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Monday, February 27, 2012

Retro Review: Daria's Inferno PC

 I loved Daria when I was in high school and watched it religiously. When I got the DVD sets a few years back for my birthday, I was thrilled and commenced to do some hardcore Daria watching. This totally rekindled my love for the series and I found myself googling Daria in the vain hopes there might be something more I could be finding, watching or otherwise being entertained with. In my searches I found that there was a PC game that came out in 2000, and as a gamer and fangirl I knew I needed to get it asap. It took me awhile to track it down, but here are the fruits of my fangirling.


Oh Joy, Oh Rapture a completely unimportant and self indulgent review of a game no one will care about.

The Concept of Daria's Inferno is a  retelling of Dante's Inferno taking place in Daria's twisted nightmare version of  Lawndale.

Oh Joy there's more to read after the jump, I'm so happy I could cry.


This is an old style point and click game, so there's not a lot to say control wise. You point, you click, you interact, yay! There is some sluggishness with walking though and it's easy to get hung up on on invisible walls and what not. So occasionally it's easier to control movement with the arrow keys.

Graphically it's just a slightly more pixelated Daria. The characters look exactly the same as they do in the show. The animation is definitely downgraded from the TV series, but it's not bad. Overall if you liked the show, the graphics are going to be familiar and enjoyable.

Soundwise, it's pretty good but does have a few issues. The voice actors and actresses are the same ones from the show so everything sounds right. However other than Daria and Jane, most characters have only a tiny bit of dialogue and often end up repeating the same phrases. This is dealable most of the time, but with some characters, it gets really annoying real quickly. The music was repetitive but forgettable, other than thinking I could do without it, I really have difficult recalling any of it.


This is a classic style point and click, but doesn't have as much depth as most of it's older adventure game counterparts. The Storyline is completely new to the series, but isn't particularly interesting or compelling. Finding 4 random objects to escape your dreams just doesn't have a lot of interesting ground to cover. Daria has a lot of snarky comments, but doesn't talk about anything other than the objects necessary for the adventure. Same thing for NPCs, Daria doesn't talk to anyone unless it's absolutely necessary for the game's plot. Being misanthropic is accurate to Daria's character, but it doesn't help add any depth or interest.

Jane and Trent act as your guides with telling which of Ms. Li's items you'll need to find in the upcoming level,  and Trent escorting you to a lower level of dream Hell/Lawndale once you've reached the previous level's goal item. You wander the different levels in search of Ms. Li's missing items while trying to avoid filling Daria's annoyance meter.

As you might expect Daria's annoyance meter is tied to how much contact you have with other people in the environment. Luckily each level has an item that keeps the masses at bay. It's not always obvious what that item might be, but there just happens to be especially convenient and relevant Sick Sad World episode previews that give you an idea of what you should be picking up. Though once you've got the aforementioned item you have to remember to keep it up on the screen in order to keep you safe. Unfortunately if you need to use a different item on a specific character, you have to put that item up instead and remember to switch back; this often leaves Daria open to a lot of annoyance.

Most of the gameplay is pretty light. Walk around level, find/use the items that help you in said level. The game boasts 21 levels on the back of the case, but in reality there are only 4 with different sections.  The levels are maze like, but other than that and finding the required items there aren't any puzzles. For the most part if you get stuck it's because you haven't clicked in the right spot. Occasionally the Sick Sad World hint is unhelpful and you could get confused, but most of the time clicking the items in Daria's inventory to get her commentary clears up any loose ends. There are no items to mix, no locks to open or anything else that would make the game challenging.  Even accounting for the times you're sent back to the beginning of a level for getting Daria too annoyed and the cut scenes there's only a few hours of the game.


There are a lot of things for fans of the show to enjoy, a new storyline, amusing cutscenes and more of Daria's witty banter, unfortunately none of that is enough to make this game particularly worthwhile. It's sort of funny and playable if you're a fan, but  it's a very short, very mediocre game. Only the most Die hard Daria fans will really get anything from playing this one.

~ Stephanie

Note on this review:  With most reviews we take our own screenshots, but most of these screenshots came from adventure classic gaming as the PC I used to play this game isn't internet ready (it's that old). It's a great site if you're a fan of old adventure games.

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