Editor's Note: After publishing this review we got an email about some complicated legal action regarding this app. We don't want to get into the details as we aren't lawyers. So we present this as just a review of a game we found on the App Store. We'll let the lawyers and the courts figure out the rest. - Jeff Scott, Editor-in-Chief, 148Apps
App Reviewed on: iPad Air
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Darklings is nothing short of atmospheric. It also has a long troubling history, and the birth of the idea of Darklings to the release of the game has involved quite a journey. This intriguing touch-screen game Darklings is one of the most interesting concepts I've seen for some time.
At first glance, it is without doubt how much work has gone into a game as well-polished and creatively distinguished as the one I held on my iPad. The visuals are superior, and before even tapping ‘Play’ I knew this was a game I would love as straight away it managed to hook me in with its dark yet ethereal sense of character.
Darklings involves the innovative mechanism of gesture based touch controls, with the aim to get the stars back from each of the various ‘Darkling’ creatures by making them explode. To do this players unleash their drawing skills to replicate the symbol that sits on each of the creatures heads, and they must do this before any of the critters reach the Lum; the cute creature of the night that needs to be protected at all costs.
The game mechanics, though enjoyably fast-paced, are incredibly tricky to get to grips with at first; especially after the third wave of enemies when everything gets unbelievably hectic. Juggling between the replication of symbols and managing to catch stars before they disappear is no easy feat, and it gets increasingly more difficult as the level advances. However, Darklings is also a game that stays with the player, and before long, I was itching to go back and try again.
One of the hardest factors of the game to tackle has to be the boss battles, which require drawing a significant amount of symbols as they appear on the screen before they hit the ground. As soon as they land it’s game over, and the whole level restarts. This can be fun, but awfully tiresome when it can be increasingly tricky to spot all of the symbols in the allotted time before they fall. However, upon advancing throughout the game players will be rewarded a whole variety of power-ups, from protective shields to explosive blasts, not to mention the extra upgrades and customizations made available further on. All of the upgrades, power-ups, and customizations can be bought using the stars collected, which in turn requires no in-app purchases or extra expenditure.
Regardless of its small shortcomings, Darklings is an extraordinarily unique and exciting game with a thrilling concept that manages to be equal parts enjoyable and entertaining. It’s most certainly a wonderful addition to a rapidly expanding App Store.