Dark Flame (Pre-Alpha)
Dark Flame is a Castlevania inspired romp that was greenlit on Steam a short while back. A ‘pre-alpha’ version is out – so I thought I better whip up a quick look and see if it’s worth a stake in the heart or not.
A lot of new retro games take their cues not just from an era of gaming but, of course, from specific games. This kind of influence-create cycle is nothing unusual, but perhaps is less subtle in retro-gaming since so may cherished classic gaming experiences were never followed up, leaving indie developers to take it upon themselves to effectively make the sequels we’ve been waiting decades for. DarkFlame is no exception – a rather obvious Castlevania-inspired game, DarkFlame promises to revive some good old Symphony of the Night action, no Alucards required.
In the world of Dark Flame (I’m going to add a space for the sake of the English language), you are no vampire nor vampire hunter, but there is a suitably gothic setting. As a crusader based off the Gulf of Riga, strange things are afoot in the stronghold after members begin disappearing. The developer is promising some classic Metroidvania-style gameplay with hand crafted rooms and environments, and a choice of whether to persevere with good or succumb to the beckoning darkness. It looks like it will adhere closely to the formula with a leveling system, equipment and loot to find and plenty of secrets to discover. Of course, it’s very early yet – so I’ll try not to get too excited. However, as per our rule, we aim to avoid posting about games look like they have no chance to see the light of day, and don’t post unless there is something to actually play. Luckily, then, Dark Flame has a pre-alpha demo immediately playable. Right now. On your computing device.
Playing the pre-alpha gives the unmistakable feel of a Castlevania game. Actually, not Castlevania in general but specifically Symphony of the Night. Your character looks, moves and feels similar to Alucard, and the inspiration is obvious. Considering Symphony of the Night was perhaps one of the best Castlevania installments ever, let alone best games of its era, that’s not a derivation to be particularly disappointed by. Nonetheless, it is early yet and there is room for improvement in the animations and the controls could stand to be a little fluid.
The developer has mentioned a new demo that will bring some big updates, so there could be more to come. For now, the pre-alpha is a fine introduction.
Download: IndieDB (pre-alpha)