"Dark Arena" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2002 by THQ. It is a first pesron shooting title which is loosely based around the "Doom" engine. In the United States, the game received a rating of "T" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for teenage years and above due to its violent content.
The story of this title is very similar to ID Software's "Doom". In it, genetically enhanced creatures are being created on an isolated island for testing purposes. The security devices which contain these creatures fails and their combined force quickly overthrows the research facility. Angelina Bradshaw, special forces soldier and the player's character, responds to the crisis and it is her mission to eliminate all creatures to restore order to the facility. The gameplay also relates very much to "Doom". Angelina begins with a small pistol and throughout navigating the in-game stages will come to acquire other weapons hidden in various spots. The player has the option of choosing an easy, medium or hard difficulty and each shows a different cinematic scene after successful completion of the game. The title also offers multiplayer connectivity which enables a "deathmatch" style tournament in one of the in-game stages. In terms of difficulty, there is little. The computer intelligence of the game is simple and do not readily react to Angelina's presence.
The graphics of this title are presented from the first person view which focuses on the player's drawn weapon. The stage detailing is good but does become slightly repetitive throughout play. Due to the game taking place only within a research lab, the visual designs are similar but this did allow for considerable attention being given to the few graphical implements. The enemies are acceptable but do appear to be very "choppy" in movement. Watching an enemy make a complete 180 degree turn is almost like watching an egg timer rotate; it is a very slow and drawn out pace. The soundtrack is also very simple. In fact, there are no musical compositions in the game. A few voice prompts cue the player as to health and ammo status but other than these the game is mostly a series of simple gunshot sound effects.
Overall, Dark Arena is an acceptable first person shooter which could perhaps be seen as appealing by players. It would likely appeal more to fans of early 1990s first person shooter games released to the personal computer as their handling is very similar.