A Dark Room

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
A Dark Room App Poster Image
Terrifically imaginative game uses text, not graphics.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Following the game's instructions is incredibly easy, but the choices you make influence how the game plays out. That's where the difficulty -- and the story -- come into play. 


Villagers die and eventually meet (and battle) mysterious crazed wanderers, but the game is all text-based and there's no explicit violence. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know A Dark Room is a text-based adventure game with a minimalist approach, forcing players to visualize the game. It's initially a series of repetitive screen taps, but the story that slowly unfolds is captivating and surprising. Content and gameplay style might be a bit much for young kids, but tweens and teens (and adults) will do fine. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySalsander January 17, 2015

A great minimalist RPG that requires a good imagination

I agree with Common Sense's rating of the game A Dark Room. There's little to no inappropriate content, though younger players may not understand how... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMadiLynnSmith January 15, 2016

Great, But Not For Younger Kids

This app does consist of only text, but just because you can't actually SEE something, doesn't prevent you from seeing it in your mind. There are plen... Continue reading

What's it about?

This text-only game requires a lot of screen taps. You start the game by tapping a simple button saying "stoke fire" a few times before the story starts to unfold. You'll eventually begin gathering resources and building shelter, again through screen taps, and keeping tabs on how the world around you is changing via a series of text updates that flash at the top and side of the screen. The game uses a minimalist approach to engage players through story and imagination rather than complicated screen controls or graphics.

Is it any good?

A DARK ROOM takes a bold leap of faith in this graphics-obsessed world, using a very old-school text-based interface and relying on the strength of its story, player curiosity, and imagination to tell its tale. It's a leap that succeeds. As with the Web-based text adventure Candy Box, it's a minimalist approach that works. 

There's a surprisingly rich story here, but it requires patience. Fortunately, A Dark Room doesn't demand that you stare at the screen to play. Users can walk away and resource gathering will continue, letting them build additional items and venture further into the mysterious world around them when they return hours or days later. Some players may find the clicking to be monotonous. Others may not appreciate the slow pace. But those who stick with the game will be rewarded with one of the more unusual (and entertaining) apps around. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the need to help others. 

  • Families can discuss how the best stories are often the ones that unfold slowly. 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure games and RPGs

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