Emilly In Darkness by Daniel Halat icon

Emilly In Darkness ($1.99) by Daniel Halat is an action-adventure game with some very basic RPG elements mixed in, creating one heck of a challenging game with an intriguing story.

While we all love simple games for our iPhones (think games like Fish Out of Water), it’s always nice to get a change in the form of a unique adventure game. And fortunately, that’s just what you’ll get in Emilly in Darkness.

Emilly In Darkness by Daniel Halat screenshot

What drew me to this title were the distinctive graphics. Everything is hand drawn, so even though it looks a bit cartoonish, it’s still special, as there is nothing else quite like it in the App Store (that I know of). The game itself features dark, gloomy worlds that you will have to navigate through with only a small beam of light, and the animations of Emilly and all of the other NPCs and enemies is smooth and fluid. And of course, to go with this chilling game world is a haunting soundtrack that will send shivers down your spine.

There is a story that is going on in the game, and it’s one of the strongest points of Emilly In Darkness. The main character, Emilly, is alone in a dark forest. Why? That’s not known in the beginning, so you’ll have to uncover that as you play. Suddenly, in the cutscene, you’ll see that she is gunned down by an assassin in the shadows, however, Emilly is not dead in the traditional sense. She finds herself in a mysterious, dark place (similar to hell if you think about it), and she is surrounded with demons and other lost souls.

If you’re in the mood for uncovering the mysteries in the story, then Emilly In Darkness is for you. The plot simply draws you in right from the get-go, and it will prove to be a challenge to figure out.

The controls for the game are pretty easy, using controls similar to those found in platformer games. On the left, you have the virtual joystick to move Emilly around in all directions, as the game is in a top-down perspective with a slight tilted shift to it. When you unlock the skills to attack enemies with (very early in the game), you will have an A and B button in the bottom right corner to activate them.

However, once you get your skills, don’t go too crazy with them, since you (as Emilly) only have so much blood. That’s right — her first skill is to use her own blood to defend herself. Pretty crazy, right? The more you use the blood, the more the skill bar will deplete. It recharges gradually over time, but if you use it all up, then you will be quite vulnerable for a bit. Use the blood wisely — don’t waste it.

Emilly In Darkness by Daniel Halat screenshot

Underneath the skill bars is also your health bar. If you “die” (well, since you’re already dead technically), you will just go back to the last checkpoint, which the game will notify you of when you pass it.

The game will consist of areas that you have to navigate through in the dark, so you’ll have to make real use of that light that Emilly has to find your way through. There will be areas that are blocked off by locked, heavy doors, and you must find the hidden key to unlock it and move forward. Enemies will also go after Emilly, so you’ll need to shoot them down with your blood if you don’t want to die again.

Emilly In Darkness is mainly an action adventure game, but as I mentioned earlier, there are also RPG elements. You will gain levels with more kills (as they give you experience points), and your skills can be developed further to become more powerful. The game itself can also be one of three difficulties: Easy, Normal, or Hard. So if you’re in for a real challenge, you can play the game on the Hard difficulty.

So far, I’m enjoying the game, though I haven’t gotten too far into it. I do wish that the controls were a bit more optimized, as it can be hard to aim where you’re shooting your blood sometimes.

If you’re in the mood for a hauntingly beautiful challenging action adventure game with a sprinkling of RPG elements and a great story, then you will want to check out Emilly In Darkness. You can get it for your iPhone in the App Store for $1.99.