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DARKOUT is what has become known as a sandbox game. Sandbox games are basically adventure games where the players
have the freedom to roam without coming up against invisible barriers or those annoying end-screens where you have to wait
for the next screen to load before continuing. DARKOUT is one of the best types of sandbox games, where the players have
all types of tools and opportunities to influence the landscape and the world.

                     

DARKOUT is a side-scrolling game where your character can dig tunnels underneath rocky areas or slopes that you cannot
climb over or up. Characters can also chop down trees and collect resources that allow the building of walls, huts and other
constructions. Visually the game really is dark, in more ways than one; the creatures, atmosphere and indeed the lighting.

                       

At times the screen is, for my poor old eyes, a little too dark for me to even discern my character. I know that the darkness is
deliberate to create the right atmosphere and universe conditions, but it would still be nice to be able to see the designers hard
and intricate work a little better. You can see from the screenshots here how difficult it is to distinguish what the location has
in store, and where your character is.

                     

CREATING YOUR WORLD:

Choose your World's Name:  Choose your World's Size (small, medium or large):   The World Number you decide is what the computer
uses to seed your World.  You can select Random World - I'm pretty sure you understand what this will give you. Finally you tell the game
to create your World, populate it and send you on your quest - your mission is explore and survive.

This is your interface action bar. In here you place items
you need or are likely to use regularly.

    On the left of the Display you can see the amount of illumination radiating from your character which
directly relates to the speed at which creatures attack.

       

Your survival odds may be determined by your ability to craft a fancy copper door.

Below you can see the crafting UI with the 'Devices' category selected. You can also see that the 'Power Generator' item has been selected,
which displays various properties of the recipe above the window. Other details to note include the 500 available research points and the fact
that more fuel must be crafted before the power generator can be built.

 

With Resources you can make all sorts of items that are useful in-game. Below is the Crafting Chart as found in the game and online at Wikipedia.

Ammo Everything from arrows to bullets can eventually be found in this category. If it ends up traveling towards enemies at high velocity,
this is where you will find it.
Boosters One time use items which enhance your character either temporarily (jump booster) or permanently (health boosters) can be found in
this category.
Building Everything you use to build the actual structure of your base appear here, such as walls and back walls. Some base infrastructure such
as
cables can be found here. Also rope.
Devices Base placeables such as the furnace, workbench and Wall Power Sockets appear here. The various utility gadgets from the later tiers
also appear here.
Lights If it glows and wards of those nasty shadow creatures, this is where you find it. Many intermediate components used to make lights
also appear here such as
glow jars and light bulbs.
Storage This category holds all items which exist only to serve as containers for things. Examples include chests, buckets, jars and lockers.
Suits Here's where you'll find that nifty new armor set you just invested in, enjoy!
Tools Everything used to work terrain and the stuff that grows on it can be found here. Axes and shovels as well as high tech axes and shovels
are accommodated here.
Weapons If it has no other job but to kill things, this is where it is. Unless it's ammo, then it will be under ammo.
Furniture Beds, chairs and tables are the only things to be found in this category for the moment.
Resources This is by far the largest of all the categories. Generally, the things you craft in this category are only used for crafting other items and are
crafted from raw materials such as the various metal
ores and tar.

    

This is one of the early shelters you can construct to keep you safe against the creatures that populate the World you have created.

  Yellow crystals can be mined.              Keep away when gas is being emitted.

There is so much to explore in DARKOUT that it is a shame it is only a side-scroller and not a fully integrated 3D open-realm world
in the manner of MMO's.  You can find out more about DARKOUT here.   DARKOUT loads and installs via the DESURA system.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015