Darklings is a new Windows Phone game that was first released over on iOS last Fall. The game has had a fair amount of success over on iOS and after receiving support from the AppCampus, the developers have successfully ported the action game to Windows Phone. As an added bonus, the Windows Phone version includes exclusive content.
Available for low memory Windows Phones, Darklings is a game where the stars have been stolen from the sky by mysterious creatures known as Darklings. You play the role of Lum, a ghostly being, who has to defeat the Darklings and rescue the stars. Graphics are outstanding and play challenging.
The game has received high praise and in playing Darklings over the past few days, we can see why.
One of the cool features of Darklings is that game play is gesture based. You take out your enemies by drawing the shapes that appear on their heads. You then collected the stars that are released by tapping and dragging them to your character. It does take a little while to get used to the gesture based actions but once you do, it works really well.
While Darklings is already available for iOS, the Windows Phone version is loaded with exclusive content. You have a new family of Darklings, the Wanderers, a new Desert map, a new boss to fight and five unique Lum customizations.
When you first launch Darklings a cinematic trailer will run, which you can skip past if you prefer. Once you land on the main menu, you will find options to view the game's souls (a collection of all the character types), play the game and visit the Darklings' store. The store has power-ups and customizations for your gaming character that can be purchased with the stars you earn during game play.
Darklings will walk you through a brief tutorial when you first jump into game play. There is no help section and I could not find a way to replay the tutorial. The game isn't overly complicated but you'll need to pay attention to the tutorial to pick up on the finer points of gaming.
The game screen will have Lum moving about the bottom of the screen and a game timer resting at the top center of the screen. Darklings will enter from either side of the screen and to destroy them, trace the symbol they bear on the game screen.
When you trace the symbol, the Darkling will explode and briefly, Lum will take the shape of the Darkling. Stars will begin to float from the destroyed Darkling and you will need to capture them before they leave the gaming screen. The larger stars will replenish the game timer and the smaller stars can be collected as currency to use in the game's store. You will also find boosts released by the slain Darklings that will help your character have a fighting chance at success (shields, ice fields to freeze the Darklings, etc.).
The concept seems simple but it doesn't take long before the pace of the game kicks into high gear and you will find yourself overrun with Darklings. There are missions or goals to work towards (wipe out a specific number of Darklings, etc.) but ultimately this is a game of survival. Succeed at the missions and you will face bosses to battle, who can be one tough nut to crack.
Darklings' game pace has a little zip to it. You have to balance keeping the Darklings at bay and make sure you catch enough large stars to keep the game timer going. Your game ends when Lum is overrun by Darklings or the timer reaches zero.
Darklings is an epic adventure that plays out nicely on our Windows Phone. The gesture based gaming controls give Darklings a unique feel and once you get used to things, the gestures help you keep pace with the enemy.
Graphics are a little on the dark side but looks good. The appearance of the game reminds me of the World of Rabbit games or maybe Dark Lands.
Don't be shocked if game play kicks you in the butt for the first few tries. Your score is based on how many Darklings you slay and stars you collect. The multi-tasking alone is enough to keep you challenged but those darn Darklings seem to sense when you are chasing a star and will step up the pace a bit to get to Lum.
The only downside I can find with the game is the lack of a help section or a way to replay the tutorial. Darklings isn't a difficult game to pick up but having a reference source is never a bad thing.
All in all, Darklings is a wonderfully drawn up Windows Phone game that should enjoy its fair share of success on this platform as it has experienced on others. The exclusive content isn't a bad bonus either.
Please note the trial version does have some limitations with the full version opening up the game's store and the full map package for Darklings. If you take Darklings out for a test drive, let us know what you think of the latest AppCampus offering in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.