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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 19/10/06

Darkest Fear 3: Nightmare Review

Developer: Rovio


Game Features


Decent graphics and sound
Plenty of levels to play
15 endings depending on what you collect


No real pressure in the game
Some levels can be too easy

Save Option
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K600

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 20/10/06

Dr Thomas Warden is back for the final chapter in the trilogy.

All good things must come to an end it seems and DF 3 is no exception. With the first part centering on puzzles involving light and the second part having more of an adventure game feel to it, what new twist would the third part bring?

Well, it's a two character co-operative game. It's still single player but this time you get to control both Thomas and his affected daughter Helen as well. The only catch is she can't stand the light whereas Thomas gets attacked in the dark. The plot continues with Thomas trying to find a cure for Helen's affliction. He comes across one of the monks who wants to aid him in finding the four ingredients for the antidote and then we're off into the mysterious levels and spooky music.

The graphics are an improvement on the last two versions, although they are still overhead and 2D. You do now get more lighting effects, especially a moving shadow which is a nice touch. There are lots more things in the levels and the level is detail is quite good. The monsters in the dark are the same as always, although they do look a little bigger to me. The movement can be a little jerky at times, but maybe this was just the beta version that we played. Still, the game did look nice and had some decent still pics as the plot advanced. And every once in a while you get some lightning and a few mysterious faces appear on the screen to add to the suspense!

Sound is pretty good as always. For these games you pretty much have to play them late at night with the lights low to get the full effect. The tune is quite eerie and really suits the game. I will have a little moan and say that there were no sound effects which would have helped.

Controls are very simple, walk around using the D or key pad. Pressing the main button or 5 will pick something up or put it down if already held. For the stones one press to pick it up and one press to throw it. To turn on switches just walk into them and light torches by picking one up and approaching a fire. You can switch characters with zero and the * key will freeze the screen and allow you to have a look at the layout of the level to plan your route which is a nice touch. There are loads of instructions at both the menu screen and in the game if you feel the need.

The game plays pretty well. There are some really nice touches about DF3 and then some things which I thought were missing. The game has turned into a full puzzle game and a little of the adventure element is gone. It's still based around light although this time there are no people to save or creatures to kill which is a shame. Also gone is a little of the mystery and plot as on loading, you can see the number of levels (each has to be unlocked) and the plot advancements come at specificly named intervals. What is good about the game is the co-operative and puzzle aspects of it. The objective in each level is to get both characters to the exit and hence "survive" the level. To do this a whole host of new puzzle elements have been added like stones you can throw onto switches, spikes that you control and evil eyes you have to shine light onto to get to restricted areas. There are still torches which you can light and flashlights and big mirrors (who left them lying around anyway) and you have to figure out how to control the switches and get both of them to the exit doors. In addition to this, Helen can pick up monster abilities on certain levels (denoted by the big blue ball next to the level name) which can enable her to get to areas she couldn't before. What's the point of this you ask? Well, apparently the game has 15 endings although I've only seen 4. There are scrolls to collect on levels which influence the endings (20 scrolls can be collected) and some scrolls on earlier levels can only be obtained by getting the relevant monster ability and going back to play the level again. In addition to the scrolls, there are four ingredients in the antidote which you have to find (denoted by a beaker next to the level name) and these too will affect the endings.

One thing that really struck me when playing DF3 was that the sense of fear was gone. There are boss levels at intervals (with some really obvious hints if you need them) but there was no manic running about the screen as a monster was chasing you. Each of the characters had a health bar that was only really depleted if they got caught in the dark or light respectively and here were no sudden plot developments or twists as the plot only appeared briefly in the game. The puzzle element was only really tricky in a few areas and the game itself isn't that hard. The main objective is to get to the end and with no scary things on your back (ok, there were a couple of zombies moving around on two levels, but they really were moving as slowly as zombies normally do) it's just a matter of time to figure out the correct path to the exit. This did range however, from a few minutes to a good half hour on some of the longer levels so I suppose you get some value for money. And at the end of the day, finding out the safest route itself is actually fun and challenging.

Still, for the lastability element, I suppose you have all the scrolls to collect which took me a little while, but you get cheat codes after you finish which can be inputted in the game. The ending was as mysterious as the game itself, and of the four endings I saw, three were pretty similar but for a few minor details. One thing the game does have is a bonus level which can be unlocked by getting an average rating of C overall in the game. The rating is based on how few moves it took you to get to the exit and ranges from A-F. As I was playing it through as quick as I can I mostly got F's with one A and a couple of C's. At least that's my excuse anyway and I'm not sure how many people would replay these levels just to see what the bonus level is like. But the game did take a fair while to complete so you are getting value for money and there is a 'twist' at the end.......