dark-maus
Metacritic: 83/100
Release: Jan 2016
Reviewed on: PC

DarkMaus

Site Score
7.5
Good: Precise and satisfying combat – Boss and level design
Bad: Difficult to see some game elements (enemy attacks and stamina bar)
User Score
8.3
(7 votes)
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Control your very own mouse from a top-down perspective in the amazingly difficult DarkMaus, a game from an independent developer that captures the Dark Souls experience while adding their own flair into the mix.

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Taking place in the dark setting of Hazath players lead their solo mouse across a land of corrupted inhabitants. Facing archers, warriors, spiders, various bosses and traps the world is one where exploration is rewarding but also deadly.

Combat is designed with a similar framework and is rewarding when you pull off the perfect attack but can quickly result in death if not approached carefully. The fact that most enemies are often stronger than yourself and appear in greater numbers makes a careful approach important to DarkMaus. This is achieved by several means of combat with melee, ranged and magic weapons to utilise with varying strengths and weaknesses.

To help even the odds DarkMaus uses an interesting ghost mechanic where death will spawn ghostly support mouse to help you reach the point of your demise and thus lowering the difficulty for a certain time. Players may find themselves leaning more and more on their ghosts as the game progresses with its steady pace of increasing difficulty from start to end.

Abilities also expand over this time frame though and unlock at a decent rate to keep you engaged with the game and overcome obstacles. By slowly introducing skills like sweeping dash attacks, blocks and dodging you won’t be overwhelmed with mechanics and instead grow with the game as enemy complexity increases.

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Additionally the Marrow currency of the game can be spent at camp fires for more stat orientated character growth such as health, extra stamina, carry weight, resilience and dexterity. A number of weapon skills are also available to improve your power with a certain weapon type.

With great design fundamentals DarkMaus creates a style that all Soul fans will appreciate.

Summary:

  • Play as a mouse in a dark setting.
  • Master the sword, arrow and pyromancy.
  • Unlock new abilities and boost your stats as you advance.
  • Unique ghost mechanic helps you return to your point of death and balance difficultly.
  • Great use of vision range and light to create atmosphere.

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DarkMaus, 8.3 out of 10 based on 7 ratings
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