The developers of Dark Scavenger describe the game as being “a bizarre point-and-click RPG adventure with a focus on exploration, gaining loot and meaningful choices.”
I would’ve described it as a tad repetitive and drawn out.
For that reason, I was surprised to see just how many sources gave it such a big digital high-five for being unique, funny, engaging and a complete pleasure to play.
Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention. Maybe I simply played it wrong. But I wouldn’t have called the game Al and I covered a pleasure. It was alright, but I didn’t exactly feel like my time was well spent.
Although the graphics were unique and gave it character, I wasn’t exactly impressed, I’ve seen hand-drawn games before and they didn’t look like they were drawn on MS Paint.
The dominating plot line made a lot of sense. You’re a space adventurer in need of fuel and you decide to hunt for a source in the closest planet in your area. You’re so desperate for it that you’d kill anyone in your way for it, just as anyone else on that planet would kill you for it.
It’s a pretty standard sci-fi plot line. You need fuel, you scavenge for it on a strange planet. But the actual game play reveals enough plot holes that you actually start to wonder if the entire game was a actually made as an inside joke.
Did we just get killed and revived by a space trifle?
How did those aliens survive without any fighting or scavenging skills?
And while we’re at it, what the heck is a ‘Dark Scavenger’ and how can aliens without scavenging skills be called that?
Those thoughts really gave me a new appreciation for Al’s editing skills because he did a fine job cutting out all my insisting whining, “when does this battle end? I’m getting really bored. I’m getting really bored of this. We’re just doing the same thing over and over again-” (During a 10 minute tutorial battle)
I was so fed up by the end of it that I described the game as a hangover out of frustration. If you watched Al’s video, this would’ve happened 19 minutes in, but in reality this happened 47 minutes into the game.
In those 47 minutes, we met some interesting characters, got a warning from a dark creature in a cave (which, I’ll admit, scared me enough to ignite a scream), but overall nothing happened when it came to the story’s development and I think that’s where it all went wrong.
The truth is, if the game was slightly more fast-paced, I probably would have loved it. The reviews weren’t wrong when they said that it was engaging. The actual dialogue was entertaining and witty in parts.
Dark Scavenger has a fantastic potential to be an incredibly entertaining, funny and exciting game but it’s handicapped by the slow pace of the game and perhaps even
the liberties it takes with its plot and character development. But the latter probably would’ve been ignored if the game was fast paced enough to distract us all with with comedic gameplay.
The quality of the gameplay was also hindered by the constant need to make decisions because there’s no real guide or clues on how to proceed or where to go in order to help the plot develop. Playing an hour of Dark Scavenger can feel like forever simply because there’s no real sense of achievement or progression to lighten the game play.
It was a fair indie effort, and to be fair it’s not unusual for indie games to have lower production value than the more polished titles out there.
Having said that, I’d still recommend that you pop onto their website and trying the demo out for yourself. The game is quirky and strange, but if you don’t take it too seriously and if you go in knowing that the game will unfold rather slowly, you’ll likely have some fun.
The dialogue is indeed entertaining and perhaps even the strongest point of the game. You’ll likely have a laugh or two every once in a while at their wit, silliness and somewhat dark humour but unless you’re a huge advocate and fan of flash point and click RPG games, don’t clear your entire schedule for a marathon of clicks.