Then Take Off Your Sunglasses: Dark Visions

By John Walker on December 15th, 2010 at 7:01 pm.

Gloomy.

It’s not fair to damn a game for being competent. But it’s an unfortunate position that lies between interestingly good, and interestingly bad. That’s where I’d put Dark Visions – a Flash-based point and click adventure that probably deserves a lot more credit than I’m going to give it.

Perhaps its biggest problem for me is the incredibly unoriginal plot and setting. A turn-of-the-last-century spooky old house to which you’re invited, then trapped, and you soon discover unpleasant goings on. And those goings on are experimentations on psychiatric patients. I think this may be the 1,000,000th game to feature this plot, and thus wins a special imaginary prize.

You play a girl, because you must play a girl in all point and click adventures now, who attempts to find out just what the dickens is going on, and some keys.

But here’s why I’m being unfair. This is a very old-school point and click, containing three ways to interact – look, use and walk – which means it’s already three times more involved than anything coming out from the professional developers. Being Flash you unfortunately have no right click, so changing icons requires a click or a number key. But being Flash, they’ve managed to get all of a trad adventure into Flash!

It plays like one of the seventy kerbillion Euro adventures of the early noughties, complete with a few pages of books to read, a concoction to make from various chemicals, and an opening voice actor who sounds like David Rakoff coming around from an anaesthetic.

It’s relatively short, and it doesn’t have a satisfying ending, but it’s also free, and logical. That’s logical if you spent your life playing adventures, but it’s very true to that tradition.

But then it’s also that same story yet again. Although I think the developers may know that. During the closing credits appears:

“(Un)original Concept
Rob Kreuzer”

Anyway, it’s free, and it’s pretty competent, so why not?

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29 Comments »

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  1. Rymosrac says:

    My vision is augmented.

  2. malkav11 says:

    Good lord those character models are ugly.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I don’t think they’re any uglier than the models in The Longest Journey — well, in its cutscenes at least. April Ryan in the cutscenes looked like she was roughly carved out of stale cheese.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      And if that’s coming from a Brit, that really means something… ;))

      BTW: Please use reCAPTCHA. Whatever this is, it almost reaches YouTube’s CAPTCHA in terms of failure and badness.

    • Gremmi says:

      I am slightly in love with Zoe from Dreamfall:TLJ.

      I don’t know why.

      Also she is not real and I’m a freak. But then again I fancied Gadget from Chip’n’Dale as a kid, so who knows.

    • Twerty says:

      Protip: Fall in love with a character from a game that will likely receive a sequel within the next decade, if at all.

      Even in the category of impossible video game relationships, yours goes a step further.

    • Gremmi says:

      Don’t you badmouth Zoe or I will fight you, sir, fight you dead.

    • uggs outlet says:

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      Harlander says:

      It’s probably not good form to reply to spambots, but man.

      “Preserve it up.”

      I love it.

  3. outoffeelinsobad says:

    Go play Ben Croshaw’s Chzo Mythos instead. It’s also free. And great.

  4. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    Woaaah, you can edit the “Read the rest of this entry” bit!? Is this new? Have you done this before?

    Pardon me for overreacting to this but it really seems like you guys have missed a trick up until now. Messing around with the jump link seems right up your alley.

    As for this game… something about the overall presentation just doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t like to be finicky, but as far as adventure games go appearance counts for a lot with me. Probably more than most other genres. I’d much rather just see 2D animation than this weird faux-3D stuff.

    It could be a great game, but I can’t see myself getting into it unfortunately.

  5. Nurse Edna says:

    “You play a girl, because you must play a girl in all point and click adventures now”

    You mean like how in pretty much every other game in every other genre you must play a guy? :P
    And even if it were true that you always had to play a girl in adventures, is there something wrong with that?

    The rest of the review is fair though. I liked the game. It’s nothing new, but it’s good for a flash point and click. I’m an adventure fiend though, so I can overlook an overused plot.

    • Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

      “The rest of the review is fair though.”

      And even if it weren’t, is there something wrong with that?

    • Ozzie says:

      And even if it were true that you always had to play a girl in adventures, is there something wrong with that?

      Well, it’s a bit one-sided I guess, but it depends on the characterization anyway.

    • Hunam says:

      I like playing as girls in adventure games. It helps me get into character for when I pretend to be a girl in MMOs.

    • BigJonno says:

      Most protagonists in games are male because of the commonly-held view that all gamers are 14-30 heterosexual males who wouldn’t play a game with a female character in case they got cooties. This is despite the success of Tomb Raider and Metroid, the fact that gamers are a much more diverse bunch than that and the obvious truth that 14-30 heterosexual males like looking at a woman’s arse.

      Most adventure game protagonists nowadays are female due to a slightly awkward need on the developers behalf not to be like the guys in the paragraph above and to be recognised as the sensitive, intellectual, modern men that they are. And to score points with feminist chicks.

    • Calabi says:

      I think the reason most of these sort of games have a female protagonist is percieved approachs. A males approach would probably be “bash head against door until open”. Whereas a female encourages a more measured approach.

  6. Gremmi says:

    Weirdly, the exact antithesis to this (in that it’s amateurish in interface and graphics, fantastic in atmosphere and setting despite the cliche) is Downfall. I suggest peoples go and check out that bad boy. http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/games.php?action=detail&id=1170

    Also you don’t play a girl.

  7. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Why do I have the feelin’ John’s a nitpicker quite often? And I found out I tend to have the quite opposite taste to his as of late (MoH, Poker…)…
    Oh well.

  8. Hunam says:

    Times passes without event…

  9. Premium User Badge

    stahlwerk says:

    “You can’t think of a reason to carry an umbrella around with you now.” … in addition to the empty bucket, the unmarked record and the fuse that are already in your inventory.

    <3 Oh adventure games, never change. <3

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      I’m now at 66% completion, pretty decent game, you can see a lot of work went into it. But now i’m stuck, well maybe tomorrow I’ll know where to apply this syringe filled with rat-relaxine.

  10. Gabe Kotick says:

    @RPS, Of all the games on all the web, why this?
    I had more fun replying to zhengnt above than playing this.

  11. Gabe Kotick says:

    TF2 update available now.

  12. brulleks says:

    @ Gabe Kotick

    Lol. This may be my favourite comment of the year.