Dark Arena Game Boy Advance


Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
Buy On
  1. 80
    It's a lot of fun to play, but there's not a whole lot of "oomph" that action games require for that necessary adrenaline rush.
  2. It's technically competent in the end, and many of its little touches are quite impressive, but there are clearly more memorable shooters of its kind already available.
  3. The plot may be a little worn (as in borrowed), but the environments are well done, there is a nice variety of weaponry to be collected, and you really don’t have to think about what to shoot – you just kill anything that moves because you are the only human survivor.
  4. The graphics engine developed for Dark Arena is something I never expected to see on the GBA. It seems that the more developers that dig into the hardware, the more impressive it gets.
  5. Game Informer
    Seems to easily fall flat into the clutches of mediocrity. The multiplayer mode is nice, though. [April 2002, p.89]
  6. 69
    It may be a blatant "DOOM" clone, but Dark Arena still manages to be a generally entertaining and mindless shooter. Solid controls, large levels, and plenty of evil mutants all add up to a fun time out.
  7. Even the level layout and "puzzle" elements--find the key, backtrack to the door--smack of things we've already seen, which makes the game, despite its arguable technical flow, something of a letdown.
  8. Nintendo Power
    Simply standard when compared to "Ecks vs. ever," Majesco's Dark Arena comes off as Quake Light. [Mar 2002, p.136]
  9. It never builds on the gameplay or aesthetic qualities of Doom in any meaningful way—it’s merely content to cover the same old ground and hope no one notices.
  10. Pocket Games
    It's boring - the worst crime you can commit. [Summer 2002, p.32]
  11. Dark Arena runs smoothly and plays quickly, which means you'll stay in the Arena a little longer than you thought.
  12. 60
    Mindless, twitchy, quick-shot FPS fun...but it’s so hyper-generic it seems like a clone of a "Doom" clone.
  13. Play Magazine
    A solid, 20-level romp that should be treated as a quasi-sequel to "Doom." [April 2002, p.67]
  14. A solid but bland first-person shooter with no in-depth story or sense of fun to elevate it above any other GBA game in the genre.
  15. 40
    Dark Arena's graphics are average at best. Much of the architecture is plain-looking and the average enemy sports only a half-dozen character animations.
  16. While the game runs well, there is little intensity to push the envelope. So much has changed since these games came out, and it just doesn’t seem nearly as exciting or intense.

Awards & Rankings

#83 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
#27 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2002
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. SeriousDuke(GBAFPSexpert)
    Jul 7, 2004
    Dark Arena is the ninth best FPS for the GBA, the first announced, but the fourth released for the system. Dark Arena is pretty much a Doom Dark Arena is the ninth best FPS for the GBA, the first announced, but the fourth released for the system. Dark Arena is pretty much a Doom clone. What's the difference between the two? Well, hmmm . . . Doom is a better game. Dark Arena features enemies with zero intelligence which make them a breeze to kill even on the hardest skill level. The graphics in Dark Arena seem a little more bright and sharper than Doom but Doom looks better all around and is simply more fun to play. Dark Arena does offer a good variety of weapons, some neat looking enemies, and some fun levels but all of this is sub-par to the Doom games. Dark Arena is definitly a fun and welcome entry in the growing library of GBA games under the FPS genre but definitly one of the weakest. Full Review »