Alone in the Dark: first impressions by Nick Albright

Review by (Nick Albright <>

I fell in love with this game when I saw it on my friend's 486 a while ago, and since then have anxiously awaited it's arrival. :) Here are my first impressions:

The first thing I got after the nice Interplay logo, was a request telling me that I only had enough space to save 2 games, and did I want to 'Play Anyway' or 'Make Room'. I selected make room, and got a listing of save game names, letting me delete those I wanted to get rid of. (What is S3P from?) I couldn't seem to make enough room for more games, so I then selected play anyway. (From a picture in the manual, it looks like you can only save 3 games, but it didn't say exactly)

It then went to the book of credits. The first thing I noticed is how improved the graphics look. I don't know if it was the interpolation or if they added more colors. (The rest of the game was this way as well) But it was a noticeable improvement. I got impatient, and pressed 'A' to skip it. Instead of skipping it, the screen went blank and the credit came out of the blackness, only to explode similar to the way the ships in TE explode.

I then came to a menu where I could load a game or begin a new one. I selected a new game, and then selected the female character. The text that provides background to the character was spoken aloud as well. (The PC I played on didn't have any sound card. So maybe the PC version has this) The accent was nice, but the text was spoken too slow. (IMO) (I do know how to pronounce Derceto now though ;)

When playing I noticed a few things right off. There is a black border around the play area. But the graphics definitely seem improved. (Again, it could be the interpolation/anti-aliasing, or maybe more colors) There is very moody music playing in the background, which changes with what happens in the game. (Well done, IMO) The orange and red colors seemed a bit off, but that may be because of the composite/RF output vs. the RGB of the PC. Or just bad color choices.

There seems be a minimal delay when switching views. Not sure if it's in the PC version or not. It runs the same Frame rate as a 486! This definitely makes the 3DO worth it In My Eyes. (Now give me the Ultima series, and I'll learn Digital Circuits, and work for 3DO ;)

There are a few confusing errors/omissions in the manual. On page three where it gives an overview of the controls. The A button should be 'Action' and not Attack. The B button should be 'Inventory' and not Jump. They get it right when explaining the functions, just not in the overview.

They left out that the Shift keys will exit you out of the Inventory screen. And pressing forward twice will allow you to run, as well as pressing the C button.

Overall, I am enjoying it. For anyone who enjoyed the game on the PC, I highly recommend this version. It was worth my $59.99 :)

Hope this makes sense, but I want to get back to the game! I'll let someone else write a better review. = )



P.S. Any spelling mistakes are not those of the author, as he can't spell. :)