One snowy afternoon, I decided to play a game; a game Iíve played before. But the grey area that is my memory is not what is used to be so all games look new to me... Haha, got you there, didn't I? No, don't worry, I'm not going loopy yet. We still have years of reviewing ahead of us before that happens. So sit back, relax and let this week's game take us back to the dark ages. The year is 1380. The place is a castle just outside of Prague. In this castle, there lives a brotherhood of men. Well actually, in the story there might be a few women, so itís actually a brotherhood of men and women... wait, shouldn't it be called a brother and sisterhood when there are women involved... Never mind! Who cares about those details anyway? Not me, not me! Let's just call it a clan for now and be done with it.

As you can imagine, it's not always love, peace and harmony within the clan. The people in it actually quarrelled quite a lot. So a few men, fed up with the fact that everyone seems to be an equal within the castle walls, try to seize power over the clan. These men, who separate themselves from the brotherhood, are the Keepers. Their main objective is to take the castle by force and rule over its inhabitants. The rest of the clan isn't too keen on letting them get away with this and a fight is born.

As the battle rages on, the keepers become stronger and stronger and things are starting to look very bleak for the rest of the clan, so they unlock a gate to... The Dark Side. Not knowing how large the power of the Dark Side is, or if it will even help them, AND not being able to control that evil power, the clan unleashed a deadly mist. This mist makes no distinction between the keepers, the priests of the clan or even the citizen of Prague. The only hope is to close the gate and seal the evil within. To close the gate they have to find an ancient amulet. And wouldn't you just know it?! The only one capable of finding the amulet is the Last Descendant...

So when playing The Dark Side I am, of course, this fabled last descendant. I find out that there once were nine priests, but they're all dead now so I meet them as ghosts. Being the good guys, they all want to help me during my search for the amulet and each one offers to give me his power medallion, but only if I can solve a string of puzzles first. If I collect all power medallions, I receive an artefact with which I can defeat the Dark Side and seal the gate. So there only remains one question: Did I successfully vanquish evil and save a lot of people...?

The answer to this question is quite apparent. Of course I did! These days we can just travel to Prague and do a city tour, no deadly mist in sight. And all that, thanks to the one and only Daisy Gunpowder, yay!

You can play this game on three different difficulty settings. When playing in Casual mode, you get a lot of hints and the possibility to skip puzzles. In Advanced mode, the game gets more challenging, you receive less hints and can only skip puzzles after a set amount of time. If you play the game in Hardcore mode you receive no hints at all, and must wait a very, very long time before you can skip a puzzle. It really doesn't matter on what difficulty you choose to play The Dark Side, it remains a nice game to play. It's not all that difficult, although there were times that a certain puzzle proved to be a little more tricky than I originally thought. I didnít get a map to travel between locations, so sometimes you have to go all the way back where you came from, just to proceed. That was the one thing about this game I found a tad disappointing. Nearly at the end of the game, you are given what, for lack of a better term, I'd like to call a walkthrough. But at that point it's a bit too little, too late.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed playing this game. So join me and come to The Dark Side, we've got cookies...

Warning: For young kids, this game may be too scary!

Margriet "Daisy Gunpowder" Dumee

9: The Dark Side
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March 22, 2013