Dark Crypt by Daisy Games
Dark Crypt is a dungeon-crawling puzzler with a horror theme, and while it seems deceptively simple at first, it’s hiding a solid challenge up its sleeve. With a hero armed only with his wits and a gothic abyss crawling with all manner of the undead, Dark Crypt offers a tense and atmospheric puzzle experience, backed with a soundtrack of familiar classical music.
Stalk the Monk
Placing us in the role of a pious monk who has taken it upon himself to prevent a buried evil from rising and spreading across the world, Dark Crypt is a game about exploring a dungeon square by square. Enemy creatures move with each square traversed, and it’s crucial to stay out of their line of sight. Should a foe see the unfortunate monk, he will be instant lunch.
Thankfully, Dark Crypt does a good job of keeping a good pace through a swift restart button and an option to reverse actions step by step.
Enemies take numerous forms, from basic foes like skeletons that only ever turn in two directions to mobile vampires and mages that cast their gaze down diagonal paths. The design of the game and the reliance on line-of-sight creates an almost chess-like sense of predicting potential threats. Dark Crypt has a decent variety of enemies, and alongside environmental hazards like spikes and locked gates, it uses them very well to create a strong array of challenges across its sixty levels.
Hide and Seek (and Teleport)
While unable to directly combat these enemies, the protagonist isn’t entirely lacking in abilities. Most notably, a power-up is found early on that allows for teleportation. The precise method for this teleportation involves laying down a point of origin and jumping back to it on second activation. This activation uses a turn and causes enemies to take their move; many puzzles revolve around this interaction.
Later on, additional tools become available such as a second teleportation and invisibility potions. Coupled with various environmental options such as shifting vases to block line-of-sight, this provides plenty of concepts to build puzzles around.
A Spooky Symphony of Pixels and Puzzles
The visual design of Dark Crypt is pixel art-based and works well to craft a gothic and sometimes grim aesthetic. This is backed up by a selection of classical music tracks that, whilst unoriginal, fit the theme here very well. It would have been nice to hear some tracks composed specifically for Dark Crypt but those that the developer has chosen are appropriate for the setting.
Dark Crypt is a simple but very tidy puzzle game that uses its slim range of enemies and power-ups very well to craft 60 challenging and engaging levels. A narrative built around the protagonist’s pious goals and motivations serves to bridge the many layers of the dungeon, and while it is fairly rudimentary, it does a good job of reinforcing the gothic horror of the story.
Dark Crypt is worth a look for anyone seeking a challenging set of puzzles with a fun undead horror theme tying them all together.
Dark Crypt is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Dark Crypt below: