Unlit Room


   When popular gaming website Gamasutra boldly set forth its minimalist design ethos, "Dogma 2001," many sneered and scorned the seemingly arbitrary rules, pointing out that they were created by one who had neither created any games himself nor intended to in the future. However, Andrew Egerton Studios saw through the mockery to the important truth within, and set himself to the task of making a fine game that was fully Dogma 2001 compliant. With Unlit Room, he has succeeded.

 Black Francis
Paint It, Black

   In Unlit Room, there are no villains to destroy or worlds to save. The object, in fact, is to transport several pieces of lumber from one side of the room to the other, without accidentally tripping over the many sleeping infants littering the room--and that's just level one. Later stages of the game require you to unhook your date's bra straps in the dark, find a missing contact lens, and lay awake pondering existence at 3 a.m. The atmospheric blackness induces a visceral terror not felt since Silent Hill, and succeeds quite well in exploiting man's primal fear of the dark.

   Gameplay is handled through an interface as novel as anything Sega or Konami has produced: your own mind. In one of the most intuitive, fluid design achievements in the history of videogames, Egerton's team has succeeded in producing a control scheme such that your character is always doing exactly what you would like him to. The camera angles are also leagues beyond what anyone else has come up with, and are almost sentient in the way they always move exactly so as to provide the best view of the action, proving that while Dogma 2001 may be restrictive, it does not preclude innovation.

Black Doves
Black Hole Sun

   Egerton has created a game like no other, one that will shake the very foundations of game design not only with its unique approach to level design, interface, and concept, but with its efficiency as well. Following the Dogma 2001 exhortation to divorce his game from technology, he has created a work that can easily be distributed several times over on nothing more complicated than 5.25" floppies. The low price point of "free" also means that designers have no choice but to be exposed to his masterpiece and hopefully be inspired to create something equally stunning. As the leader in an exciting new field of gaming, Unlit Room deserves the GIA's highest grade, and hours upon hours of your play time.

Review by Nich Maragos, GIA.
Unlit Room
Developer Andrew Egerton Studios
Publisher Drew Cosner
Genre Imagineeration
Medium Your neurons
Platform Windows 98
Release Date  05.05.01
Unlit Room released
36 screenshots