Get mysterious with Dusk Child, a rich little exploration puzzle


Dusk Child is a game with the texture of something lost (found?) in another era, but its crunchiness makes an elegant veil for a mysterious and well-designed experience. Much of the storytelling is nested delicately in the environment and is a pleasure to discover—all I'll say is that you've apparently been left behind by your people, and must open a temple gate to follow them.

Using essentially only the arrow keys to move, jump and to duck into crawlspaces, Dusk Child is simple to play, but sophisticated—you're on your own to learn the rules of the world, from its protective mirrors to its forbidding obstacles. Each screen requires its own kind of meditative patience, but as you draw a mental map of the world in your mind you start to feel the slow burn of pride that comes with having solved it, having understood it end to end, sweeping out its moonlit corners.


Dusk Child was made for PICO-8, a wonderful little internet console whose limitations are designed to challenge developers to do interesting things.

The game is free to play in your browser. Houlden says she might want to add more to the game in the future, but that the work that has "a chance of making some money" has to take priority—consider buying one of her works here (I've heard great things about Rose & Time) or see what she has on offer at her store.