Draw Out The Evil In Darklings [Review]

Darklings

Dark and light should probably sit down someplace and talk. They’re always fighting.

Darklings by MildMania
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99 (50% off promotional price)

Their senseless war continues in Darklings, a new endless survival game from developer MildMania. You play as Lum, a being of light going up against the Darklings, evil beings who have stolen all the stars from the sky in a plan to plunge the world into darkness. Because that’s how the dark operates in these things.

Lum is alone against endless waves of evil beings, and only your quick shape-drawing powers can help it prevail.

Lum stands in the middle of the screen, and Darklings approach from both sides. Each of them has a white shape above its head, and to defeat them, you “draw” that symbol on your screen. Once you succeed, Lum will Quantum Leap into the Darklings’ body and destroy it from the inside, releasing stars that award points and additional time. You drag stars onto Lum to collect them before moving on to the next target. Failure occurs if the Darklings touch Lum or the clock expires.

The gesture controls work incredibly well and are reasonably forgiving. I found that I had to really mess a shape up for the game not to accept it, and “forgiving” is the best thing that gesture controls can be. Other than accurate, of course.

Every once in a while, you’ll fight a boss, and you have to draw longer sequences of shapes to defeat them. It adds some interesting variety and a nice break before you return to the body-hopping scribblefest of the rest of the game.

Only your quick shape-drawing powers can help Lum prevail.

Darklings‘ art style is gloomy and moody. Fans of developer Playdead’s creepy platformer Limbo will notice some similarities between the two, but it also looks like someone turned the lights off on World of Goo. The contrast between the gloomy shadows that pervade everything and the blasts of light from Lum’s attacks is striking and interesting.

My only minor gripe with the game is that it is an endless survival title; I would rather have had levels and a sense of progression to the fight-die-restart cycle, but that may just be a matter of personal preference. And Darklings is fun and interesting enough as it is that this is not a dealbreaker for me.

DarklingsGame Name: : Darklings
The Good: Great gesture-based gameplay, cool art, neat idea.
The Bad: The endless-survival structure is not as satisfying as levels might be.
The Verdict It’s a tense, clever, stylish title that you’ll want to check out.
Buy from:App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 5/5

About the author

Evan KillhamEvan Killham lives in Nebraska and isn't interested in football, so he has plenty of time to play and think about video games. He has written for Bitmob and GamesBeat and sometimes, he even goes outside. But not too often because he's heard there are bees out there.

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