Alone in the Dark

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
Alone in the Dark Game Poster Image
Gory survival horror with subpar game mechanics.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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
Language

The f--k word is used with regularity.

Consumerism

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom June 25, 2010

Alone in the dark is very scary.

Alone in the dark is a very violent and scary game. There is a lot of blood throughout, Blood all over the place. If you have played Nazi zombies, expect the sa... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 24, 2018

What the hell were you expecting!!!

Seriously I've heard so many people say this game is not for kids. Look if your kid says "buy me this game mommy"that is called ALONE IN THE DARK... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 26, 2012

For teens around my age who like to kill zombies.

Those who live in the area around the games centrepiece may be disturbed by the game and so it's not recommended for everyone.I got this game when I was 11... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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