Explore disturbing corners of the human psyche. Delve into a dimension of nightmares, the occult and a tense psychological world created in classic Lovecraftian style. As police detective Howard E. Loreid, you are tasked to solve the murder of Clark Field, a wealthy man involved in the occult.
User reviews:
Very Positive (189 reviews) - 83% of the 189 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 14, 2009

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October 6

Wishlist Zoetrope's New Game "Conarium" Today!

We are much delighted to announce that Conarium Steam page is up and running, Rejoice!

Conarium is our latest attempt in developing another game with a chilling Lovecraftian story.

As Darkness Within games, we aimed to achieve the same spirit of Lovecraft's writings and Conarium won’t be an exception in this regard. We are heavily Inspired by the seminal novella “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft and some other weird macabre tales from the early twentieth century, Conarium tells a suspenseful tale of an antarctic expedition crew and their endeavor to challenge what we normally consider to be the ‘absolute’ limits of nature. We have been focusing on the most essential elements for making any Lovecraftian experience even greater, story and atmosphere.

Wishlist Conarium today!

3 comments Read more


“A surprisingly attractive, intricate puzzle horror adventure.”
83 – Gameboomers

About This Game

Explore disturbing corners of the human psyche. Delve into a dimension of nightmares, the occult and a tense psychological world created in classic Lovecraftian style.

As police detective Howard E. Loreid, you are tasked to solve the murder of Clark Field, a wealthy man involved in the occult. Your number one suspect is Loath Nolder; a highly respected private investigator. After mysteriously abandoning his last case and abruptly resurfacing five years later, one wonders how venerated P.I. Loath Nolder has turned fugitive murder suspect. Your seemingly routine investigation takes a dramatic twist as terrifying happenings begin to plague your psyche. Horrifying dreams and paranormal experiences torment your very being and the line between sanity and insanity becomes frighteningly blurred. Face dire truths hidden deep within the recesses of your mind, as you embark on a surreal adventure.

Key features:

  • A chilling point and click Puzzle Horror Adventure inspired by the Works of H.P. Lovecraft, now brought to Steam for the first time as a slightly enhanced edition with Chromatic Aberration and cinematic effects applied to the game's graphics !
  • Built-in Hint System with 3 Difficulty Levels – Players can choose to play in Standard, Detective, or Senior Detective modes.
  • Unique Inventory System – Utilizing the ‘thinking screen’ allows players to collect and examine items, and thoughts. Clues can also be researched, combined or used.
  • Dynamic Puzzles and Features – Traditional adventure game puzzles are complimented by deciphering dreams and underlining excerpts in documents to garner critical clues.
  • Enhanced Gameplay Experience – The proprietary game engine enables compelling special effects and stunning visuals in a panoramic first person game environment.
  • Eerie Gameplay Atmosphere – An immersive experience is created by a fascinating story, chilling real-time cut scenes, and haunting music.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® 2000 / XP / Vista™
    • Processor: 1 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible or better video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
    • OS: Windows® 7 / 8™
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB DirectX® 9.0c compatible video card with Shader 2.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 1100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0c compatible sound card
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Very Positive (189 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
213 of 239 people (89%) found this review helpful
74.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
Darkness Within is the most tasteful Lovecraftian-horror game I have ever played.
There is no tacked-on 'insanity' mechanic.
There are no jump scares.
There are no guns.

But most importantly, there are no references to Lovecraft's work in poor taste. The only direct references to him are in quotes on loading screens, and a single easter egg. His influence otherwise is purely sentimental, yet quite palpable in the atmosphere of the game's various domestic, occult, and dreamlike environments.

The developers at Zoetrope Interactive did not shoehorn Lovecraft's most popular motifs into their game, although it could be argued that the general formula of the narrative is quite Lovecraftian, and the exposition definitely is, but I believe it comes into its own. Anyway, Zoetrope has created a narrative with less-direct horror than any 'survival horror' game. This was executed through their implementation and pacing of the horror.

The environments in the game are beautifully detailed, both technically and atmospherically. Howard's apartment and office, and the houses that he investigates, all feel genuine and lived-in, and evoke a mixture of being comforting and cozy, yet quite off-putting. The dream sequences that partially take place in these environments are therefore very surreal, in that they blend these mundane, familiar environments, with bizarre, and horrifying encounters.


Through this detail, and the surrealness which follows, almost all of the game, not just the horror sequences, left me feeling uneasy. This uneasiness was accentuated as Howard begins to have trouble differentiating dream from reality.


Especially off-putting are the few encounters the player has with other, seemingly inhuman entities. These encounters are sporadic, and mostly quite indirect. With the exception of a single instance, Howard only ever encounters these 'things' either in his dreams, or through a crack in a wall. Therefore they never pose any real threat to Howard. Which might leave you wondering, 'How could they be horrific?'


And like good, primal horror: it's in the utter obscurity of the encounters and the things themselves, the already instilled fear from the context of the encounters, and how few encounters there actually are, that makes the game horrific. This is important to note because horror is about the build-up, and the obscurity. If scares are frequent, or the things that are scary are able to be studied closely, then they become so much less effective. And thankfully Darkness Within doesn't fall victim to either of these issues. It overcomes them more effectively than any other horror game I've played.

All of the circumstances are so well built up, that this infrequent horror is something truly unique for a 'horror' game. It is actual, Lovecraftian horror at its finest; it is morbid curiosity resulting in a brush with something, without ever really knowing or finding out what. The second factor in good, Lovecraftian horror is the irrational compulsion to continue, regardless of prior experiences. This narrative device manifests in solving the puzzles that are entailed in the central mystery of the story.

The puzzles are cleverly developed, and effectively intertwine the narrative and storytelling. This is executed in all of the clues for puzzles being hidden in pieces of writing, and various minute details that are quite believably strewn throughout appropriate places in the environments. I could list all of the detailed connections and implications made through the puzzles, dream sequences, texts, and other discoveries throughout the game, and how consistently they've been intertwined, but I would prefer to recommend you go and experience them for yourself.

Another important aspect of the puzzles is their believability. The presentation of just about all of the puzzles is so plausible that only a single puzzle in the game left me frustrated at its absurd specificity. Otherwise, the puzzles flow into eachother with excellent fluency, and the way they manifest prior exposition demonstrates the developer's forethought. Through this, they're engaging, compelling, and literally always directly and importantly entailing the narrative.

I speak so confidently in my description of the puzzles because I developed that description directly from the puzzles themselves. Due to the density of the primary puzzles of the game, it would be redundant to give a necessarily detailed description of something better experienced than described.

Concerning the narrative, if you plot out what actually occurs in the narrative, and remove it from the context of the game, then it may not sound all that impressive. It may sound like a Lovecraftian fanfic. But it's not the plot in itself that makes the narrative shine. It's everything above; the presentation, and faithful fulfillment of the criteria of Lovecraftian horror; that makes the story so special.

Now, as I said, I won't list all of the positive, detailed connections and implications made throughout the game, but I will mention one very particular criticism I have of one very particular puzzle.

This puzzle is second-last in Clark Field's house, and entails quite the spike in difficulty. My main issue with this spike is the obsoleteness of the established mechanic of 'Howard's Mind.' Howard's Mind can piece together thoughts, clues, items, and observations to progress through puzzles by deducing solutions semi-automatically, so long as the player provides the correct clues. It's established as an important mechanic, but is frustratingly and suddenly not able to be utilized in Clark Field's home. And while it's occasionally useful throughout the rest of the game, it pretty much stops functioning during this puzzle, which leads to a key discovery in progressing through the game. What this essentially means is that the player is expected to decipher a plausible, but ultimately poorly executed puzzle, which is key to progressing in the game, but without 'Howard's Mind' to give them any guidance. Which was a very big issue for me when Howard is bombarded with numerous, meaningless, potential answers. It's a tedious puzzle, and is more needlessly than actually complicated.

There is also the minor complaint of an awkward inventory. It's annoying to deal with once Howard has amassed so many items that you need to scroll through it, but to be honest it really doesn't impede much otherwise.

The game's ambient noise also seems to be contentious. While I understand how the piano, creaking floorboards, and other noises can collectively seem overbuilt, I feel like they're most effective when they come apart. I agree it can be a little silly and overwhelming when everything is playing at once, but when those noises pause for a while and all you're left with is the ambient drone of the environments, it's worth it. It's how realized the isolation of Howard is at that point that's so striking. It's not necessarily the sounds themselves, but what they leave behind.

Apart from those last few points, the game is a very seamless experience.

If the name Lovecraft only brings to mind Cthulhu, the Shoggoth, Deep Ones, Innsmouth, etc. Then this game probably isn't for you. This game doesn't treat Lovecraft like a meme. It's a very respectful work after Lovecraft. It's also a game with an outstanding level of detail, which I would recommend to anyone impressed by such things. And if you have an actual appreciation for the style of horror and queer stories that Lovecraft, and other prolific writers, such as Algernon Blackwood and Ambrose Bierce are known for, then you are this game's target audience.
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87 of 96 people (91%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
This game does more service to this particular style of horror in FIVE MINUTES than most games with much larger budgets and more intense system requirements do THE ENTIRE GAME. You will do a lot of reading and that reading will lead you to unsettling implications that leave you with a subtle, creeping dread that never really goes away. The environments themselves blend with the musical score and come off as unsettling and believable, with a stark contrast between the falsely domestic and the absolutely bizzare. The game really, really captures the essence of what writers like Lovecraft, Blackwood and Machen crafted and plays like you'd expect one of those stories to read.

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64 of 70 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 25, 2015
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” ― H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature

Here I was, a bit bored and a bit biased about the marriage of a point & click adventure with the theme of horror, but Darkness Within 1: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder was a spectacular experience! I've spared 14 hours or so, discovered every achievement, read and re-read every single document, practically poked my nose in every single pixel in the game; but I am still paranoid about missing a piece of the great picture, as any Lovecraftian theme should make you so...

In this gem of a Lovecraftian setting, you play as Howard E. Loreid; a detective that investigates the strange murder of Clark Field, a wealthy man involved in the dark art of occult. The prime suspect of the crime is a man named Loath Nolder, a famous private investigator and an admitant of the local insane asylum. Our game starts with a nightmare, and a phone call coming from our partner, Arthur, in the middle of the night. We're informed that Loath Nolder has escaped...

The game takes brilliant twists and turns, and forces you to investigate odd objects coming from forgotten times, secluded buildings that no one visits and isolated areas of the local geography with dark histories. The atmosphere is carefully arranged to procure a balance between the uneasiness that we feel from a partially observed shadow that lingers in the night, and the raw sense of dread that we suffer whence we face the plain unexplainable. Environment is a huge success to create that lingering, uncanny feeling that haunts us when we are reading a random narration excerpt taken from H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. It actually uses direct characters and anecdotes from Lovecraft stories like The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Whisperer in Darkness and The Rats in the Walls.

Gameplay carries two major features that makes the investigation process noteworthy. As you observe events and the environment, you take mental notes in your journal as ideas, observations and suspicions, alongside conversations. You are to pick and add the relevant ideas together to make a thought process to grasp the insight of happenings. This progress of deduction presents the player a unique gameplay. Nothing is presented to you on a silver platter: you actually have to think like an investigator to decide which evidence might go with another to indicate a fact. Another feature is about the documents you stumble in the game. In these kind of games, the gameplay usually presents you your next objective just after you read the document, automatically. Here, you underline the part of the document that you think to be relevant or important and think about it! I mentioned hard work, didn't I?

If you do sincerely enjoy the horror genre - not your common jump scare, or plain human cruelty: an actual sense of gothic that will keep pushing your buttons to keep you awake at night, you MUST try this game. It is brilliant as an adventure, astonishing as a horror game. Plus, it is Lovecraftian!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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46 of 53 people (87%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Wow! This was one of my favorite point & click Adventure / Horror games years ago!

This is a point & click game that offers a 360* view in a very detailed and creepy atmosphere and the eerie sounds always make you feel unsettled. The experience makes you feel as if something is always wrong and full of dread.

The story leaves you as a detective thrown into a twisted and demented world of insanity trying to track down Loath Nolder, a private investigater gone mad and also a murder suspect. But as you begin to track his whereabouts, you start to wonder what is real and what is not, halucinating, seeing and hearing things as you travel through locations finding and picking up clues and solving puzzles.

If you like point & click games and you like mystery and horror, you will find a good combination here.
It's a good game.
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36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 11, 2015
This game is, taken as a whole, fantastic. One of the best adventure games available. However, this point may not be obvious on the first playthrough. It's actually fairly difficult, which may drive some players to a walkthrough. That's unfortunate, because playing this game with a walkthrough is a terrible idea. The game's two strongest points are the story and the atmosphere. Both are fantastic, but excessive walkthrough use can ruin your understanding of the story. The game should be played with a mindset of truly trying to understand and solve the mystery. That will require reading and rereading the documents you find several times. But doing so is extremely enjoyable once you finally begin to grasp what's happening. If you get towards the end and feel that you have no idea who any of these people are or what's happening, you've missed a LOT. But putting the effort into exploring and understanding is extremely enjoyable.
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48 of 61 people (79%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
"Why do day's pass instead of hour's when i sleep......................and what’s real and what’s not" these are question's you as a gamer will come to ask yourself playing this dark,interesting and sometime's frustrating point and click adventure as you wonder what the hell is going on and why????
Darkness Within : In Pursuit Of Loath Nolder is a point and click horror thriller/who done it and take's place in the imaginary (Lovecraft inspired) Wellsmoth.
You play police detective Howard E. Loreid who is trying to solve the murder of Clark Field and right at the top of this list is none other than Loath Nolder.
As you progress through the game you will become part of what seems like a routine investigation but this will take strange twist's and turn's.As you uncover clue's and find out more on why Loath has done what he has done,why he disapeared and just exactally why this case will become so important to Howard and what effect it will have on not only his life but his sanity as well.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder Trailer - YouTube


Ok down to the brass tac's of the game and first up the most important element the story,now the developer's Zoetrope Interactive really have tried to capture what make's H.P Lovecraft's work's at one a journey into madness and also a horrific vision of thing's that just shouldent be and sometime's they succeed and get it spot on but sometime's (sadly i might add) they just havent.
Now i say this as i remember when this game first came out (November 6, 2007 to be exact) i really did take to the story and its twist's and turn's but on playing it again and looking back on other game's based on Lovecraft's work's (Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened and Call of Cthulhu : Dark Corners of the earth) i think that this game lack's something that they seem to just have in abundance...................that Lovecraftian feel.
The sound in game is a highlight and really does do a good job of setting the scene with chilling noise's seeming to come from the shadow's and the music does hold its own against other games from this genre (there is one moment however that just doesnt seem to fit in the game,trust me once you hear it you'll know what i mean).
The graphic's in game are well done and some scene's look just like painting's (until you move your point of view of course),and each place you visit has its own feel and is different enough from the last that you will allway's want to explore a new location.I found myself wanting to move around like in some modern 3D free roaming adventure's (like in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter) but sadly that is something this game lack's (whereas Call of Cthulhu and The Awakened offer this and neither of these are modern games).


And last but by no mean's least gameplay now this take's a few form's in game which include's exploring new area's,puzzle solving,cracking codes,dealing with locked of area's (some of which need to be unlocked) and whilst some of these can be easy to solve others can be a true nightmare (due to the game's way of throwing some obscure puzzle's at you).
The two that differ the most however are the ability to combine your thought's to create new clue's and lead's (like a famous detective would do-right Mr Holmes) and also underlining clue's in article's and paper's you come across again to provide new clue's and lead's.
Putting your thought's together to unearth a new lead or clue can work but on the most part you will find yourself putting them together only to find that it just doesnt work and you have to try again "AARRGGHHHHHHHH".Even underlining things to gain new insight can be a little hit and miss with you choosing word's that you think are usefull to the case your on only to find out that their not and you need to find another word alltogether "AARRGGHHHHHHHH".Both idea's should would work well and its a shame that they both havent been implemented better (like in some other game's).
Now this is part one of a propossed three part trilogy and having played the second game (which came out on the 28 May, 2010) i allready know that one uses a first-person perspective whereas this game play's out in a more traditional style (like MYST),the second game is due on STEAM soon and i will be reviewing that one when it's released and i have replayed it (to be honest the second game does benefit from playing in that style and actually play's better than this one does)

Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage Trailer - YouTube


So in game you will experience thing's real and unreal (also thing's due to the game and its engine you dont want to) and never know which is which but allway's know that what ever it is thats going on it isnt good (AARRGGHHHHHHHH),as why do day's pass instead of hour's when Howard sleep's?????
What’s real and what’s not,and why couldent the thought and underlining work better in game?????
And that is the journey we are taken on as we walk along side Howard and experience this whole nightmare from his point of view (for better or for worse),is he going mad,are the thing's he see's real will he find the two thought's to put together,or is it all just one huge nightmare that he will eventually wake up from?????
So in closing why am i recommending this game then as some of the gameplay element's just dont work as well as they should and it doesnt capture the Lovecraft feel i was looking for completely????
OK here goes....................................even though it has these bad point's (that as a Lovecraft fan) i just cant ignore i am on the fence and to be honest i enjoyed this game more than it actually got on my nerves (WELL FROM READING YOUR REVIEW I AM SHOCKED),which is funny as reading the review you would think that i really didnt enjoy my time with this game (I JUST SAID THAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME).
But just like true Lovecraft that's where the twist lies as "Memory sometime's make's merciful deletion's" (and that's what happened to me whilst i was playing through the game i seem to have blocked out all the negative point's and focussed on the positive one,which is for all its faults i actually enjoyed playing through it-allthough i must admit i wont be doing so again in a hurry)

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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
First off: You have to love point and click games to enjoy this. Second: It's an old style horror game, so no jump scares or scary monsters chasing after you. Its a calming kind of terrifyingly creepy game. I personally thought it was good. It can get confusing and there is A LOT of reading just to understand the basics of the story. The soundtrack and scenery is spooky and generally pleasing (do remember this is an old game so graphics aren't stunning).

I did have to look at a walkthrough for some of the answers, especially if it required a certain order. There is a lot of hidden secrets so it's replayable and the achivements are nice. Especially right after a difficult puzzle.

So, if you like point and click games. I would suggest this one.
If you want a modern day horror game, don't even think about it. Go play Outlast or something.
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28 of 32 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2015
The game is a point and click mystery adventure, strikingly similar to "Scratches", but far longer and more creepy. You play the role of Howard, a detective out to catch a private investigator gone bad, one Loath Nolder. During the case you have phantoms to chase, books to read, puzzles to solve, and the sinking sensation that you are either A. Going mad, or B. Something terrible really is happening and you sure wish you were going mad!

The puzzles are fairly easy and it seems the developers were more interested in the storyline than anything else. The scenery is well done and even by day exceedingly creepy. I completed the game in 12 hours on senior detective mode which includes no hints so I definitely had to refer to a walkthrough guide and it's also the only way you can get all of the achievements. I still missed some clues.

If you want to be scared and you like the Lovecraftian genre, give "Darkness Within" a try especially when on sale!!
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16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
I think Lovecraft would have smiled at this :P

Had to remind myself i wasn't playing a shorter Amnesia: The Dark descent at more than one point ^_^

Lots of atmosphere, interesting storyline - and a few plot twists if you go digging. Definitely go exploring!

Would have liked to see more fitted in :) About 7 hours playthrough, ish?
Also, it turns out you get a star rating for how many secrets you unlock, if you like that sort of thing. I was just sad it was over :')

...OR IS IT? dun dun dunnnnn
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2015
An excellent surprise from a small independent game development studio of only three people.

Released in 2007, Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder has aged pretty well. The graphics are a bit pixelated on high resolution but nothing major. The character models on the other hand are very outdated unfortunately. They are pretty rare but can break the immersion for a little bit.

The strongest point of the game is its atmosphere. Along with the story they give the eery sensation that you can have when you read some of H.P Lovecraft's work. It deals with the same themes of blurry frontier between natural and supernatural. With madness often being a better outcome than trying to comprehend what lies beyond human perception.

The story is mostly in written form. Plenty of books and notes to read and re-read to understand all that the game has to offer.

There are two gameplay mechanic that I mention below which I found interesting but also very frustrating at times. It is a warning of some sort:

The first mechanic is the ability to combine not only object but thoughts. Thoughts are short description of major and minor events, which can be obtained by clicking somewhere important or underlining phrases in texts. It can become overwhelming since you can combine from 1 to 6 thoughts and/or objects. It can be a very heavy game of trial and error.

The second mechanic is the underlining of important clue in books or notes. It can be partially disabled in easy mode but it doesn't show hidden clues (if there is one) in a text. The hardest mode give no hints but you can underline any text (as opposed to a select few). In a book with more than 3 pages it is quite difficult to find them. The interface does not help by requiring one click for switching cursor to underlining at the far left and then clicking on the Think button below it after the underlining on the text in the center. On books with many topics, finding the one that the protagonist care about with such a system can be frustrating.

The object bar is classic and doesn't get in the way which is nice.

This game is also kind of a preface and first chapter to the second opus which is completely different in its gameplay.

Recommended, mostly for the atmosphere. Difficult game but rewarding with the right mindset.
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Recently Posted
12.8 hrs
Posted: October 19
I'm thoroughly enjoying this game, and for the price even NOT on sale it's worth it for an afternoon's enterainment. I'll admit it's taking me more than an afternoon, but I'm relishing the opportunity to immerse myself in the reverence to H.P. Lovecraft and his Mythos. There's homage to a number of Lovecraft's stories, and the narrative supplies plenty of that "overwhelming powerlessness" typical of his stories.

As an aside I'm also enjoying the DLC soundtrack just on it's own. I find it an interesting adjunct to meditation and an "altered state of consciousness".

I count myself lucky to have picked it up on sale, but as I said earlier, if I'd watched someone play it for half an hour, I'd have paid full price anyway. Put aside the less than cutting edge technology, and just soak up the atmosphere in a dark room with some headphones and know where your cat is...

Well Done.
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5.2 hrs
Posted: October 13
"Darkness Within 1: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder" is a point and click horror game inspired by Lovecraft's works. While I have not read any of Lovecraft's books to know what exactly is Lovecraftian horror, a quick search shows that Darkness Within does incorporate those elements.
Playing as Howard Loreid, you come in to see his memories of events taken place during an investigation of a murder, the main suspect? Loath Nolder. Strange events starts happening to Loreid, questioning what is real and what is not. However, Loreid becomes more or less obsessed with finding Loreid, which is not exactly built upon other than being curious. He is also plagued with nightmares, playing on the hopelessness in Lovecraftian works, that cause him to disappear from the world ranging from a few hours to days (the question is, how is he not starving after being out for multiple days). Darkness Within for the most part handles the transfer of knowledge between the character and the player well. However, the storyline can easily become confusing and suffers from the slow pacing. Its the atmosphere, each surrounding hightened by the ambient tracks. The voice acting is handled well, giving you a sense of other characters.
The gameplay, however, is awkward and in some cases annoying. While it does have a 'thought' area where you can combine clues to come to a conclusion, it often ends up as a guessing game. In the same area, you can combine items together, but does not tell you how. It doesn't reset, so when you are combining items with clues you can end up leaving the items in the combining section making you think the game bugged out. Only when do you reload and move on do you realize the real reason. To progress, it often has you going back and front to look at a book or document to find an obscure clues (using outlining) and halting progression (even when it is obvious).
Darnes Within lies in the borderline of being a good game, and if the pacing and interface was better, I would recommend it, but as it is used as a progression device I can't. If you happen to catch it while it is on sale (like I did), it is worth a try solely to see the story. Just make sure to have a guide handy if you get stuck, or want to find all the secrets to get all the achievements in one play.

+ voice acting
+ atmosphere building
+ dream sequences
+/- documents needed to obtain clues to proceed can be mostly fluff
+/- easily forgettable
+/- confusing storyline
+/- progression requirements
- motivation glossed over
- interface
- pacing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.9 hrs
Posted: September 25
An inmersive dark point and click game, with a strong load of psychological terror and many text to read.
Some of the UI is not user friendly, for instance the clue mixer... but once you get that is ok.
Another problem is the fact the game doesn't autosave and making certain choices can abruptly end the game... so be aware and save your progress frequently.
I had many graphic issues with Bootcamp (windows installed on a mac) so if you use native windows and the game is below 5$ I would recomend it.
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Laura Blues
12.6 hrs
Posted: September 7
I wrote a very nice and thoughtful review, and then Steam decided to crash and I lost it. So, this is what you get instead.

I liked it, didn't love it, and I'd only recommend it on sale. Great Lovecraftian atmosphere, cool and creepy suspense, awful logic.

+ Artwork and music rock and build a wonderful atmosphere.
+ Minimalist dialog (compensates with long reading, which I dig).
+ Thinking screen: great idea! (the execution... less so).

THE "MEH...":
* The story had great potential, but felt both overdone and not enough.
* The gameplay of some puzzles got annoying (5 consecutive clicks just to try a thing in the other thing?? really?).
* Voice acting could be facepalming at times. Fortunately there wasn't much.

- The ending felt rushed, full of plot holes and lose ends.
- Finding clues was akin to pixel hunting for that little item in the corner.
- Deducting from clues had little to no logic most of the times.
- Difficulty levels can be a cool idea, but they WILL prevent you from getting achievements and stuff. Or you will pull out all your hair with tons of pages of text and stop enjoying the reading.

All in all, it wasn't that bad that it hindered my experience. I did enjoy the ride, but I would only recommend this one on sale, and only if the downside isn't much of a big deal for you.
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11.1 hrs
Posted: September 1
Confusing. That pretty much sums it up. The story and the characters were confusing, the interface was uber confusing, the clue system terrible, and there didn't seem a logical relation between going back and forth between places in order to progress. I pretty much had to follow a walkthrough step by step to make sure I didn't miss anything that wasn't immediately apparent. Also, I didn't feel I delved into the human psyche whatsoever. Strange and supernatural things happen, things that seem pretty much not explained at all, so you're just left with a big question mark on your forehead when 10 hours of gameplay is finally over, and a feeling of disappointment. Oh, and it wasn't scary at all. Meh. I'm not at all enticed to continue a second or third game to make sense of the first one.
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34.7 hrs
Posted: August 31
One of the best Lovecraftian adventures I've played in a while. It's far from triple A, but it has lots of soul and great atmosphere.
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18.8 hrs
Posted: August 20
Great game!

This game is amazing and scary. The fear of unknown (darkness, creaking sounds, whispers, etc.) is built so masterfully that few times I had pounding heartbeat, clicking like crazy to "run away" and "turning around" to locate the source of weird, scary noises :)
Puzzles and clues are difficult (played as a "senior detective", so no hints), but logical (I have cheated once in the end with disc puzzle, and when I saw the solution - facepalm!)
Really enterntaining and challenging game!

From the person that is scared of dark cellars and attics.
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17.2 hrs
Posted: August 18
Story is excellent. Possibly on par with actual Lovecraft works.


The logic this game employs at many points is so extremely opaque that it is literally undoable without a guide, made by some poor soul who probably spent hours and hours of their lives smashing all the different possibilities together. It tells you nothing. It expects you to know what to search for, when there is absolutely no reason why you WOULD know what to search for.

It's stupid and frustrating and really drags down the story. Very shoddy gameplay that requires you to inexplicably backtrack and basically remember EVERY word you've ever read in the game (And there is a LOT of reading.) it's ridiculous.

just go watch a walkthrough for it, honestly. it's easier and a nicer story experience than playing this stupidly thought out game.
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7.4 hrs
Posted: August 10
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KaSsO | Rewards.gg
5.0 hrs
Posted: July 28
If you can accept that you will need to check a walktrough at least few times, then this game can be pretty interesting. The idea and atmosphere is amazing...but the gameplay itself not very intuitive and let's be clear: you can't get some of the clues on your own if you can't read developers' minds. But I would still recommend this game, because it's one of a kind.
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