Dark Scavenger Review


Dark Scavenger

Developer: Psydra Games
Publisher: Psydra Games
Platform: PC (Reviewed), Mac
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Price: $9.99 – Available Here

Point-and-click adventure games have a certain hard to explain difficulty to them, where as turn-based strategy games have a slightly easier to grasp difficulty.  To excel at a point-and-click adventure players must get in the mindset of the situation to use what they have to progress, which in outlandish situations can take lots of trial-and-error.  To excel at turn-based strategy games, players must simply know what beats whom and have them.  So, what happens when these are combined into one game?  Dark Scavenger.

Containing elements of both genres, Dark Scavenger is an adventure game with far different mechanic than many before it.  What happens when the player can use almost any of their equipment with each situation?  You get a game where options are as diverse as objects in the game, which is pretty diverse in and of itself.  So, how does this work for the game?  Read on to find out.

Dark Scavenger is the story of a person lost to space, who after fighting a gigantic space monstrosity, is rescued by a ship filled with three friendly creatures.  Now, I said friendly not normal, as each member of the ship is interesting, to say the least.  The shipmates are each specialized crafters that turn whatever the player can bring them into resources; weapons, items, and allies; that the player can utilize throughout their adventure.  Adventure?  The player must brave a world to find a power source for the ship, so they don’t become stuck floating in space forever.

The adventure itself is very dynamic, as the player must work their way across a world with three unique dominant species and find the power source.  How characters respond depends on how the game is played, from siding with the different species and deciding how to go about each challenge.  The player character can be as cruel or understanding as the player wants from just slaughtering everything to trying to help each species with different problems.  It spans a great deal of detail too, so players seeking depth can find it if they wish.

Audio & Visuals:
The music of the game is very versatile in different sections of the game, but some of the pieces are shorter loops and don’t add as much feeling as others.  Outside of music, the other audio is very simplistic, this isn’t bad but may leave some people wanting more than the little smacks and booms of battle.  There aren’t any voice overs either, which might have been interesting for the different and unique characters.

The visuals of the game are very well done, though again simplistic.  With no animations at all, each aspect is a separate drawing, but they are spectacularly done.  The level of detail between them is great to see in a game and make up for the lack of animation to provide a special feel for the game.  As there is no animations it is fairly easy to zip through conversations without having to wait for anything to finish playing too, which is good as the game is built for a good level of replayability.

Dark Scavenger is a combination of point-and-click and turn-based strategy which is an easier to understand mechanic than some might think.  Essentially, the player has the weapons, items, and allies that all have limited uses and can be used in many different circumstances.  The more loot the player can find the more resources they have at their disposal, so doing everything possible will allow for plenty of equipment to use in the later, harder stages.  Key items as well as more difficult to find and often lead to later key items in later stages, so it’s important to explore everything.

Bosses are dynamic in the game as well as they don’t necessarily have to be fought.  Having the appropriate equipment may mean the player can get by without combat.  But, it is more complicated than simply picking up the correct loot, as the player must also give it to the correct crafter to get the right resource, such as a boss that’s just looking for the right “partner”.  If the player makes an item instead of getting that ally, then the boss has to be fought.

The game also features a “New Game+” mode after completion, so that players can try and get everything they missed or even try to craft one of each resource.  In “New Game+”, the crafter used for loot in the previous game is highlighted, so that players know who not to give it to the second or third time around.  There is even a super special item called “Plot Device”, which is obtained late in the game, but I assume is useful earlier through “New Game+”.

Dark Scavenger is a very unique game that is much easier then normal point-and-click adventure games and more forgiving than normal turn-based strategy games.  The aspects of the game itself are a bit simplistic in places, but the story is very in-depth and makes up for these aspects.  It also has so many different resources in the game that playthroughs are certain to be varied in how players approach situations, without having a clear ideal solution.  Fans of adventure games should check out the demo first to get a handle of how this one plays, but should generally find a good game.


Bachelor of Science in Game and Simulation Programming

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