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A Dark Room (iOS, Android)

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Rating: 4.2/5 (27 votes)
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A Dark Room (Mobile)

GrinnypThe fire is dead. The room is cold. Awake. Head Throbbing. Vision Blurry. With those fateful words the adventure/simulation webtoy phenomenon known as A Dark Room burst upon the scene. Now the stark text adventure makes the leap to your mobile device, thanks to Amir Rajan (given blessing by doublespeak games to port, with a new alternate storyline for a particular character, some tweaks to the trading post, and faster pacing along with other goodies the mention of which might spoil the surprise for those who didn't become immediately addicted to the rich yet creepy appeal of the original. As in the original, A Dark Room for iOS and Android begins...well, as implied, in a dark room. All you can do initially is feed the fire, but as the game runs, events will begin to happen, and soon you'll find yourself with a wealth of choices that change and expand over time to flesh out the gameplay in unexpected ways.

The gameplay differences in the mobile version interface are minor, mostly separating out the various locations rather than keeping everything on one main screen as in the browser version. The constant swiping back and forth can get a little tiring as the action proceeds with more haste than the first time around, eliminating a lot of the lag time. The one cool feature is the fire itself, as your screen will grey down if it goes unattended too long, going from white to grey and eventually back to black, a nifty reminder. The addicting gameplay makes a good match for mobile devices, freeing the player from sitting in front of a browser tab for too many hours, afraid to shut the tab for fear of losing progress. No worries here as the game autosaves frequently and does not run in "real-time", i.e. when the app is shut off. For experienced players or beginners, this is a must play!

Check out our review of the original, still free browser version of A Dark Room!


Link to original game is broken.

Patreon Donator dsrtrosy June 1, 2014 10:05 PM

Guide to A Dark Room
I recently posted a guide for the browser version of this game, but there are enough differences that I thought I had better make one for the mobile version as well.

Like the other this guide has 3 parts: General Gameplay, Costs, and Map.


Game Hints.

  • The game gives you the info you need: for example, building more traps will allow you to catch more creatures, and building a lodge will help your villagers hunt. Pay attention!

  • While it's a survival game in one sense, it's also a narrative--and the narrative has been improved upon to a great extent. It has a much darker, more immediate feel, as story elements popup over the play field rather than just existing in the narrative window.

  • Decisions like being kind to strangers may not have far-reaching implications, but it helps to tell the story. And being kind sometimes DOES have a positive affect.

  • Investigate noises and follow critters, as it may lead to new discoveries and resources when you most need them.

  • A major difference from the browser version is that everything is on a separate "page" in the game rather than separate tabs. To reach a different area, you always have to go back to the firelit room.

  • Another major difference is that you don't have a list of all your assets available on the main screen. It's much more important to keep track of the resources you're developing.

  • This game works a bit differently in that you can't exactly keep it running to create resources as you work on other things. Because of this, many of the items cost less than they do in the browser game.


  • When your population is maxed, it's probably time to build more huts.

  • Building huts and traps early will provide you with a labor force and resources for larger buildings later. People move in much more quickly, so you can usually assign new workers to jobs immediately.

  • If you need to build something, make sure your other jobs are not using more wood than you gain. Same goes for other resources.

  • The builder now has her own page where you can go to consult with her. The growing village is where you gather wood, check traps and reassign workers. The map is similar, although navigation is simplified by N, E, S & W buttons.

  • Certain items are limited--for example, you can only craft 1 rucksack, you can only build 1 workshop, etc.

What things (and people) do.

  • Traps will bring in fur, tattered cloth,meat, teeth, charms, etc.

  • The cart helps you gather more wood.

  • Two tiny huts create a Tiny Village. There are some other building options that open up.

  • A Tiny Village will add a workshop, and larger villages/more resources, actions in the map will open even more.

  • The trading post has items for sale.

  • The lodge allows your villagers to hunt (if you assign hunters).

  • The tannery will allow you to make leather (if you assign tanners).

  • The smokehouse will allow you to cure meat (if you assign charcutiers).

  • Click on the up/down arrows to assign gatherers to other jobs. You can only change workers one at a time.

  • A Modest Village has 5 huts.

  • A Large Village has 8 huts.

  • A Raucous Village has 16 huts. There is a limit of 20 huts total.

  • Once the compass is purchased, A Dusty Path opens. For more detailed hints on the map, see the Dusty Path section below.

  • Certain NPCs have nothing to do with perks or goods. For example, a gambler will come around to try to start a game; beggars ask for furs; etc.

  • Workers:

    • Builder = 2 wood / 3s

    • Gatherer = 1 wood / 3s

    • Charcutier = -5 meat, -5 wood, + 1 meat / 5s

    • Hunter = +1 fur, +1 meat / 5s

    • Tanner = -5 fur, +1 leather / 5s

    • Trapper = -1 meat, +1 bait / 10s

    • Coal Miner = -1 cured meat, +1 coal / 10s

    • Iron Miner = -1 cured meat, +1 iron / 10s

    • Steelworker = -1 iron, -1 coal, +1 steel

    • Sulfur Miner = -1 cured meat, +1 sulfur / 10s

Perks can help you accomplish different things. Not everyone can receive all perks.

  • Boxer - increases Punch damage from 1 to 2. Earned by punching approximately 50 times.

  • Scout - Buy it from the scout. Increases your vision radius on a dusty path from 3 squares to 5.

  • Gastronome - Bring a charm to the swamp. Increases the amount healed by eating Cured meat from 10 to 20.

  • Stealthy - Earned by sparing the thief when he's caught. Reduces the rate of combat encounters.

  • The next three are all earned by letting The Master stay the night, which requires that you have 100 Furs, 100 Cured Meat, and 1 Torch handy. Try to either keep these amounts handy at all time, or always keep production of Furs and Cured Meat positive so that if he comes when you don't have enough, you can wait out the last few.

    • Precision - Reduces how often you miss in combat

    • Evasion - Increases how often you hit in combat

    • Barbarian (pick "Force") - Increases your damage melee weapons by 50%

  • Martial Artist - punches do even more damage.
 Continue barehand fighting after obtaining the boxer perk (approx 150 punches, and damage increasing from 2 per hit to 6 per hit.

  • Unarmed Master - punch twice as fast, and with even more force. 
Keep barehand fighting for about 300 punches, and punching goes up to 12 damage per hit, with a really short timer.

  • Slow Metabolism - go twice as far per food
. To get this one, die of hunger at least 5 times.

  • Desert Rat - go twice as far per water
. To get this one, die of thirst at least 5 times.

Everyone is going to have a different experience! Be patient! Things are bound to happen.


Want to do some advance planning? Here is what everything costs to build or craft.

  • Cart = 100 wood, one time

  • Trap = 10 wood, then 15, then 20... (limit 30)

  • Hut = 80 wood, then 140, then 200.. (limit 20)

  • Lodge = wood 100, fur 10, meat 3

  • Trading Post = wood 300, fur 100

  • Tannery = wood 500, fur 50

  • Smokehouse = wood 600, meat 50

  • Workshop = wood 400, leather 25, scales 10

  • Steelworks = wood 800, iron 100, coal 100

  • Armoury = wood 3000, steel 100, sulphur 50


  • Torch = wood 1, cloth 1 (unlimited, can make 5 or 10 at once)

  • Waterskin = leather 50

  • Bone Spear = wood 100, teeth 5 (can make 5 or 10 at once)

  • Rucksack = leather 200

  • Leather Armor = leather 200, scales 20

  • Cask = leather 100, iron 20

  • Wagon = wood 500, iron 100

  • Iron Armor = leather 200, iron 100

  • Iron Sword = wood 200, leather 50, iron 20

  • Water Tank = iron 100, steel 50

  • Convoy = wood 1000, iron 200, steel 100

  • Steel Armor = leather 200, steel 100

  • Steel Sword = wood 500, leather 100, steel 20

  • Rifle = wood 200, steel 50, sulfur 50

Some items can be purchased. Here are most of those prices:

From scout:

  • Map 200 fur

  • Learn Scouting 1000 fur, 20 teeth

From nomad:

  • Scales = fur 20

  • Teeth = fur 30

  • Bait = fur 10

  • Compass = fur 300, scales 15

From trading post:

  • Scales = fur 30; can buy 5

  • Teeth = fur 30; can buy 5

  • Compass = fur 400, scales 20, teeth 10

  • Leather = fur 30; can buy 5

  • Cured meat = meat 30; can buy 5 or 10

  • Iron = fur 30, scales 5

  • Coal = fur 30, teeth 5

  • Steel = fur 30, scales 5, teeth 5

After you find your first one of each of the following, you can buy:

  • Bolas = teeth 10 (can buy 5 or 10)

  • Bullets = scales 10 (can bey 5, 10 or 50)

  • Medicine = scales 50, teeth 30

  • Alien Alloy = fur 1000, scales 75, teeth 30

  • Energy Cell = scales 10, teeth 10

  • Bayonet = scales 500, teeth 250

  • Grenade = scales 15, teeth 10 (can buy 5 or 10)

  • Battery = scales 15, teeth 10 (can buy 5 or 10)

The only weapon you can't craft or buy is the laser rifle


Here is where things get really interesting!

  • You can take advantage of the carrying space you have to take items with you. This includes torches, weapons, and food. You start with space for 100 items, but everything weighs more. Cured meat is no longer required to even embark on an adventure!

  • The map is big--touch and drag to see it all. You'll find lots of things to explore here: caves, mines, ruined cities and more. Try to find them all. Some buildings in your village rely on your finding more resources out in the wild.

  • You will occasionally be accosted by an enemy and have to fight, even in spaces you have previously explored. Choose your weapon (including fists, which requires that you carry no other weapons). You have no choice but to fight. Hits and food/medicine are slightly less responsive in touch.

  • Enemies can range from 4 hit points up to 50 hit points. Once you have several perks and a strong armory, you can defeat any of them, but watch out! Some hit for more points than you do, while others hit more quickly.

  • You can use food, medicine, and even multiple weapons in each battle. Each has a cool down period.

  • Whenever you have a chance to do so, buy a piece of the map. It can help you figure out where everything that needs to be explored is located.

  • Things will start to move pretty quickly once you find and clear the mines. Use the iron to improve your armor, build a wagon, etc. Use steel for even better, stronger items. You may not need everything, but test yourself in the wild and add to your defenses and the village's resources as needed.

  • By the time you have the mines in operation, you probably don't need wood gatherers any more at all. Put them to work in other places to produce what you need more quickly.

  • Returning to the village from time to time will save what you've explored on the map. It also gives you a chance to safely deliver anything you have acquired.

On the map:

  • I: iron mine

  • C: coal mine

  • S: sulfur mine

  • V: caves can provide you with food and water.

  • O: deserted towns can provide weapons, ammunition and even medicine.

  • Y: once great city, now in ruins.

  • P: a safe place in the wilds. Once you clear a cave, a village, or a city, it becomes safe. You can completely replenish your water here.

  • H: house which has some useful items you can pick up (and possibly enemies to fight).

  • B: where you find alien alloy. Get back to town with it ASAP!

  • M: place to use a charm to get the gastronomy perk.

  • F: find advanced weaponry (you only get one shot at what is there, so make sure you have room on your convoy!)

  • W: salvage the alien spaceship

Don't get so caught up in your exploration that you lose track of how much water and food you are carrying (especially if you don't have either the slow metabolism or the desert rat perks).

An Old Starship:

  • Once you retrieve the salvage of the starship, it opens a new tab in the village. This is more or less the same as the browser version. If you go in to the Old Starship tab, you can reinforce the hull and upgrade the engine.

  • This is done using the alien alloy you find (or buy).

  • You only need one of each to get the starship off the ground.

  • Unfortunately, if you don't have use of your arrow keys, clicking doesn't work for the starship as it did to navigate the map. Reinforce the heck out of your hull and hope for the best! (Hint: the engine only needs 1!)

  • Fortunately, you don't lose any strength in your hull when you crash, and once you have waited out the cool down period, you can try again!

violettheory June 19, 2014 9:55 PM

(I'm reposting this comment from the regular version of this page in hopes of getting an answer)

Hi, I got this game on ios a few days ago and I've mostly completed it from what I can tell of the walkthroughs. I got the starship, got every available alien alloy from every town, city, house, borehole and battlefield on the map, and completely filled the map in my searchings. I even bought a few alloy to get an even 40.

But every time I go to the starship screen there is only one option. Lift off. And every time I tap it it says that the controls are unresponsive. There is no option to enforce the hull or repair the engine. Did I do something wrong? Every time I stoke the fire it tells me that the forest beckons, so that's why I thought I had to complete the map.

If this is a bug and I just put 15 some hours into an unfinishable game I'll be really sad.

Patreon Donator dsrtrosy June 20, 2014 1:31 AM

@violettheory...I realize I just posted the guides a couple of weeks ago, but I have played so many games since, I can't think of what might have been missed. Let me check and see if I can come up with an answer...if you've completed the entire map, and have salvaged the ship and all the alloy, I'm not sure why you can't do anything else in that tab. But I'll do my best to find out!

dee_kay August 6, 2014 8:22 AM replied to violettheory

At some point in the game the builder leaves (or has left when you get home from exploration). The "visit builder" tab then only has a "!" on it and it says that she's gone; also the fire is out and the room is cold. I don't know what triggers this event, in my case it was before! I had explored the map completely. Maybe you haven't played long enough or not reached a certain amount of a ressource.


I just beat the game without building huts. It was taking forever when I finally figured out one of the most basic aspects of the game's "a dusty path" section: when you successfully claim a house/town/whatev and it turns into a "P", you can hit it once per adventure *forever*. It'll refill your water and, more importantly, give you a cache of cured meat. It is much easier and quicker to farm cured meat with some quick runs to the P-stops near the fire than to spend resources trading for cured meat.

Anyone who figured this out right away, forgive the obviousness of this tip. I instinctively treated those P-spots as precious resources I should conserve as much as possible. Don't conserve: farm.


Link to original game is broken.


To be honest I had no idea what the game was before purchasing it. I read on a list somewhere that it was a good game and decided to give it a shot. It was out of my normal scope of games but after playing for a period of time I really got into the progression of everything.

After quite a bit of progression, things just kinda stopped. I wasn’t sure how to make the next step happen or what to do. I put the game down because of frustration and went onto the next app. After about a month of not playing, I picked it up this morning figured out a few things and finished it tonight!

Point being, give the game a shot. It is different than most you will see but it turns out to be a lot of fun. After finishing, I actually was disappointed it was over. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t want it to end. I will say, that I think I could have shaved quite a bit of time off if I knew how it would end. I guess that is what a second play through is for although I’m not sure whether I will or not. Give it a shot, it’s only $.99.
THe free version of app is available on AppEven store.


Hi, I got this game on ios a few days ago and I've mostly completed it from what I can tell of the walkthroughs. I got the starship, got every available alien alloy from every town, city, house, borehole and battlefield on the map, and completely filled the map in my searchings. I even bought a few alloy to get an even 40.


The link has been broken. Please fix it again


I forgot to eat insomnia because of this game.


Link to original game is broken.


I couldn't download it later. Please help me


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