Dark Fall 1: The Journal Review
Don’t judge ghosts by their spirit orb.
Available on: Steam
Genre: Point & Click Horror
Publisher: THQ Nordic
With the wide plethora of ghost related shows and movies, such as Ghost Whisperer or The Conjuring, and most is successful no matter if a lot of people hated it afterwards. So when it comes to games of course we will have ghosts in them too. For the most part I never see any quick cash grab games with ghosts like I do with zombies. Though with ghosts being very prominent in the horror genre, with them holding fear in our world, of course Dark Fall will fall into horror. And with this I do find it interesting how they handled the ghosts.
Dark Fall is really chill, not rushing things so you can take your time. You come to this abandoned train station and hotel so you can help your brother out. Who told you about some strange happenings while he was working on the area. Once you get there, you are confronted with the mystery of why people disappeared and soon figure out a way to release their spirits. You are literally put in to go through the story freely as you do not need to go through it in the order it wants but just to get to the end and achieve it.
This is heavy on the reading. Without being able to talk to anyone, all the history and clues resides in books, notes, and various papers scattered around. It does a wonderful job in this regard as you get the feel for all of the people who disappeared and the hotel you end up spending most of your time in. Many of the clues will also be revealed in your readings but you do get a sense of whether it will be important enough to jot down, or if you already got to the puzzle you will know what information you need to get.
And while yes some of the puzzles and items are far out there. I even had some troubles with finding solutions; some just being that I did not know I could view the contents or just missing a movement prompt and another to trigger a ghost to talk. But most of them are fairly easy to get through and figure out, especially the overarching one. I do like how they are all connected to the residents of the rooms at the time, especially since they hid all the scraps of paper with the symbols you end up looking for.
The greatest strength is definitely the atmosphere. Everything adds onto the atmosphere making this eerie. There is barely any music during the actual gameplay. Making a simple ringing of a phone send goosebumps as it slices through the silence. The only place that predominantly has some sound is the room hallways and I actually thought it was more towards the ghosts making it before I found a device that measured what activity is more likely to take place based on the distance you were to the ghosts. With this I love that the ghosts talked to you. With my previous experiences being the ghosts attacking you or being hostile, I like that these ghosts had no interest other than just talking. And well it sure spooked me the first couple times. One of my favorite moments was going into the room of Matilda, the actress. When you poke through some papers she reveals herself with an observation that you like poking through people’s stuff.
I, personally, do not find the graphics too detrimental to the experience. Everything is supposed to look old and it does well showcasing this. Though if you are someone that finds updated graphics vital to the experience you might not like how this looks.
It does have a weird window resolution, which will of course mess it up for your computer if you alt tab, but I never had any problems of the screen being unviewable due to this. Without changing my resolution, the hit box of items were still accurate and the movement arrows still showed but of course you will need to get used to where they generally show up at. Such as door ones being on the handle rather than being the door itself. Though of course I do have an average screen size/ resolution so those that have bigger or smaller sizes might run into this problem.
+ Ghost interactions
– Weird fixed resolution
Dark Fall 1 The Journal is one of these games that you will spend time reading about and exploring your surroundings. If you do not like games that give you little to no guidance, not linear, and has old graphics, this might not be for you. I did thoroughly enjoy going through the rooms and finding out the mystery with a few nice ghost interactions.