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A Dark Room
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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.
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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 ...
For kids who love adventure games and RPGs
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.