Taking the near-pointilist pixel art aesthetic from Small Worlds and spicing it with the literary devices of Christopher Marlow, the storytelling mechanics of Christopher Nolan, and the heroics of Marty McFly, comes Darkfate. This is a platformer about man's impregnable desire to strive at fatal ambitions while being amnesiac, traveling through time, and shagging your great-great-grandmother or whatever turns you on.
The pacing works really well in a sort of... braid, if you will, with the game's keenly atmospheric sound effects and sparse but taut text. You find yourself stringing along with anticipation to learn, and also, ironically for a game about time-travel, with an imminent appreciation of the present. I remember staring up at the night sky of Ultima 9 with a sense of wonder, but it's telling that you can do the same in a game rendered as such a crude but expressive resolution. The platforming mechanics end up detracting from this flow, sometimes dropping down a pit is the way to move, sometimes it kills you, sometimes you're off on your jump by a single pixel-block. Since this is a sort of space-as-storytelling-device type of game in the tradition of Tale Of Tales, their arguments about gameplay interrupting the storytelling potential of interactive spaces really applies here, to this particular game and those of its ilk. The story itself is quite good and revealed like a pretzel unwinding while being simultaneously salted and cinnamon'ed in both the past and the future and you are eating it while preparing it because you ate it in the future.
But, as much as I like pretzels, and as much as I like to eat them dipped in multiple dimensions, the quiet austerity of Small Worlds is most definitely more true to its underlying gameplay while carrying a more minimal but equally strong sense of atmosphere. It's ultimately about you, if you prefer your immersive artz cerebral play this thing, otherwise you'll be prefer to bask in some Small Worlds.