Have You Played... A Dark Room?
The fire is burning, the room is warm
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Is A Dark Room a survival game? It's a browser-based resource management game, which wears the uniform of an 'idle' experience but is about far more than accumulation over time. Perhaps it doesn't quite fit the survival theme because it's impossible to fail but it repositions the language and grammar of survival for its own sweetly sinister ends.
I've never really understood the appeal of 'idle' games. The first one that came to my attention was Progress Quest and I sniggered at what I took to be a satirical swipe at MMORPG grinding. And then Cookie Clicker happened, along with a host of imitators and even an idle game generator, and I felt slightly afraid. What if all games became idle games? Wasn't there a trend emerging in the on-rails nature of modern shooters and the abundance of cutscenes that meant every game was doomed to become fit for idle hands?
Was the devil taking over the entire show? Not while A Dark Room was there to stoke the fires of progress. It's a mystery wrapped in a survival sim, delivered in the form of a free text-based browser game.
You can read more Survival Week articles over here.