Darkwood is an indie horror game. The player takes on the role of a homeowner who must defend himself against the forces of darkness in the night and collect the resources to help him survive the day. The studio behind this hybrid title is Acid Wizard from Poland. Darkwood is their first commercial production. The title was officially released on August 17, 2017, and is available on PCs running Windows.
The game can be downloaded from Steam. The download will be eventually free if you return the game before two weeks from purchase and two hours of gameplay pass.
The plot of the game is based on the defense of the house against monsters. The title combines different genres in an interesting way, creating a unique experience. The title puts an emphasis not so much on frightening the player, although such elements are there. The main focus of Darkwood is on the mental health of the hero. The player has to provide for his character all the resources necessary for survival such as food. Equally important however is to take care of the mental condition of our hero. The longer we play, the thinner the boundary between fantasy and reality becomes. Soon our hero will stand on the verge of the abyss of madness. The goal of the game is to survive and to do so, we will have to explore the nearby forest in search of everything we will need.
Darkwood – the Game Mechanics
The title is a complex production as far as the game mechanics go. In the game, there are elements of different game genres such as RPG, survival, and horror. The level of difficulty is high, the game is thus quite demanding. We will not find many clues from the creators here, and a large part of the mechanics will have to be discovered by the player. The game is played in an open world, which is generated randomly with each new game started.
In each of the game’s subworld, all the events, locations, and enemies that waiting for us are generated procedurally. This means that Darkwood does not give us any opportunity to play according to a prescribed recipe. Each time we have to adapt to the changing situation and the new conditions of the game.
The extensive systems of crafting and of skills have also been implemented. The first will help us to create new items, strengthen the house, build barricades, build traps, and improve our existing items. The implementation of the day and night cycle made time management a crucial skill in the game. We should not be surprised by the twilight. Our character has only one life, which means that every death will force us to start playing Darkowood from the beginning. The whole gameplay is shown from a bird’s eye view, which gives the production a unique feeling.
The Graphics in Darkwood
The depressing, creepy style of the game is consistent throughout the game, and the dark, misty locations only increase the feeling of uncertainty and desperation. In the game, photorealism has given way to hand-drawn graphics which remind of Tim Burton’s animations. The production can be compared to Don’t Starve. The exploration of the unknown combined with the necessity to take care of the mental health of the protagonists is an excellent mix.