Editors' Choice Game
Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder
Reviewed by Angie Kibiloski
Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder (Retail $29.99) is a creepy, suspenseful adventure game from Lighthouse Interactive, inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. You play as Howard Loreid, a police detective in 2011, following the trail of a murder suspect, a former private investigator named Loath Nolder. As you uncover the details of the last case Nolder was working on, and start to unravel the mysteries of a strange and ancient cult, you begin to wonder if taking this case was the biggest, and possibly last, mistake of your life.
There is a very limited number of actual characters to interact with, but the atmosphere of the environments makes you feel like you are never alone, with that eerie feeling that someone might be right behind you when you next turn around. Even the statues seem to be sinister somehow. The spooky ambient sound effects help to increase that feeling, in addition to all the dark corners that you must walk past and into, without being able to make out exactly what hides there. The characters you DO meet…well, you might wish you hadn't.
The puzzles in this game are fairly logical. Most have to do with finding the right objects with which to interact with various locked boxes, hot spots, and other devices. Only a few are true puzzles, where you just have to sit there and fiddle with the components until you get them in the right order, direction, spacing, etc. All types of these puzzles are decently challenging, but not overly frustrating, and they all further the plot.
During the game, Howard will sleep, sometimes by choice, more often not. During these times, he dreams, and you must play these dreams like the rest of the game, finding clues and objects to get you out of the dream, and away from whatever nasties are inhabiting your nightmares. Are these dreams just figments of Howard's subconscious, or are they created by some external, sinister force? Are they dreams at all, or could they be real?
Be ready to shiver, to stop and stare at your screen and think, "Do I really want to know what is behind that door?" Be ready to join Howard as he sneaks around abandoned houses, peers into darkened holes, runs for his life, and loses track of what is reality, and what is nightmare. Just be ready to do all of this with the lights on, or Howard's nightmares just might stick with you a bit more than you'd like. Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder is a scary little romp that will capture your imagination and set your hair on end. If you like a little fear with your adventure, you'll love this game.
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