Alone in the Dark

Common Sense Media says

Gory survival horror with subpar game mechanics.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You are an investigator of supernatural phenomenon and discover dark secrets about yourself as well.

Violence

Your character uses a gun, explosive devices, and other fire-based weapons to kill zombies and other creatures. Bodies litter the environments, with plenty of blood. Some enemies even spit blood in your face.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The f--k word is used with regularity.

Consumerism

There is the occassional ad for Atari merchandise, but little else.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is a pretty gruesome survival horror game. Your character must kill zombies and other supernatural creatures with a handgun, incendiary devices, and other fire-based tools (players learn alot about how to make fire bombs). Bodies are scattered throughout the landscapes, some even decapitated. Blood is evident on walls and floors, while zombies spit blood at your character. The game also includes some pretty strong language.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Atari, known best for its classic gaming library, takes a frightful turn with the release of ALONE IN THE DARK. While this survival horror adventure incorporates some unique concepts, there are too many scary features lurking in the shadows. As Edward Carnby, you rove New York City's Central Park investigating a supernatural phenomenon. As you progress, you'll uncover not only Central Park's dark secret, but mysteries about your character. Perhaps the story's most interesting element is an episodic layout. Each level is treated like an episode of a television series. When you return to the game, you're treated with a brief recap of what happened previously. Levels end with closing credits, allowing you to absorb the game in small chunks. If certain sections are too difficult, you can even skip to the next part.

Alone in the Dark is a mix of multiple game genres, including first-person shooter, platformer with puzzle solving, and open-world exploration. You'll kill zombies one moment, then hop in a car to escape a barrage of creatures, or study how to get out of a decimated skyscraper. A key component to the game, as well as your primary weapon, is fire. Most enemies can only be killed by burning. A clever inventory system offers great variety in determining how you do this. Combine flammable liquid and a handkerchief to create a Molotov cocktail, pour liquid on ammo for fire bullets, or grab an aerosol spray can and lighter to create a mini-flamethrower.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While the choices are robust, pulling them off is a vexing matter. Combat is maddening. You're constantly flipping between a first-person and third-person perspective, often to your detriment. Players can only throw items or melee attack in third-person, and can only fire their gun in first-person. Shooting is difficult because the mechanic lacks a more precise aim feature. Driving is equally frustrating since cars are nearly impossible to control. Moving and striking with objects like axes looks and feels stiff. Alone in the Dark's attempt at blockbuster status is unraveled by subpar gameplay mechanics.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the survival horror genre. What's the key to making these games scary? The game introduces an episodic structure, similar to a television series. Is this format better or worse than a more traditional layout?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Windows, PlayStation 2
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Atari
Release date:June 25, 2008
Genre:Survival Horror
ESRB rating:M for Mature (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Alone in the Dark was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byRyukGodOfDeath April 21, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

1st to review ^^

This game is NOT for people under 14!!!
People under that shall be very scared to play, and seriously, this is the stuff of nightmares!
but for people over 14 or just 14, great game.
You start by waking up in a room coverd in blood (See, not for kids) and a old man is laying the other side of the room. with him, to people beating him up (not for kids again) and one of the men come over and makes you follow him to the roof, but the a black thing comes out of the room and kills him, blood goes everywere. and you have lost your memory (as i forgot to say ^^) so you walk around and its a hotel, you meet a girl who dies, you jump over fire, and then you need to drive to central park with the old man and another girl you met and theres zombies there, and you have got a gun and you run to a place injured and theres to men who sware alot, you need to get better so you spray your self. i wont tell you any more ^^ thats it!
14+!!

Kid, 11 years old Written byMaKeView_259 May 31, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Fine fine game

Nice game but it gets a bit old with the combat and graphics

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byVesper795 September 30, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Alone in the dark is not for the faint hearted(children)

this game can be scary for children that are not used to games like zombie mode on Cod 5. Call of duty world at war(cod 5) is a lot goryier than alone in the dark. but alone in the dark has a little bit more sweareing in it.
Overall i would say 15+

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