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.

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
Teen, 14 years old Written byRyukGodOfDeath April 21, 2009

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 o... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byVesper795 September 30, 2009

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 da... 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

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate