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A Call Back to a Classic
“Know your fruit. Know its name. For if you don’t, the demons your soul will claim.” – Watermelon Merchant
Heavily inspired by the thrilling horror stories of H.P Lovecraft, Melone In The Dark inspires to be the spiritual kin to the 1994 DOS game Alone In The Dark. This horror, adventure game is based around one frightful night in the life of Walter Melone, the greatest watermelon devotee in the world.
The Alone In The Dark series was oft regarded as the first true survival horror series to come to the gaming industry and is known for successfully combining 3D models and environments with hand-painted backgrounds and story-telling elements. Melone In The Dark inspires to follow in the footsteps of the classic by holding to the low-poly art style and static camera angles.
It is clear to see the similarities between the two games. Both titles open on a dark night and the character addresses the player directly, telling of their tale and the setting of the game to come. Both stories are delivered, amidst eerie music and a ghastly storm by a character soon to face horrors which could (and supposedly will) lead to their demise.
This sister title event went as far as to fashion their main character after the one from the 1994 game right down the character’s oversized commissioner mustache and stylish suit and bowtie.
Although advertised as such, this game is not a horror game. At best, it can be considered a thriller, but even that designation seems somewhat unfitting.
Melone In The Dark does little to capture its audience through tension or suspense. The name itself immediately takes away from any hope that the game will be a serious expedition into the horror genre and once the player is introduced to the theme, all hope is lost.
Despite opening on a potentially good note, the game quickly reins itself in and turns back to a comedy note. Your character is obsessed with watermelons and every inch of his home is covered in watermelon decor like some kind of museum.
The most intense part of the game is when your beloved midnight snack decides to turn on you, sprouting to life and attacking you in the kitchen along with other rabid watermelons while your character stumbles about, kicking and punching and groaning about his head feeling strange. The entire sequence is admittedly fun because of its abruptness and strangeness. But, again, this doesn’t seem to feel like what the game was meant to be about.
Not As Expected
As a player, I went into this hoping for a least a fright or two but at the end of it all, I was left baffled and laughing.
While the game isn’t quite what I was expecting, I would still show it to someone for the laughs that they could enjoy. I think the developers did a wonderful job mimicking the art style and opening feel of the Alone In The Dark series and, if anything, they were able to make what could have easily been a clone something to call their own.