The Dark Eye (Windows)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
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Written by  :  Terrence Bosky (5463)
Written on  :  Jul 30, 2002
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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"Had bad dreams last night, did you?"

The Good

Not so much a game, The Dark Eye is an interactive tour through several of Edgar Allan Poe's works. You begin as a man visiting his uncle in a decrepit mansion. He lives there with his young niece along the desolate coast, painting eerie pictures. You soon learn that your brother is there as well and he has taken an uncomfortable interest in his cousin. No wonder you can't sleep.Half the game takes place in this house and the other half in waking nightmares based on Poe. You experience several of his stories and poems from both the perspective of the assailant and the assailed. As you work your way through the nightmares, you begin to see horrifying parallels to the real world.

Character voicework is very good and the game stars William S. Burroughs as the elder uncle. Burroughs' recitation of Annabel Lee and The Masque of Red Death are not to be missed (and worth the price of admission). Ambient sound is suitably eerie with whispers and dripping sounds. Music is also very good.

Graphically this game is very impressive. It uses a static Myst-style interface with claymation characters (which are more impressive than they sound). The stop-motion animation is very convincing but they could have used better transitions.

As I said, this "game" doesn't really focus on gameplay, but is a great tour of Poe's world.

The Bad

I imagine that those who are familiar with Poe's works would like this game, and those who aren't would not. Much of what you do in the game comes from knowing what the characters do in the stories. Also, those expecting a traditional "game," with puzzles and such, will no doubt be disappointed.

The game itself is rather short, maybe five hours long. There is little replay value (other than reexperiencing the stories) and you won't have missed anything along the way.

The interface is pretty good, but they could have made inventory easier to deal with and several areas require three-point turns to get to.

The Bottom Line

This game is an interactive tour through the works of American Horror Writer Edgar Allan Poe. In spite of it's age, it looks and sounds good and has a few chilling moments. It suffers only from its brevity and strict adherence to the subject matter.