User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Heart of Darkness

Published by
Developed by
Released
Official Site
Platforms
MobyRank MobyScore
PlayStation
88
3.8
Windows
74
4.0
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Description

Andy is a child who likes playing with his dog Whiskey, doesn't particularly enjoy going to school, and has a knack for inventing complicated gadgets. One day Andy and Whiskey are strolling through the park, when suddenly a solar eclipse darkens the sky, and after a moment Andy realizes that his dog has been taken away. But science can solve everything, and Andy heads to his treehouse, which is home to his outstanding inventions, including a spaceship! If you thought it was just a toy, you thought wrong, because Andy boards the ship and pilots it into the heart of the Darklands, a world controlled by the evil Master of Darkness. Andy takes out his gun (another splendid invention of his) and prepares to fight the evil sorcerer's minions. Nothing will stop the boy from rescuing his beloved dog!

Heart of Darkness is a cinematic 2D platformer designed by Eric Chahi, the creator of one of the genre's progenitors, Another World. Though the game has many fast and furious action sequences, including shooting hordes of dark creatures, it is built like a series of tasks, each requiring different approaches, from arcade-style shooting or jumping to interacting with the environment and solving puzzles. Like its spiritual predecessor, the game is linear; completing a section usually takes Andy to a different location, where another task awaits him.

Andy has several guns at his disposal, though in certain locations he will lose his weapons and will rely on the player's wit or quick reaction to survive. Andy will also gain magical energy, which can be used to grow or destroy trees. Similarly to Another World, many hazards are placed on the hero's path; despite the child-oriented premise, the game contains graphically explicit death scenes, which occur if the player is not careful or quick enough to save Andy from a gruesome demise.

Heart of Darkness features orchestral music and pre-rendered animated cutscenes. It comes with a pair of 3D glasses, which allow the player to view certain scenes in the game in 3D.

Screenshots

Heart of Darkness Windows Options Menu
Heart of Darkness Windows The evil master of darkness
Heart of Darkness PlayStation Caught by one of the foes.
Heart of Darkness PlayStation Main menu

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The true heir of Another World Windows אולג 小奥 (171622)
Watch it for the moon in the time of noon! Windows コナン (77709)
If at first you don't succeed: try, try again Windows *Katakis* (37842)
A great game cast from a mold long long lost. Windows Brian Hirt (10014)
Grade-A platformer. Windows Zovni (9350)
One of the most underrated, best Adventure/Side Scrolling games of all time. Period. Windows Dragoon (89)
Out of This World at the Heart of Darkness... Windows Accatone (5185)
Is one of the best games we ever played! PlayStation Dani Mittler-Coe (3)

The Press Says

Power Unlimited PlayStation Sep, 1998 9.6 out of 10 96
Gamezilla PlayStation 1998 84 out of 100 84
CyberJoy Windows Oct 17, 1998 4 out of 5 80
PC Player (Denmark) Windows 1998 8 out of 10 80
GameSpot PlayStation Aug 28, 1998 7.8 out of 10 78
Power Play Windows Jul, 1998 78 out of 100 78
PC Player (Germany) Windows Jul, 1998 70 out of 100 70
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Sep, 1998 64 out of 100 64
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jul, 1998 60 out of 100 60
IGN Windows Sep 29, 1998 5.8 out of 10 58

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Willy Beamish? 3 Zeppin (8355)
Oct 01, 2009

Trivia

Aliens

The friendly aliens Andy runs into in his adventure are called "Amigos", this is Spanish for "friends". In fact they all speak in Spanish in the English version, although they do so in loose, unconnected words.

Copy protection

This game is one of the early users of CD-based copy protection.

Development

Eric Chahi (main creator of Heart of Darkness) worked on the game from September 1992 to June 1998 (5 and 3/4 years). The game is based very loosely on the Joseph Conrad novel of the same name.

DirectX

Although the installation program insists that you need DirectX 6.0, the manual says HOD will run on NT 4.0 with SP3.

Extras

  • The game comes with a small pair of 3D-glasses with which you can check the after-final animation which is black and white until you put those glasses and see the depth and get a feeling of what you see as real 3D picture.
  • Some releases of this game on CD-ROM contained a Making of Heart of Darkness video documentary, which had interviews with the development team.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for this game is performed by The London Symphony, and composed by Bruce Broughton. Release date is 1999. The CD also contains a Demo of the game.

Tracklist:
  1. Main Title
  2. Andy's Mission
  3. Big Mistake
  4. Andy's Friend
  5. Space Island
  6. Vicious Servant
  7. Back to the Lair
  8. Meteor Destroyed
  9. The Plot
  10. Andy's Victory
  11. End Credits
This soundtrack was available on the Intrada label (www.intrada.com).

Story

Though the game is not a sequel, add-on pack, nor spin-off, the game has a striking similarity of story to 1990-1992's Commander Keen series.

Information also contributed by B.L. Stryker, Garcia, MAT, Narushima, Swordmaster, Yeah No and Zovni

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Brian Hirt (10014) and Grant McLellan (545)