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Early look: Dark Lands brings a LIMBO-like experience to Windows Phone

We made mention the other day of Dark Lands, a Windows Phone game under development and sponsored by the Microsoft/Nokia AppCampus. Dark Lands is an infinity running game with a combat and RPG element.

In a nutshell, you run your character through various obstacles, collecting gems to use for upgrades and stopping along the way to battle monsters, soldiers and other enemies. We've gotten our hands on a short video snippet of game play and again, the game looks good.

The minimal graphics and animations have a dark feel to it that just seems fitting--reminds us very much of the hit Xbox 360 game, LIMBO.

Development is still about two months away from being completed and we'll keep you posted if any more teasers on Dark Lands become available.

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Reader comments

Early look: Dark Lands brings a LIMBO-like experience to Windows Phone

34 Comments

The game looks good but the jump and attack animations need a lot of work they look so stiff. And the fighting could be better too. I thought it would be more like outland on ps3...

Limbo is an awesome game. I'm really looking forward to this one. Love the artwork and the game play seems interesting based on what we know.

That wasn't my question. I know it will be a WP game but will it only be for Nokia devices to start with (like the 6month exclusives) due to the Nokia involvement???

This doesn't look that great to me... even though I loved Limbo.  Having silhouettes does not a Limbo game make, but it probably wasn't meant to be.  Still, comparisons will be made.

I'll check out the reviews once it's released, but from the clip so far... random arrows shooting at you, spinning swords that aren't hooked to anything, monsters that just stand there until you walk up to them?  It doesn't seem to break any new ground.  It's like a regular platformer... run, jump, duck, attack.

With you on that one. Saying something brings a Limbo- like experience is kind of setting certain expectations that the trailer here didn't give. Limbo had a great sense of atmosphere couples with great style and the animations went along with that. This looks clumsy in comparison.

Yeah, Limbo has a sense of life... but this game seems to have no character at all.  It could be fun, but until I see more, I'm not terribly impressed.

lordy, pls dont compare this to limbo.   limbo actually had environments that made sense to the gameplay.  Trees falling, rocks, boats, etc. 

I'm very thankful that people are starting to make games like this for WP8. I now just wish stuff like this and even some Moe elaborate games (NHL and Madden's) would start showing up for my Surface RT.

The visual style has potential, but so far this game is looking too rough around the edges. If you're going to do the silloutted look you better be sure that your art is infused with a ton of flair. Limbo is dripping with personality. The animation is stiff, and generally bordering on amateurish. I mean, it's technically proficient, but lacking any dynamic quality. When the protagonist takes a swing it should look dramatic and obvious, not like a wimpy little jab.

Gameplay-wise, flow is very choppy. Every time the player engages in combat progress comes to a screeching halt. It's being described as an endless runner, which means distance travelled is the priority. If that's the case then disrupting that progress with tedious combat is going to be frustrating for the player.

You have to look at priorities because you can't have it both ways. You can make it an exploration-based platformer in the same vein as Castlevania or Golden Axe where progress is all about exploration or combat. Or make it a running platformer where the point is to keep moving and enemies are taken down with single hits, like Contra or Mirror's Edge (mobile verison). Trying to do both never works and for an endless runner tempo is essential.

Also, ditch those damn spinning blades. I hate those damn things. First, they're a tired old trope and way too common in mobile gaming. Second, they make no sense whatsoever in this context. Why are there spinning blades in the middle of a forest? Come up with more creative environmental hazards.

I think this game has potential. And that's why I think it's important that the develoeprs get these details right because those are the things that make or break a game. And from what I'm seeing so far this game will never be the hit that it could be.

Thank you for you feedback, this one was most valuable for us and we will make some great changes and improvements.
But we will not remove saws, we just love them even they are used a lot ;-). And they are there because evil forces made them as traps. We will add constructions holding them, so it make more sense. Anyway thanks.

Thank you all for valuable comments.
 
Game is in deep development stage and we are not done with graphics and game features, animations, game play etc. It is just first inside view into development process.
 
We released this video to see reactions and feedback from people. Lots of things are just placeholders. First of all game is not Limbo style, while it has similar type of graphics. We listen carefully what people say. Expect some major improvements that are in plan.
 
Best regards to all and keep saying honest opinions, it will just improve the game.
 

Hi. Please, when release make this game available here in the Brazilian WP Store. You can use PEGI or ESRB certificates to publish in here. I can help with if you need.

I really don't play many games on my phone other than wasting time games like words with friends, doodle jump,
but I do love limbo and I think this will be the first game that I will actual play to the end..
Nice Job...
Great Idea.
Mark