The world isn’t short on Metroidvania-style adventure games, but few are quite as taut as this one. Developed by Netherlands-based Interwave, the gamemaker is seeking £50,000 (about $80,000) to bring Dark Matter past the finish line. They sent over a (very) early for me to try out and while I’d once been unconvinced, an hour with the game swayed me. Let me explain what makes Dark Matter unique.
You’re Alone On A Ship, Bad Things Happened
Echoing horror masterpiece System Shock 2, among others, you wake from cryosleep with a bout of amnesia and, to cleverly serve the gameplay, an inability to speak. The ship’s computer is awake and has been watching the ship fall into the hands of a terrible biological menace. There are even data logs spread throughout the levels to fill in some expository background. All this is pretty familiar, natch, but it’s pretty fun to experience from the platformer view where you can focus on the action like old console games. Unlike those games, you won’t be spending a lot of time platforming – at least from the slice I was shown.