Heart of Darkness is an action-adventure platformer developed by Amazing Studio and released in 1998 for PlayStation and Windows-compatible PCs. The game depicts a precocious young boy named Andy who embarks on a fantastic quest to rescue his kidnapped dog Whisky from the shadowy forces of evil. Heart of Darkness was designed by noted French developer Eric Chahi, who would not return to active game development for nearly a decade following the game's release.
The game is completely unrelated to the Joseph Conrad novel of the same name.
The protagonist is a young boy with a vivid imagination named Andy. While Andy watches a solar eclipse with his dog Whisky, the evil ruler of another world called the Darklands uses this period of darkness to pay Earth a visit. The intrusion of The Master of Darkness causes a hurricane which transports Whiskey into the Darklands by mistake. Andy, who has many inventions in his tree house, grabs a plasma gun and jumps into his spacecraft to follow the Master of Darkness and rescue Whisky from the monsters of shadow. In the Darklands, he encounters a strange race called the Amigos. He learns that the Master of Darkness is transforming the Amigos into monsters, so he teams up with them to fight the the Master of Darkness and free Whisky from captivity.
This is a 2D side scrolling platform game similar to the original Prince of Persia, Out of This World, and Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey. Andy can walk, jump, crawl, climb and swim. He can also use magic to grow trees and attack enemies. Later in the game he can use his plasma gun against shadow creatures. The player must solve puzzles which involve timing the character's movement and using his various abilities to progress through the game. If Andy falls into a pit or is killed by the shadow creatures, the game is over.
Eric Chahi, the creator of the classic adventure game Out of This World was the creative force behind Heart of Darkness. The game had been in development at Amazing Studio for more than five years and suffered numerous delays before it was finally released in 1998. The development time was mostly spent in creating the game's music and FMVs.
Heart of Darkness was one of the first games to feature a fully-orchestrated musical score.