Meow, Me-Ouch: A Walk In The Dark

By Adam Smith on December 13th, 2012 at 5:30 pm.

Do you remember the first time you played Super Meat Boy? What about VVVVVV, that noble ode to spikes, the eternal and unexpected end of so many heroes? Chances are almost all of you had exactly the same reaction – ‘this is horribly difficult and that would be fine if I was looking at a cat while I’m playing it. For my nerves, you understand.” Only a maniac would solve that problem by gluing a cat to the top of his monitor or attaching felines to his face. They scratch. Playing A Walk In The Dark may be the best solution. It’s out now and includes inch-perfect platforming, spikes and a cat. There’s a launch trailer below to prove it.

When I saw the first footage, I hoped for something more like the early Oddworld games or Flashback, mainly because I wanted to see a slickly animated cat climbing up ledges and exploring rather than exploding on a circular saw. If you do like to prevent cats from rubbing up against blades and spikes, you may be interested in purchasing A Walk In The Dark. It’s DRM-free, direct from the developer and costs €5.

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36 Comments »

  1. caddyB says:

    I’ll buy it because: cat. That’s why.

    • brulleks says:

      I’m with you buddy (as Cat might say).

      As long as it’s more VVVVVVV than (un)super meat boy.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Looks like someone finally made a spiritual successor to Alley Cat. Ironically, it seems to contain no alleys whatsoever.

  2. oldkc says:

    ‘N+’ > A Walk In The Dark < Limbo

    Discuss

    • skyetetra says:

      Since you asked for a discussion, I would like to point out that is incorrect mathematically. You can’t have both directions of inequality on the same line since it is ambiguous. Did you mean

      ‘N+’ > Limbo > A Walk In The Dark ?

      Or maybe

      Limbo > ‘N+” > A Walk In The Dark ?

      Or was it some sort of ASCII art expressing an explosion of games coming out of A Walk In The Dark?

      • jrodman says:

        You can have it. 5 > 4 < 6 is valid, just silly.

        • jon_hill987 says:

          Yes, but ’6 > 4 < 5' is equally correct so it is ambiguous, you might as well say:

          "Jean is shorter than Brutus but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Jean, but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Jean and Brutus combined but only one-tenth of the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of x – y. If Jean stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep?"

  3. webwielder says:

    The first game designed specifically for the front page of Reddit.

  4. Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Spikes and a cat? That part of the sentence is redundant.

    Cats are 86% spikes by volume.

  5. Dark Acre Jack says:

    Passed on the game, picked up the OST. One of the better ones I’ve heard this year. If it’s one thing a lot of indies get right it’s their music.

    • webwielder says:

      I feel like music and sound design has always been the great equalizer in game development. Back before graphics were good, you could still have great music and voice acting to give an unimpressive looking game some real charm/atmosphere/scariness. And today, indies have the same tools and abilities as the big guys to create great music and sounds. You don’t need a huge budget to make good music, just a good musician. Of course, when it comes to extensive foley work, AAA will still have the advantage.

    • WhatKateDoes says:

      Lush soundtrack, bagged it at the beginning of the year. The design and style of the game is really appealing, but I admit the game is less so. Worth buying the game for the music alone tho… its like the Commodore 64 all over again :D

  6. bit.bat says:

    The animation feels a bit stiff and without charm to me…

    • Agnosticus says:

      My thoughts exactly

    • kael13 says:

      My immediate thoughts, too. I was excited until the cat started jumping around. Surely that’s the one aspect you would feel is essential to get right.

  7. Brise Bonbons says:

    Hmmm, looks like a lovely game with some pretty unique platforming segments. Unfortunately this sort of game drives me up the wall and not in a good way.

    Why must the indie space be so full of puzzle/instadeathsaw platformers?

    I’ll slink back to Lone Survivor now.

  8. Archipelagos says:

    A walk in the dark certainly doesn’t look like a walk in the park. /flee

  9. Emeraude says:

    Looks lovely, if anything.

  10. Dervish says:

    I laughed out loud at seeing this blatant Limbo + Meat Boy + VVVVVV combination. But if you threw in time puzzles, world rotation, and whatever else would lead to a Frankenstein of all the popular indie platformers, then it would at least be amusing-funny instead of sad-funny.

    • DJ Madeira says:

      I felt the same way. Even had the same “wall jump on the doors to open them” & buzz saw launchers as SMB and the same gravity-flipping (which seems to have been exhausted mechanically by, like, every platformer ever) as limbo. And the controls don’t even look all that tight.

  11. SubparFiddle says:

    They lost me at “purrfect”…

  12. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    Bought this earlier its a superb 2D game which has pretty gfx, very good controls & gradually demanding but increasingly frantic gameplay. Well worth the £4/€5 asking price. You swap between the little girl & her cat in between levels the little girl levels are similar to the Alice Madness Returns 2D subgame. A lot of game to love if you like 2D platformers this is one of the best available right now.

    When it gets the Steam Greenlight you will also get a Steam key for it.

    Its the sort of game MS/Sony would charge £10-12 for if they ever manage to get their greedy little paws on it!!

    • BlackestTea says:

      I bought it today as I had the day off and thought I could spend a few delightful hours with it. Aesthetic and soundtrack are indeed superb, as others have mentioned.
      Having been a big fan of SuperMeatBoy (most played game on steam) and VVVVVV (I need only three tried for Venni, vidi, vici) I was sure I would enjoy it. Somehow, I’m not. Sure, it’s great to see these beautifully desinged levels, but the controls feel just that little bit /off/ – which is sadly the worst thing to happen in this genre. Especially when characters are in the air, I feel like they are just too floaty. Now, of course that means that I’m simply not good enough at the game yet, but in SMB and VVVVVV I had fun loosing – I felt everytime I died, I knew how I would have to control better and differently to get further along and while it was a challenge, it always felt doable. Here, I just get frustrated. I feel like I should be easily able to do a segment, and I feel like I’m executing correctly, but it’s not happening. Of course, I might simply be too used to those other games to appreciate a different take on character movement.

      Another thing that bugged me were the “hitboxes” that never quite felt accurate. Of course SMB and VVVVVV have the advantage here with their simplistic characters, but especially with the girl I often feel like I’m hitting stuff that I shouldn’t be hitting (I’m not sure whether that’s actually the case, though).

      A final gripe with the game that’s more of a personal preference issue is that I don’t like having 3 different modes of control (jump&crouch, flip gravity, autorun&flip gravity&crouch) in the first 4 levels. That’s just because I appreciate when this kind of game teaches me a distinct skillset that I can improve on. Switching it every few levels doesn’t help me there. Neither do those automatically triggered jump-pads in the autorun sections: If I’m not able to make that flip by myself, don’t put it there!!

      I will definitely continue to play, because I love the aesthetic so much, the negativity above just mirrors my first burst of disappointment. I’ll update the post if it all ends up making sense (hope!!) :)

  13. YourMessageHere says:

    I may have had some sort of revelation because of this. I’ve always hated platformers, myself, but having a cat as the protagonist makes it all make sense in a way that sending plumbers or blue hedgehogs or sentient cubes of meat to leap around completely fail to. Cats behave like they’re in a platform game all the time anyway. Having watched the video I know I’ll not play this, but I’ve had this idea about a cat-based platform game where a cat jumps around, not to save someone or anything, but because it suffers existential self-doubt and must reinforce its own sense of catness by doing quintessential catlike things:

    -Jumping on things gains catness.
    -Falling off things loses catness.
    -Catching small creatures in your travels gains catness. Eating selected parts secretly gains more catness.
    -Attacking larger creatures (dogs, cows, babies) and getting away clean gains catness.
    -Other cats provide stealth interludes; once you go near one, you must get into a position where you can see the other cat but it can’t see you, and keep that position for an arbitrary length of time.
    -Finding and gazing into corners gains catness.
    -Cat toys lose you catness and are to be avoided, and may constitute a serious obstacle.
    -Bowls of food initiate a random roll to determine what type of food you actually want to eat. Unless that food is the same as you roll, you will lose catness. Unless of course the food is another cat’s, in which case it doesn’t matter what type it is, only that you nicked it.
    -Bothering a busy human gains catness.
    -Sitting on a sitting or crouching human gains catness. Large multipliers apply for humans on the toilet, throwing up or otherwise busy.
    -Going anywhere near children loses catness.
    -The end of every level is a sunny windowsill. Of course, you can ignore it as you wish.
    -You start off grey. As your catness increases a tabby pattern gradually emerges and becomes more elaborate.

    Please, someone, make this.

    • jpupu says:

      Truly this would be the greatest game ever devised.

      -Waking up humans just to watch you eat gains catness.
      -Bothering a human to open the door for you and not going through it gains catness.

  14. vivlo says:

    YES ! i’d been willing it for so long !