A Dark Room is a minimalist text adventure with unpredictable, expanding mechanics. An entire world unfolds slowly from a single button, inviting players to light a fire. Players are challenged to shift their strategies and perspectives as new layers of information and interactivity are revealed. Light the fire, and see where it takes you.


Development and intial release

In April 2013, Michael Townsend played Candy Box!, by French developer aniwey. Fascinated by Candy Box!'s minimalist presentation, as well as its dynamic and unpredictable emergent gameplay, Townsend began thinking about how that aesthetic could be used in service of a broader narrative. Two months later, doublespeak games released A Dark Room for free on the web. It was an unexpected viral success, and got the attention of mobile developer, Amir Rajan.

Mobile success

Rajan contacted Townsend after reading an article about A Dark Room on HackerNews. The Texas-based developer wanted to port A Dark Room to iOS as an experimental project, and Townsend agreed. By November of that year, A Dark Room was live on the App Store. Six months later, it was charting #1 and the two developers suddenly found themselves with a viable future in game development. While doublespeak moved on to new projects, Rajan continued to develop the A Dark Room brand, porting the game to other platforms and releasing a prequel called The Ensign.


  • Varied and diverse gameplay, leaving players curious about what changes the next hour will bring.
  • Minimalist environmental storytelling reveals a unique and compelling world through exploration and play.
  • An interface that is simultaneously intuitive and atmospheric.
  • Free to play on the web.


There are currently no trailers available for A Dark Room. Check back later for more or contact us for specific requests!

Awards & Recognition

  • "Top 5 Anti-Games of 2013" Forbes, Daniel Nye Griffiths, 2013
  • "Top 10 Games of 2013." Giant Bomb, Zoe Quinn, 2013

Selected Articles

  • A Dark Room: The Best-Selling Game That No One Can Explain
    Michael Thomsen, The New Yorker
  • The Simple, Text-Based iPhone Game That Will Make You Question Your Own Humanity
    Will Oremus, Slate
  • ‘A Dark Room’ Review – Surprising Things Can Be Found In The Dark
    Shaun Musgrave, toucharcade
  • Have You Played... A Dark Room?
    Adam Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun

About doublespeak games

doublespeak is a small independent game studio focused on open source, browser based experiences. Creators of A Dark Room and Gridland.
More information
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