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User Reviews

Thrills and chills abound in this spooky, mystifying adventure! Jeanne (76327) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the voice or video acting. 3.5
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work and the game plays. 3.8
Graphics The visual quality of the game 3.6
Personal Slant A personal rating of the game, regardless of other attributes 4.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they are executed. This rating is used for every game except compilations and special editions which don't have unique game content not available in a standalone game or DLC. 3.9
Overall User Score (30 votes) 3.8

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Just Adventure (Aug 10, 2003)
It seems to me that Mr. Boakes set out to make an adventure game like one he'd like to play himself. And by careful attention to detail, excellent craftsmanship and good writing, he's managed to create a game that we want to play, too. He proves, as good garage games do, that it doesn't take big bucks to make a good adventure game. It just takes little things like artistry, creativity and diligence. Dark Fall is the best independent adventure game since Cracking the Conspiracy. Go buy it immediately - we want this guy to be at work on his next game already.
Quandary (Jul, 2002)
If this isn't the creepiest game around, then I don't know what is. It demands to be played with the sound turned up and the lights turned down, and everyone else in bed. I guarantee that you will feel the hairs on the back of your neck rise and your skin tingle more than once.
Armchair Empire, The (Sep 07, 2003)
I’m a sucker for old-school point and click adventure games. I also enjoy rooting for the underdog. Dark Fall (DF) hits both of these.
85 (Feb, 2004)
Un bel gioco d'atmosfera che non disperde energie in puzzles estenuanti o in labirinti interminabili ma entra subito nel cuore del problema: cerca, trova, collega, deduci; quindi più che un'avventura nel vero senso della parola, può definirsi un gioco horror- enigmistico che mette alla prova "le cellule grigie" del giocatore.
All in all, despite the game's worrisome save game problems with WinXP (I believe Jen had the same troubles with Windows 2000 too, mentioned in her comments below), its restricting full-screen setting, and the lack of professional polish throughout its many written communications, I would recommend Dark Fall to any adventure gamer desiring a subtle horror story rife with fine puzzles. It is in many ways a wonderful offering, the graphics being quite good considering the whole game was created almost entirely by Jonathan Boakes alone. Dark Fall kept me glued to my monitor over its entire length, which is truly saying something in my case as many big-budget, blockbuster adventure game releases wind up serving merely as sleep aids for me. All things considered, I still feel compelled to rate Dark Fall as a star, albeit a rusty, flickering one!
GameBoomers (Jan 05, 2004)
Dark Fall is a first-person, Myst-style game that is as beguiling as it is unsettling. It starts with a frantic phone message from your brother, who is camping out in an abandoned train station. You take a night train through the English countryside and wake up in a tunnel, listening to a child-like entity who seems to think that it’s still 1947. The nearby station is filled with symbols and memories from that era. It’s nostalgic, bleak and mildly creepy.
Game Over Online (Aug 08, 2003)
I'm starting sort of an odd trend. The last game I reviewed, Divine Divinity, came out over ten months ago. Now I'm reviewing Dark Fall: The Journal, which came out over a year ago. But while Divine Divinity is simply a game that took us forever to get a hold of, we have a much better excuse for Dark Fall. You see, it came out over a year ago in Europe, and it's only now reaching the United States. So why did it take so long to get here? I have no idea, but I'm glad it finally arrived.
With some of the bigger developers abandoning adventure games for other genres, amateur independents have stepped forward to fill the gap— Jonathan Boakes, Dark Fall: The Journal’s sole creator, is one talented example. This games perpetually unnerving ambience, interesting puzzles, and unique ghost story may very well help you forgive its graphical flaws.
80 (Aug 16, 2002)
Chiar daca tensiunea nu face niciodata cunostiinta cu pragul de sus atmosfera creata reuseste sa te tina aproape ceea ce este un lucru pozitiv si destul de rar intalnit la jocuri cu buget redus. Finalul nu se inalta sub nici o forma la nivelul general al jocului si sincer m-as fi asteptat la ceva special.
Gamers' Temple, The (Dec 23, 2003)
Despite my pure skeptical eye, Dark Fall - The Journey, scared the bejezus out of me. For the easily frightened, I would not recommend playing this game as I often did, with the lights off in the dead of night, alone. Some nights after playing I honestly had trouble falling asleep, it was that creepy. One particular night, I had reached a particularly creepy area of the game (the map room for those who have played), and a saw something out of the corner of my eye moving in my room. It was dark, and my eyes were not adjusted, so of course I assumed it was a monster about to kill me. It turned out to be a door mirror, and I was just looking at myself. At that point I calmly turned off the computer and went to my TV to watch Blazing Saddles.
Aventura y Cía (Sep 19, 2003)
Decía el colega Paco García que donde se ve más el futuro de la aventura es en Europa. Yo añadiría otra cosa: donde se ve el futuro más interesante en la aventura es en el territorio amateur, en las aventuras creadas en sótanos, garajes, con tres o cuatro amiguetes, o un matrimonio, con entusiasmo y ganas de hacer bien las cosas.
PGNx Media (Sep 18, 2003)
This is a great adventure, keeping with The Adventure Company’s knack for picking the very best of the genre. That said, not everyone will like its pace and those who don’t, will probably keep the same opinion throughout the game. But for those who can live with its pace and style, Dark Fall provides a good-looking, awesome-sounding experience with an excellent story with twists that’ll make you want to keep on playing.
GamesFire (Jan 21, 2004)
Im Grossen und Ganzen ist es ein ziemlich gelungenes Spiel, und wer es sich zutraut nach schweren Rätseln oder Geister zu suchen soll sich das Spiel zutun. Ein Kauf ist es jedenfalls wert, jedoch nur für Master Detektive!
Adventure Lantern (Dec, 2007)
Compared to the sequel, the first Dark Fall has a more coherent story, varied though not diverse puzzles, no excessive reading or frustrating pixel-hunting (only one bad one), and a more satisfying game ending. Even though the resolution is only VGA, the graphics are more than adequate to create a dark, mysterious atmosphere. The game is very well put together. The only complaint left is that the game is too short. My score is 78. It may not be a “must-have” adventure game, but if you do purchase, it is well worth your time. Play at night, with sound volume up.
IGN (Aug 20, 2003)
It is rare that a PC game, especially a point and click adventure, can give you that edge of your seat feel. Dark Fall: The Journal, definitely does this. Although its not the most technologically advanced of games, it has a gripping story coupled with subtle nuances that add a dimension of fear to the experience. Add in some puzzles and a lot of investigating and what you have is a pretty decent game.
Netjak (Aug 13, 2003)
It’s quite unusual when a small, independent project is so good and appealing to a large enough audience that a well-known publisher is willing to back it. While there are some bright examples, such as Bejeweled, Alchemy and others, they are limited mainly to puzzle and tycoon games. Dark Fall is an exception in the adventure games niche. A one-man team with some support for research, music and voice acting has created a very atmospheric adventure game that is on its way to become the sleeper hit of the year.
Adventurearchiv (Jul 24, 2002)
Even if the author indicates Myst as model, it has nevertheless only the perspective and kind of progressive movement in common with it. Story and atmosphere exceed the model and the logical puzzles, which are well integrated into the story, so that there is no frustration factor at all. With "Dark Fall" you get 20+ hours of exciting entertainment. The game has originality and is for sure not only a tip for ingrained 1st-person point&click lovers!
Game Chronicles (Sep 16, 2003)
While Dark Fall may lack the astonishing visuals and artistic direction of Syberia, it goes straight for the throat, immersing you in its shady, paranormal world and leaving you transfixed as it weaves its ghostly tale.
Adventure-Treff (Dec 22, 2003)
Eine beeindruckende Leistung, die der unabhängige Entwickler Jonathan Boakes hier fast im Alleingang erbracht hat. Technisch zeigt sich Dark Fall zwar eher minimalistisch, der wahre Adventure- und Grusel-Fan weiß aber die sehr gelungen aufgebaute unheimliche Atmosphäre zu schätzen. Es dürfte keine 10 Stunden dauern, bis man das Rätsel des Hotels und dessen einstigen Bewohnern gelöst hat, bei dem erfreulich günstigen Markteinführungspreis von nicht mal 16 Euro ist das aber nicht kritikwürdig und Dark Fall schon fast Kaufpflicht für alle, die sich gerne gruseln. Bei dem Preisleistungsverhältnis wartet man auch gerne auf den Nachfolger, der 2004 erscheinen soll.
GameZone (Aug 16, 2003)
Adventure-enthusiasts will find an enthralling game premise and environment that rivals the best horror titles while others will pass this up as a low-budget garage game. The $20 price is a fair investment, but only a dedicated fan will thoroughly enjoy it.
Dark Fall definitely appeals to specialized gaming tastes. Like another adventure I reviewed relatively recently – Chemicus – this title is definitely designed for the more cerebral player. Dark Fall eschews the normal audiovisual glitz in favor of something truly rare in computer games: a deep and compelling story that is worthy of a good novel. Through great creative writing and a flexible structure allowing for multiple paths, XXV Productions has crafted a different kind of play that turns into quite a memorable and disturbingly enjoyable experience. Just because most gamers (including most reviewers) would not appreciate Dark Fall does not mean that it fails to achieve its lofty goals.
Dark Fall is a combination of many things -- ghost story, historical fiction, and tale of suspense -- with a bit of present-day high-tech equipment. You arrive at a completely deserted train station, not knowing how you got there. No one else is around, but as you begin exploring the old hotel and train station, it is quickly apparent that you are not alone.
Adventure Gamers (Aug 30, 2003)
It's clear that we're in an era where publishers are refusing to give adventure games a chance. This does not mean that adventures are dead, however; it simply means that the future, at least short-term, is independently developed and published adventure games. It gives me hope when independent developers like Jonathan Boakes of XXv Productions are willing to labor for more than a year to create an adventure game. It gives me even more hope when the games they produce are as good as Dark Fall.
Dark Fall is a decent adventure game with a few problems that could have been so easily corrected. With the simplicity of the controls and interface, it’s a wonder it doesn’t work smoother. Still, for people who enjoy adventure games or a good ghost story, you may want to pick this one up. If you were bred on action games and have the attention span of a gnat you’ll want to steer clear.
GameSpy (Sep 06, 2003)
About half way through Dark Fall, an adventure game set in a haunted house, you'll encounter a puzzle in which you have to get through a locked door. Peering through the keyhole, you see something blocking it from the other side. If you instantly recognize that you're supposed to slide a piece of paper under the door, use a screwdriver in the keyhole to push the key out of the keyhole on the other side, and then pull the paper back to slide out the fallen key, then you're in your element. Dark Fall will be right up your alley.
Adventure Corner (Jan 26, 2004)
'Dark Fall' zu beurteilen ist nicht leicht. Sicherlich hat es eine ungeheure Atmosphäre und wer bei Dunkelheit spielt, sollte Herztropfen neben der Maus stehen haben. Ebenso stark wie die Atmosphäre ist die Story, die einen durchaus Fesseln kann, wenn man es denn zuläßt. Dies wird jedoch leider nicht Jedem gelingen, da die Einsamkeit im Spiel zwar ihren Sinn und Zweck hat, doch sicherlich nicht jedermanns Sache ist. Ebenso frustrierend kann es sein, sich quasi alles selber Anlesen und sich nur mit verhältnismäßig wenig Interaktion zufrieden geben zu müssen. Auch nicht ganz perfekt, wenn auch nicht katastrophal, ist die Tatsache, dass das Schlussrätsel umfangreiches Detailwissen aus dem vorherigen Spiel verlangt.
Absolute Games ( (Sep 07, 2002)
Несмотря на многие положительные качества Dark Fall, у меня есть некоторые сомнения в его успехе. Уж слишком «антипотребительски» выглядит игра. Автор оказался неплохим художником, но “Макромедия” есть “Макромедия”; фиксированное разрешение 640х480 сегодня вряд ли в состоянии порадовать чей-нибудь глаз. Да и нехватка кадров оставила на DF некрасивый отпечаток. Это достойный, но “гаражный”, сделанный одним человеком проект. Причем сделанный скорее для самого себя, нежели для кого-либо еще. Что, как мне кажется, не есть хорошо. Все-таки игра — это не книга.
GameSpot (Aug 06, 2003)
A lot of traditional adventure games put you in settings that are oddly, even comically, devoid of characters. Train stations, docks, markets, and museums all seem unrealistically deserted, except for a few conveniently placed characters you're supposed to interact with. It's a bizarre convention that's very much tied to the design of old adventure games--a genre that tends to live in the past, for better or worse. In Dark Fall - The Journal, you won't see any characters at all, but there's a good reason. Dark Fall sends you to a small English town that time seems to have forgotten after the 1940s--a town where the people are missing, but where their ghosts are all too present. Dark Fall breaks no new ground and puts too much emphasis on puzzles, but its meticulously detailed world and paranormal detective story generally keep things entertaining.
PC Gamer (Nov, 2003)
First, let’s thin the herd — Dark Fall is not for everybody. And I’m not saying that just because it’s an adventure game, but because it’s more like a niche category of a sub-genre of hardcore adventure games.
In conclusion, if you like a good ghost story that evokes a strong emotion, Dark Fall is the right game for you. It is a game to be best played at night, with the lights turned off. Not infrequently will you feel a shiver down your spine when you see a crawling shadow on a wall or are awakened by a sudden noise. There are no monsters in this game. Rather, the terror comes from the unconscious fear of the unknown and the dark. Yet, with a faster pace and a lengthier game, Dark Fall may deliver even much more of its potential.
Withingames (Dec 09, 2003)
Lassen Sie sich von der Kürze des Testberichtes nicht täuschen, denn das Spiel ist für Adventure-Fans durchaus sehr empfehlenswert. Mehr Text hätte vielleicht schon zu viel von der Geschichte rund um die Geschehnisse auf dem verlassenen Bahnhofsgelände verraten. Für mich persönlich sind diese Knobeleien zum Teil nicht wirklich die Erfüllung (wo ich doch eher auf Action stehe), aber die vielen Details und die durch das Zusammenspiel von Grafik, Sound und der erzählten Geschichte aufgebaute Atmosphäre haben auch mich überzeugt. Dass so etwas von einem Mann praktisch im Alleingang entwickelt werden kann, damit hätte ich wirklich nicht gerechnet. Dass das Spiel so lange gebraucht hat, um im letzten Jahr auf den internationalen Markt und heuer auch nach Deutschland zu kommen, ist wirklich Schade. Aber seit einigen Tagen ist es ja bei uns auch käuflich zu erwerben und Fans von klassischen Adventures können mit dem Kauf gar keinen Fehler machen.
60 (Dec 24, 2003)
Dark Fall parvient à tenir le joueur en haleine grâce à ses difficiles et passionnantes énigmes et son ambiance noire très bien rendue. Toujours est-il que la réalisation est vraiment obsolète et que les décors ne sont pas assez variés. Mais le jeu peut être assez prenant, si vous parvenez à oublier l'aspect esthétique et que vous vous munissez d'un stylo et d'un papier pour noter les indices que vous ne manquerez pas de glaner par-ci par-là.
Game Critics (Dec 17, 2003)
Dark Fall is in many ways a throwback to 1994's Myst. It brings the same point-and-click interface, the same graphic backdrop of still images instead of a scrolling environment, the same intricate layers of backstory and red herring plot devices that must be sifted through, and the same frustrating puzzles that involve a lot of tinkering with levers, buttons and enigmatic gadgets. Those who "got it" will "get" Dark Fall as well. As one who did not "get" Myst, I struggled to remain objective about a game that was created so closely in its image.
PC Games (Germany) (Jan, 2004)
Mit der Maus klicken Sie sich ruckartig durch 40 Zimmer, denen man die Auflösung von 640x480 Bildpunkten ansieht, und lösen Rätsel für Fortgeschrittene. Der Cursor verändert seine Form, wenn Aktionen möglich sind: Türen öffnen, Gegenstände einsetzen, Zettel lesen. Augenmenschen werden das Geheimnis von Downtown nicht lösen wollen – dazu verschreckt die Amateur-Optik zu sehr. Nur für leidenschaftliche Adventure-Fans.
Gamekult (Dec 12, 2003)
Malgré son ambiance sombre et stressante ce Dark Fall n'arrive pas à captiver. La réalisation est décidément trop vieillotte, les décors désespérément vides, l'environnement sonore minimaliste. Reste bien sûr les énigmes tordues à souhait, le scénario et l'ambiance pas trop mauvais. Mais seuls les plus grands fans de jeux d'aventure image par image pourront trouver leur compte dans ce jeu qui semble tout droit sorti du siècle dernier.
Joystick (French) (Feb, 2004)
C'est pourri. Voilà, ça fait deux mots. Non sans blagues, si vous cherchez un bon jeu d'aventures, Fumble est catégorique : offrez-vous Uru, même si c'est plus cher. Mais si vous tenez absolument à perdre vos sous en faisant n'importe quoi, envoyez-moi vos 15 euros à la rédaction.
GameStar (Germany) (Jan, 2004)
Die grottigen Soundeffekte reichen von Geistergeheul über das Quietschen einer Tür bis zu knarrenden Treppenstufen – und bringen Ihnen anstatt einer Gänsehaut eher Ohrenschmerzen. Speicherstände legt Dark Fall als Textdateien an und ist damit technisch auf dem Niveau der 80er-Jahre. Zu jedem Programmstart ändert sich die Bildwiederholrate Ihres Monitors, was Ihre Augen ruiniert. Horror-Freunde lesen besser einen guten Stephen-King-Roman oder spielen System Shock 2.