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The pacing is perfect. The cleaver scare placement is quite rarely executed this well. The ambiance and setting all make for a really uneasy adventure from start to finish. I rest more on a rating of 9.5 as I think perfection really slipped away when it came to the story. While everything was tied well in real-time... I feel you could have gotten a little more creative with it or at least more descriptive. The only way you could top yourself is to go the way you are going with Phobia 2's look and design... but have the story at Stephen King level of freaky. Take the time to nail the story and the rest of the game will take care of itself, as you have proven before. This game is a real masterpiece and a great staple for many years to come. More people simply need to play this before these other titles passing as "horror" these days.
This game holds a special place in my heart as an FPSC user. I would rather like to give this game a 8.5 but that isn't possible yet. There is just something about the level design, story, and custom cutscenes that makes this one a blast to revisit. Sure, its a FPSC so the quirks of the engine come with it. However, I know how to appreciate a good single-man made game.
I was REALLY looking forward to Phobia 2! Maybe you and me could get together and make it happen huh? :)
Too dark to know what you are doing. The lightmapping could be much better. You wonder around lost for far too long to keep your attention for more then 5 minutes.
Extended Comments: As nothing really grabs your attention from the start, it is hard to continue forward. Other people mentioned scares but most of the time people are just going to be bumping into the walls. Sure, the name is dead darkness but I know FPSC has the ability to do a flashlight now and maybe this could have been used in some way.
To me, this game is average. I love the effort put into it but I wouldn't give it more then what it deserves. If time allowed, I think you would have benefited from making the house bigger. Since the game takes place all in one location, I feel as though that would have been a good move. The puzzles were thought provoking but maybe a little too much? Again, maybe it is that you had to make the puzzles complex to make up for the ability to have more then a few. It was a nice little play-through but all around average. A 7 or 8 seems natural but I'm leaning towards the 7 for the reasons mentioned above.
It scared me quite a few times and the ending is very well executed. However, I almost had the urge to quit when I was on floor 34 and nothing had happened yet. I'm glad I played through the whole thing however.
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