It’s very easy to judge a book (or game) by its cover. I nearly ignored a fun RPG for PC because, quite frankly, I didn’t particularly care for its appearance- it looked cheap, and I assumed it wouldn’t at all be a good game. I’m grateful that I was wrong and decided to play the game anyway, because the game’s developers have done a splendid job with the game from a creative standpoint, rather than from a technical one.
First off, what exactly is Dark Scavenger? Here’s some information ripped directly from the game’s website:
Dark Scavenger is an adventure game that combines strategic turn-based combat with unique point-and-click mechanics.
Filling the role of a powerful space traveler, you find yourself stranded on a mysterious planet in the company of three eccentric, yet resourceful aliens. As you desperately seek a way to repair your ship, a massive conflict unfolds around you involving warring factions and a sinister force that threatens to destroy them all.
Dialogue plays a massive part in the game- what you say to the various characters you encounter will change the outcome of each interaction. Psydra has done an excellent job at creating a little world full of character and charm. All in all, I can’t help but be reminded of old fashioned RPGs- the one’s played with dice, books, and one’s imagination. Every decision you make changes things, and it’s as if the game’s developers are sitting somewhere , quickly, frantically changing the game’s story to fit your decisions. How else could they logically have created such a unique, branching story? It’s not as if anybody uses hard work anymore, right? Oh wait, they did work hard on this.
So how does gameplay work, you ask? It’s simple. First off, dialogue- whenever you meet a character or you’re in a situation, there’s a few different options- will you help the weary traveler, meet him with indifference, or beat him to death and take his money? Something I appreciate about Dark Scavenger is that the “right” choice isn’t always immediately beneficial- helping somebody might gain you their trust, or it could wind up killing you. This is a step in the right direction- it adds a bit of realism to the game, and neatly tacks on a layer of challenge- you’ll wonder what to do. After you click on an object or area in an environment, you’ll usually see a little portrait of the character or thing relating to whatever’s going on, along with a brief (very well written!) description. Battles mostly take place in a separate screen from which you can use any item, weapon, or ally, though sometimes a small battle may occur in the dialogue screen- these are usually pretty interesting. Battles are pretty satisfying, and your weapons typically fall into one of five categories: wind, electricity, fire, gissa, or non-elemental. Just for the record, “gissa” is an energy in the game universe- you’ll learn more about it in-game. During battle, your enemy will be susceptible to one of these elements, and if you’re not sure which, you can always ask Kamaho (one of your allies). One of my favorite features of the game is the crafting system- after most encounters are explorations, you’ll find items that can be crafted into various things- weapons, items, or allies. They might be nearly useless, or freakishly strong. However they turn out, the results are almost inevitably amusing.
Now graphically, I am a little disappointed. While the game’s NPCs and environments look pretty good, the game’s menus remind me of DOS games. In all honesty, they’re something of a turn-off from such a spectacularly witty and fleshed out game. I really hope that this game receives an “HD” remake, simply because some aspects seem aged and unattractive. However, I am quite satisfied with the drawings of the game’s various characters- there’s a ton of them, to begin with, and they’re all marvelously detailed.
Musically, this game is excellent- it has a rather upbeat, techno soundtrack, along with some of the coolest boss music of all time. While I don’t think I’ll find myself whistling the themes any time soon, I would recognize most of them instantly- and probably be suddenly ready for battle.
In all, Dark Scavenger is an awesome RPG that deserves multiple playthroughs. The game has an incredible story, hilarious writing and unique characters. Give it a shot- you won’t regret it. If you’re still not convinced, please just try the demo.