The game begins with the player awakening in a cold, dark room after a mysterious event. Initially, the player can only light and tend a fire in the room. As the game progresses, the player gains the abilities to collect resources, interact with strangers, start a village, and explore the world. As the game progresses, the type and quantity of resources and exploration available increases.
According to The New Yorker, “What follows is a strange hybrid, part mystery story and part smartphone productivity software…the game evokes the simplest text-based computer games of the nineteen-seventies while stimulating a very modern impulse to constantly check and recheck one’s phone. It’s like a puzzle composed of deconstructed to-do lists.” The site added, “You can begin to see a structure emerge from the fragments, but where that structure will lead you remains impossible to predict, and so the compulsion to keep pressing little word buttons grows stronger.”
Timewaster Rating 4/5 Go & Play!!
- TouchArcade gave the game a rating of 4 out of 5, writing, “It’s a strange little thing, to be sure, but I’d definitely recommend A Dark Room to people who appreciate off-beat RPGs, fans of experience-driven games, or really anyone looking for something a little bit different from usual.”
- Slide to Play rated it 3 out of 4, commenting, “It may not seem like much at first, but if you stick around long enough, it’s easy to fall under A Dark Room’s spell.”
- 148Apps gave the game 3 out of 5, writing, “A Dark Room may have plenty of longevity and may be genuinely intriguing.”
- Engadget praised the game’s surprise ending, writing that “…it’s definitely worth the time it takes to find it.”