reach around in the dark to make contact with items. For example, in the blind date story, you must move the mouse around to locate your date’s drink to toast. This can lead to comical scenarios, such as knocking her glass over and spilling her drink on her clothes or food.
Overall, the gameplay fits the tone nicely. While I would have liked more complex mechanics, what Red Meat has given us makes for an easy-to-grasp game. While the actions tend to be a bit repetitive, they result in a very relaxing gaming session for anyone who just wants to enjoy fun stories. Project Dark is definitely a game in which you can relax with your eyes closed while in bed and still have a good time.
Graphics and Sounds – An Immersive Audible Experience
As stated earlier, Project Dark does not rely on ground-breaking graphics to provide its story. Each story scenario includes an image associated with the scene, such as a house or restaurant interior. The menu features a simple layout with audible instructions. This format assists players with visual impairments in navigating the screen while choosing their adventure. The audio is definitely where the action is with Project Dark. You will hear the waiter pouring drinks, food plates being placed, and the chattering of others at the restaurant. The submarine noises sound incredible, especially when you play in the dark with your eyes closed. Red Meat has done a great job ensuring total immersion when playing the game as recommended.
Project Dark was reviewed on PC.