Emilly in Darkness is the a new indie title from ME2 Studio. Equal parts Legend of Zelda, Gauntlet, and survival horror, this moody and atmospheric game is interesting if nothing else. Featuring some very cool concepts, an intriguing, though often poorly translated story, and simple retro top-down gameplay, this is definitely one to check out.
Emilly is having a very bad day, to put things lightly. First she wakes up in the middle of a forest with no memory of who she is. That’s usually the end of the game’s setup right there, but nope. Poor Emilly is then shot down and killed, waking up again in a labyrinthine kind of purgatory or hell, full of strange demonic and even robotic monsters. Using her own blood as a projectile weapon, which makes me think of Steam video game the Binding of Isaac, which is always a good thing, she must find her way to her own body again, though she doesn’t know why or what will happen in the end.
Aside from some issues with a sticky virtual joystick, the game plays well enough. You earn points for killing enemies and eventually unlock other abilities, such as an enemy disabling trap pentagram or bombs that can destroy weakened walls. You also have to use your blood sparingly, as it is possible to run out and hurt yourself. The game is not very challenging, and is a bit more combat oriented than I would have liked. The atmosphere is excellent though, with great ambient sound and music, a stark black and white art style, and extremely dark and foggy levels. With only a small cone of vision to light your way, there is great potential for a scare or two as you wait for a monster around the corner.
The developer has already promised patches for the control stick and the poor translations. Either way, if story and atmosphere draw you into a game, this one should be quite the treat. If you’re more into smooth gameplay and action, you should probably stay away, to be honest. Emilly in Darkness is a lovely little indie title with some cool ideas, and it’s currently available for one dollar.