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Dark Fall: Lights Out

Score: 89%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: XXV
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Dark Fall: Lights Out is the sequel to the creepy-horror style Dark Fall: The Journal, and is a classic-style point-and-click adventure where you take on the role of cartographer Benjamin Parker, as he attempts to find out the mystery behind the Fetch Rock Lighthouse.

Lights Out harks back to the days of the original Myst and The 7th Guest, with its beautiful pre-rendered graphics and embedded animation. Unfortunately, the animation isn't always smooth. Early on, I noticed several instances where the movement was jagged and very rough. This seemed to take away from my overall enjoyment of the game. It just seemed a bit out of place to see these rough facial expressions while someone was talking to me.

The letterbox feel of the game helps to bring out the high-quality feel that the developers are trying to put out. The black areas at the top and bottom of the screen are prime locations to display inventory and menus without having the scene in front of you being covered up.

The voice work is fair, and the sounds come off really well. Both do a great job of adding to the atmosphere of the game. In the beginning, when you wake up at the fog-covered port town, the sound of the ocean waves and wind works great as a way of getting you into the game. Also, the original cast of Dark Fall has come back to do the voicework for this sequel.


The port town of Trewarthan has a history of losing ships and sailors to its jagged rocky shores. Dark Fall: Lights Out follows a young cartographer, Parker, as he visits the town in order to help map its shores and save lives. One night though, a thick and ominous fog rolls over the town and the light house suddenly goes out. Parker is startled awake by a fog horn. He leaves the safety of his home and soon finds himself on an adventure to find out the dark and horrific secret that has turned off the Fetch Rock Lighthouse. From that point on, Parker finds himself encountering puzzles of many varieties. The story that unfolds before the player spans four different time periods and will have you wanting to play it more and more in order to find out what secret is being kept in the ill begotten lighthouse.

Parker isn't the only character that you will be working with in Lights Out. He will be joined by ghost hunter, Polly White, as she also attempts to find out who or what haunts the town and beacon. Unfortunately, I can't go into much more detail about the story -- lest I reveal parts that would spoil the fun and surprises of the game. Suffice it to say that the story is rich and is a great ghost story.


Dark Fall: Lights Out has a wide range of puzzles in it. They come in varying difficulties, and there were a few times when I had to think really hard about a problem before I was able to get past it. I found that there were a lot of times when I would go through several smaller puzzles and make a lot of headway in the game, and then hit a big one that caused me to put Dark Fall down for a while. Basically, the puzzles are well balanced, none of the tasks are too difficult, and none are so easy that they seem pointless.

Game Mechanics:

The game mechanics of Dark Fall: Lights Out are simple and follow suit with its classic-adventure style. You interface with the various objects and people by clicking on them; typically this action is followed by some sort of animation. This animation can be the item moving into your inventory, or book opening for you to read, or something else of that nature. Thankfully, I never had the "which pixel do I click" problem that haunts many other adventures of this style. What objects you can and cannot interact with are fairly visible and are rarely in a position to be completely overlooked.

Dark Fall: Lights Out is a fair adventure game -- it isn't great and doesn't stand out from the crowd, but the puzzles will keep you involved and coming back. This game was made for adventure gamers and will probably keep most of them entertained for a good while.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium III 450 MHz or Better Processor, 128 MB RAM (256 MB Recommended), 24x DS-ROM Drive (or PC DVD Drive), SVGA Graphics Card or better with 32-Bit Color (32-Bit Color at 800x600), DirectX 9 Compatible Sound Card; Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers.

Test System:

Windows XP Professional Ed., AMD Athlon 600 MHz, 384 MB RAM, DVD-RW, Geforce3 Ti200, DirectX 9.0.

Microsoft Xbox Madden NFL 2005 Windows EverQuest: Omens of War

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated