Well, Before Dark, a game made by AHAKuo, has all those things but it mostly stands out for another reason: it’s frustratingly fun.
Let’s get this straight: Before Dark is a hard game. Now, you might be thinking: “Well, maybe you’re just bad”. And I agree with you on that, but still, this game is harder than it looks.
If you go check Before Dark in the Google Play Store, you’ll see a little quote that says “Contain your rage and survive”. And that’s a lesson we need to learn in the game and in our daily lives.
In Before Dark, you play as Neon, a small little ball that was taken away from his family. Your job is to help little Neon to get back before the darkness gets him.
As I mentioned before, Before Dark is a platformer game. You’ll control Neon and help him reach his goal. There’s a catch, though. You have a limited amount of energy on each level. Neon has a battery life, which will drain the longer you stay on a level.
There are also enemies that will instantly kill you if you touch them. However, once you lose all your energy, Neon’s body keeps moving for a while. It might sound creepy, but this is in case you’re near an item that’ll recharge your battery. This is a really cool feature, and you’ll need to keep it in mind to beat some levels.
Throughout each level, you’ll find rechargers that’ll give you an extra energy boost, and power-ups which will let you enter a power-up phase where you’re invincible. There are also some traits hidden in some levels, which will work as a power-up too. Nevertheless, these items only prolong the inevitable, so you must act fast to beat the level.
The biggest problem with Neon is that he can’t jump. You can only move to the left or right, which makes it harder to avoid hurdles. To get past them, you need to use your environment and momentum to help Neon make a small leap. It’s easier said than done, but it does feel rewarding once you get the hang of it.
That being said, you’re probably going to get mad at Before Dark a lot. Every new level is like a small puzzle that you need to figure out quickly before you die. Plus, you won’t find much help out there.
In my experience, I got so mad I had to stop playing, only to find myself picking up the game a couple of minutes after I rage quit. There’s something so compelling in this kind of game that makes you want to go back and finish what you started. And after you beat it, there’s a sense of accomplishment, which stops as soon as you enter the next level. It’s a vicious cycle that you’ll hate to enjoy.
Fortunately, the controls are responsive most of the time. You won’t have problems when controlling Neon, it just takes some time to get used to the gameplay. However, there’s a small problem when touching other buttons. The game doesn’t register your input, so sometimes you’ll have to tap a bunch of times just to read what’s written on the board. It’s really annoying, especially when you’re running low on time and battery. Hopefully, they’ll fix this in the future.
Another thing that makes Before Dark stand out is its music selection. The game’s got a bunch of great songs that’ll play throughout the game. Every song is great, but it’d be nice to have a bigger variety, or the option to choose which song you’d like to listen to. Still, the songs do a really good job of immersing you in the game, even more so if you’re wearing headphones.
If you’re into hard games or platformers in general, you should give Before Dark a try. The gameplay, combined with good level design and some nice tunes in the back will make you want to play it over and over again. Which is good, because you’ll probably die constantly. But, in case you do rage quit for good, here’s our list of the best platformers on Android available right now.