A Dark Room

LQ: 9.05


Brain grade: 9.2
Fun score: 8.9

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 10+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

iPhone iPad Android Online Nintendo Switch

A Dark Room is a text-based adventure game where the player uses resource management and decision-making to move the story forward. The player interacts with the game by reading text that scrolls down after another piece of the story is revealed. At the beginning of the game, the player character wakes in a freezing cold, dark room. They only have one option available to them; to start a fire. The player needs to keep the fire blazing or the room will go cold and the player will die. Once the fire is hot enough, the player will have options to branch out, build huts and traps, and begin to invite other wandering characters into their newly created living space. As the player continues to explore and accumulate resources, more of the story is revealed. 

A Dark Room is available on iOS, Android, Web Browser, and Nintendo Switch. The game is rated E 10+ for most platforms but iOS rates it for ages 12 and up.

A Dark Room helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Planning: Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals. 

In order to progress further in the game, the player needs to be able to plan out how to best use the resources they have. When the player only has a limited amount of wood, they may need to decide between building a hut that will bring more workers in, or building traps that can bring in more meat. As the game progresses and becomes more complicated, players will need to manage even more resources in order to venture out and receive more information to help solve the mystery of why they woke up alone in the dark room. 

Focus: Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

In order to progress further in the game, the player needs to be able to use their focus in various ways. First, because the game is almost entirely text-based, the player needs to use their focusing skills to read the text and apply what they have learned to the current in-game situation.

The player also needs to use their focusing skills when attending to various needs of the village or when venturing out into the wilderness. In order to ensure that the fire doesn’t die out, the player needs to keep an eye on the scrolling text to make sure that the room temperature isn’t dropping. They also need to make sure that they are watching the amount of food, water, and medicine that they have when venturing out. If they do not keep an eye on these numbers, they may find themselves starving or dying from a wild animal attack before they can make it back to the home base. 

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