I Like Dying In My Car: Darkwind

Three Point turning in a dark future is tricky.

Darkwind is an indie-MMO thing I’ve been meaning to look at which I’m just going to post (Jim tried, but the login system was failing then – seems to be okay now). Hail Shaun, who’s been pretty insistent in shouting about it. It’s basically a turn-based vehicular game. Think Car Wars or – if you’re terminally games-workshoppy – Dark Future. Or, if you’re Shaun: “Think of the tabletop game Car Wars having sex with EVE Online, then doing a threesome with Autoduel and Auto Assault, and finally making out with Football Manager”. Crikey, Shaun. Why don’t you just make out with it with tongues and everything? I’ll investigate when my schedule opens up a little, but until then, here’s some footage…

Firstly, the trailer…

Secondly, the a fan made explanation of the game…

Shaun’s also quoted over at TIGSource. It’s abstractly free to play, but buying a sub lets you do a lot more on the customising cars side, as well as owning facilities and similar. You can get your free account by a-clicking here.


  1. Dominic White says:

    I’ve wanted to invest more time in this – be warned that it isn’t a fast game. If you’ve ever played tabletop Battletech, that’s kinda what to expect. Seperate movement and shooting phases and all, only it’s physics-based and 3D.

    So, yeah. Battletech meets Car Wars as an MMO. Which is pretty awesome, but yeah, I need more time!

  2. dishwasherlove says:

    I saw the header and instantly thought Interstate ’76 remake.

    I was horribly wrong :(

  3. Freudian Trip says:

    I instantly thought of Gary Numann. Probably the first reference in a headline I’ve ever got. What a tune.

  4. Songbearer says:

    This article just reminds me of how much I miss AutoAssault. One of the most gratutiously fun MMOs since, well, ever.

    Luckily, Red Faction: Guerilla scratches that itch pretty nicely now.

  5. Freudian Trip says:

    And I’ve just realised the reference is Madness not Gary Numann.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I would have felt bad bringing it up.


    • Freudian Trip says:

      I realised while I was taking a shit. It was like the shit that was falling out of my arse had cleared my brain of the shit that I’d just typed. It’s a toilet epiphany, just like Scrubs. My life is a sitcom and I am but a player.

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      Making Freudian Trip the most aptly named person on the forum :D

  6. Krikey! says:

    Kieron, you’re a sex bomb ^^

    These days we’re actively hunting pirates near Somerset – most notably Tusk, whom we’ve managed to scare away into hiding for the time being. Give a shout if you want to come scouting with us!

    • Krikey! says:

      In addition, there’s access for everyone who signs up before October 19th to all the subscriber’s features until the 19th.

  7. Chaz says:

    Well it reminds me of the old Games Workshop table top game “Battlecars”. link to boardgamegeek.com

  8. Dr.Danger says:

    Interstate 76 – best game ever made by human beings, full stop. Oh how I long for those days of yore.

  9. Freudian Trip says:

    So Mr. Gillen. I return to tell you that I’m either sueing you or killing you. I haven’t decided which yet. This is due to having ‘Driving in my Car’ stuck in my head ever since the earlier incident.

    There will either be a subpeona or an axe-wielding psycho in your mail tomorrow.


    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Freudian: Welcome to my life. My constant punning plus pop obsession means my head is full of whatever last phrase I linked to a pop song at all times.


  10. scoopsy says:

    This really deserves a proper RPS looksy. It’s a harsh, unforgiving, game, which would normally put me off. However, there’s something about it that keeps me returning.

    I suppose it’s that in many MMOs, you’re always chasing after that next carrot – the next level, the new zone, etc. etc. However, with Darkwynd, the experience itself is so worthwhile, I never find myself chasing after those goals.

    Which is good because I’d be a disappointed man.

  11. Kwanchu says:

    What would be your favourite games not made by humans? Hellgate?, Gothic 3, sorry can’t think of any other games made by monkies or robots.

  12. Gutter says:

    Will Shaun be quoted in the description of every article about Darkwind? Because I remember reading it last week…

  13. JellyfishGreen says:

    Oh gosh I’ve got to go try this right away. Thanks for pointing it out. (MAC OS X CLIENT EXISTS!)

  14. Marty Dodge says:

    Yep, it reminds me of the afore-mentioned GW board game, which I still have. I tried this game and its pretty dull to be honest.

    • *grograt* says:

      In what way did you find it dull ? did you just attempt the driving school, did you take party in any races, were they just npc vehicles or did you get involved in a multi player race ( completely different game feeling ) did you try a scout, did you have a look at our forum and role playing section with in , did you read the back ground.

  15. ragabhava says:

    [speaks out of the lurker space]: does anyone know who made the music for the trailer vid ? I *need* to know!

    • Krikey! says:

      Have you only been to Driving School? I recommend you try the standard events too, and hopefully that’ll change your mind about the game being dull, because trust me, Driving School is really just that – to teach you how to drive, and thus quite obviously it’s really quite…dull. The events you want to seek excitement in would be standard races with 5V engines, deathraces and the like ;)

    • Krikey! says:

      Ahhhh wrong reply box!

      Anyway the song is A666. Forgot the band name, but it’s from the game itself.

  16. Matzerath says:

    Mmmm, an attempt at a true Car Wars game. I’ll have to try it, though I am scared. Scared I tells ya!

  17. malkav11 says:

    Huh. I’d heard about this, but for some reason I wasn’t picturing it as having 3D graphics.

  18. ragabhava says:

    Thanks Krikey, the title is already something, I’ll ask around on the Darkwind forum for the band.

  19. *grograt* says:

    well i see somebody was looking for info on Darkwind music

    – Original Music –
    A666, Bishi Bashi, Mash Head, Push The Button
    Written Produced Recorded Performed and Mixed by Dean Garcia
    Recorded at the LAB UK
    Dementia Music Corp / Copyright Control

    I hope more people give us a chance, you may be very surprised at how addicted you may become, subscription is optional and opens up a varied real world economy which is player and Game driven, changes are occurring all the time, due mostly to our lovely developer sam redfern, who participates constantly in our forums ( not many developers actually react to the players ) any Ex car wars players would simply adore this ( as i do ) you will find the community to be world wise ( and of a certain age hee hee ) so come on in the napalm is lovely

  20. Duckmeister says:


  21. Alex Dodge says:

    Toribash Surprised no one has mentioned it yet.

  22. Stromko says:

    I gave Darkwind a shot some years ago. It was hellaciously addictive for a bit, but after awhile I just couldn’t be bothered to wait for the next race to start or somesuch thing. I quit before the on-foot combat was added, so I don’t know how that’s panned out.

    It’s a rather splendid thing though, turn-based car racing with decent car physics, also guns!

    • Krikey! says:

      I was in the beta too, and I agree the waiting time was pretty long last time. You’d be surprised now though. There’s hardly anymore waiting time

  23. Shattered-n-Bloody says:

    To those who haven’t given this game a try yet, and who might have played Car Wars or another table-top game in the genre, I was thrilled to find this game. The combats are excellent in both events and scouts. You MUST subscribe (and it’s not expensive in the least even for mom’s basement folk) so you can get the most from vehicle designing and the economy.
    If you’re a ‘must have it’ person, you can do that or if you just like mayhem and violence (hear hear!!) you can do that too!
    The game’s constantly in flux because of the great designer (who plays AND participates in the chat room regularly) and the changes made through player participation and suggestions (yes, the game designer actually listens to us!!).
    It does need polishing, don’t expect perfect UI’s and it can be ‘slow’ to accomplish certain gang-related tasks (think…5 seconds instead of instantaneously) but again, it’s a game still in development and not being done by a large studio (think…two guys), but all in all, stoopid addictive and hellaciously fun to play.
    The PvP is constantly being tweaked and changed around and is OPTIONAL…so if it’s not your thing, don’t worry. The ‘world’ is also evolving and can only get better.
    On the ‘down’ side: there’s some vehicle restrictions (engine mating to chassis) that is frustrating…like, you can put a 4 liter engine into a Jeep-like vehicle…but not the larger General Motors-style SUV…but a ‘sports’ car can take a 7 liter…? It’s said this is to make vehicles…ah, screw it…that part sucks…but, really, doesn’t impact the game past wishing THAT graphic could go faster or climb better…all you need to do is step up to the next level in vehicles.
    Owning real estate is limited to ‘camps,’ which are very limited graphically and interactively. It’s a ‘plug and play’ sort of thing, merely a screen showing what’s IN the camp which can’t be interacted with. Camps, however, are where all the exotic goodies are made (weapons and vehicles), so owning one is a good thing if you’re into money…but a bad thing because of time required to run it and cash to get it going and keep it going (get a friend or two). But again, this is something the designer is looking to work on…but there’s only so much time in the day.
    All in all…this is an incredible game to play. Addictive, fun and frustratingly fun, with actual consequences to your actions! Characters DIE! so, don’t get too attached to everything! Play it, you’ll love it!

  24. Brass Gerbil says:


    I was really hoping this would stay out the limelight. I love the game, but I strongly suspect that once SJG gets a whiff of it, the CnD warhead will be launched. It’s just waaaaaay too similar to Car Wars rules.

  25. GCU Speak Softly says:

    I don’t think it’s that close to Car Wars rules – no problem with accelerating in 5mph increments, no pulsed movement for said increments, no worries about failing a difficulty roll while manoeuvring, etc., etc. – other than having Cars with guns bolted on, of course!

    Steve Jackson should actually go out and brand this as a Car Wars game and get Uncle Albert involved with the tech.

  26. Axiin says:

    I have been playing this game pretty much non-stop since I read the initial article. It is an absolute blast.

    This isn’t a game for people who can’t handle learning how to do something on their own. There is no tutorial, no directions on how to do stuff, no hand holding really.

    The web interface is a bit clunky, counter intuitive and at times laggy.

    The client suffers from the occasional crash and lock up, and the graphics are far from pretty.

    But the GAMEPLAY! The rush I get playing this as I draft past an opponent to a race is as big of a rush as PVP combat in Eve for me!. Trying to predict your enemies moves to keep them in your AoF, Flying past two heavily armed SUVs doing 100 MPH and praying to God they don’t tear through your armor!

    Working together with others to take down a superior force tactically, where if you *f* up you will lose hard earned cash/cars/characters!

    I just haven’t had this kind of CORE gameplay in a LONG LONG time!

    Please everyone, give this game a shot, take the time to learn it, I think it is well worth the effort!

    Besides, 20 bucks for 3 months?! I pay 15 a month for an eve sub that I only use a couple of hours a week.

  27. Stromko says:

    Still too much waiting around between matches, especially unfun when you’ve waited 10 minutes for a combat to start, and then every NPC on the opposing team decides to shell you and only you, killing you by the fifth turn with no recourse against it.

    It’s a very interesting game, but too uneven to be a good use of my entertainment time.

  28. Mad Mike says:

    been playing the game for 2 and half years and it just gets better and better… turn based allows a player to be able to control multiple vehicles, not just one. The max you are allowed to control is 20 which I do everyday I play.

  29. oddpod says:

    in other games death is an inconvenience. in darkwind their is no resurrection, you invest time in your gang members, and their fragile mortality gives there lives value. i get nerves on scout events because i know that maybe some of my beloved gang mite not be coming home. it adds an edge that i have yet to find in any other game.
    i can see why it wouldn’t be every ones cup of tea, but if you like turn based games its well worth a shot

  30. mediaprizm says:

    There’s massively Multilayer online games (MMOG or MMO). It has a capability of supporting hundreds or thousands of players at the same time. Mostly played in the Internet,the newer game consoles like Xbox, 360, PSP, PS3, Wii, Dsaccess Internet.