Between the original Alone in the Dark and its sequel, Infogrames has released a small, almost unknown teaser game called Jack in the Dark. Unlike the rest of the titles in the series, this game does not feature Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood. Rather, this game stars Grace Saunders, the girl who is kidnapped in Alone in the Dark 2. Absolutely no trace of the previous game exists in this pintsized adventure, yet it measures up quite nicely when put to the test.
When little Grace is trick-or-treating on Halloween night, she comes across an old toy store. As she goes through the door, the door slams closed, and she cannot get out. She has heard rumors that the place is haunted, but she has not listened, and now she is trapped inside! Soon Grace realizes that her goal there is much greater than getting out alive. Something truly sinister is going on around her, and she must do something about it.
The engine used in Jack in the Dark is a cut down version of the engine used in the rest of the series. Pre-rendered scenes are used as the environment, and polygonal models are used for characters and objects. As with all the games in the Alone in the Dark series, there must be a mention of the graphics - whereas the backgrounds are beautifully done, the polygons are somewhat pointed and unrealistic. Grace's face is very disfigured, looking as if her face has been smashed in with a baseball bat. If it is not for the broomstick, you may not be able to tell she is dressed up as a witch.
The trademark cinematic camera angles are present, but are not as pervasive as in the other games. An example is when Grace goes to the right-hand side of the store, the view is from the outside, looking through the window. It looks just as if the scene is taken out of a movie. It is also worth mentioning that the camera angles help to exhibit the game's atmospheric details - when Grace has her back to the toys, they move, but once she faces them, they stop.
Jack in the Dark is the only game in the Alone in the Dark series to not feature combat, at least not directly. There are some "baddies" in the game, but Grace does not rely on whacking them with her broomstick. As her only commands are Search and Close, she must use her wit to defeat the villain. Clues are dispersed throughout the game, just as in the rest of the series.
This game is a very straightforward adventure. The puzzles are not as esoteric as some of the puzzles in the other games of the series. The story, though small, is interesting, and there is even a bit of a clever twist at the end. On the other hand, character controls remain to be an annoying issue. As the engine used in the different games of the series is essentially the same, running still requires quickly pressing the up-arrow key twice. Users of higher end computers may not be able to use the run feature without using a program to slow down the computer. Luckily, running is not essential, since it just takes longer to move about otherwise. With the perspectives that have been chosen for the game, it is difficult to discern depth, which is necessary in order to accomplish certain tasks. The game is disappointingly short, clocking in at less than 10 minutes of play. With Jack in the Dark, Infogrames has a great premise for a game, so it can easily squeeze in a bit more gameplay without making it tedious.
Although the gameplay of this mini adventure lasts only minutes, it is still a great little diversion suitable for any level of gaming experience and it is certainly a "cannot miss title" for fans of the series.
The player controls a little girl up, who is up against Jack, the main bad guy from Alone in the Dark 2.
Jack in the Dark was a free Christmas-time promotion that you could download from BBSes; it was later included on the CD version of Alone in the Dark.
This is a cute little game made with the same engine as "Alone in the Dark". It's actually a teaser to Alone in the Dark 2.
You are Gracie. It's Halloween. You're dressed as a witch and you're lost in the Big City. You find a little toy store called, surprisingly, "The Little Toy Store".
Upon entering, it appears that the shop is full of evil enchanted toys. Their master is One-Eyed Jack in the Box, and he's kidnapped Santa Claus. You know what you must do. You must defeat the evil toys and save Santa!
This is a fun little game, and I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid of demon toys and can stand the graphics.
This little freeware game made by Infogrames is actually an introduction to Alone in the Dark 2. You play a little girl who got trapped in a toy store. This game is supposed to show all the beauty of AITD2 engine and it does it in a great way. And that's just about all it does. It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to complete... Really!
A mini-game made by Infogrames as teaser to Alone in the Dark 2, Jack in the Dark is a fun short story of a little girl trapped in a toystore who must negotiate a variety of malignant toys and other perils to find her way out. The easy but logical puzzles combined with the unique graphics of Alone in the Dark makes this a good introduction to that series.
People who downloaded Jack in The Dark have also downloaded:
Jack The Ripper, Alone in the Dark, Alone in the Dark 2, Alone in the Dark 3, Innocent until Caught, Jack the Ripper, Inherent Evil: The Haunted Hotel, Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb
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