The basic premise of Alone in the dark is this: Your character (you choose male or female) must enter and old, empty home (called Derceto) to retrieve some antiquities or somesuch. Of course, the house is rumored to be haunted, and the minute you step foot inside strange things begin to happen.
As you explore the house you come upon clues that help you to determine exactly what happened in the strange old home. Of course your explorations are hindered by attacking ghouls, ghosts, and enchanted suits of armor.
The point-of-view of the game is very cinema-like. As you walk down a hallway or through a room, the screen will change to different camera views (disconcerting at first). Alas the cameras are not animated, thus the backgrounds are static. They are highly detailed however, and your character is rendered in full 3D with polygon graphics. Your polygon character interacts well with the "painted" backgrounds and the frame rate is sufficiently high. In fact, I have reason to believe that they purposely "slowed down" the motion of the character to make it more realistic and controllable (check out the spinning armidillo or whatever it is in the intro....FAST polygon graphics there!). I have found that using the "C" button to move around (which makes your character run) makes the game move more quickly.
The soundtrack (music) spools from the CD, and is pretty good. Spooky sound effects are used well, and all text is spoken (although the voice acting leaves something to be desired...oh well).
The game has a lot of rather difficult puzzles to solve, I found myself going back the the software store and purchasing the $5.00 hint book. There also seems to be a larger book which covers Alone in the Dark 1 and 2 (for the PC I presume) as well as what to expect from AITD 3.
Although the puzzles are frustrating and less intuitive than some other games (like 7th Guest and Myst), I still enjoyed this game and recommend it to anyone who likes the Adventure game Genre.
Anyone remember old games like Cranston Manor for the Apple ][? How times have changed...