Fear And Roaming: Darkwood

It’s been SLENDER pickings in the survival horror genre recently but Darkwood has my fear-glands tingling and, disturbingly, salivating. My internal organs are swimming in terror-juice,

Darkwood is a top-down, oldschool survival horror set in a procedurally generated, open world. It features RPG and roguelike elements, with intense combat and a eerie atmosphere.

They say ‘oldschool’, ‘they’ being the three folk from Poland who are making the game, but in many ways Darkwood appears to be using all the modern tricks of the trade. Procedurally generated maps, with randomised events and locations, and worrying sanity effects abound. The video shows the player setting up barricades to keep out…something…and, as everybody should be aware, barricades are an essential ingredient in true horror.

If this is half as good as I’m hoping it will be, the old fear-gland might burst like an over-inflated balloon. I shall seek further information immediately.


  1. TsunamiWombat says:

    Imagine a horror game where the monster chasing you IS barricades. You have to continually seek more open ground and tear down obstructions as -it- tries to box you in. Call it ‘Claustrophoiba.’

    A terrible groan runs through the house, you can hear the floorboards and walls creek. Doors and windows begin to slam shut. Furniture throws itself in front of the exits barring you. Frantically, you pry the barricades away as the room seems to shrink, and the darkness grows, closing in on you…

    • Skabooga says:

      That would be really awesome. I would totally play that.

    • RedViv says:

      Amnesia utilised that, though only in scenes showing the approach of the “darkness” following the protagonist.
      Making that the primary foe would be rather interesting, I agree.

      • UmmonTL says:

        It would depend on how exactly the barricades come at you. Is there someone running around trying to close off all exits? Is the house you are in somehow sentient and trying to stop you? A big part would be how fast all this moves, fear and horror needs to give you some space. Constant adrenaline rush running away won’t scare you for long.

    • nil says:

      House of Leaves!

    • sirdavies says:

      Have you seen the new inventions with 4d prining and all that? (link to youtube.com)

      The game could be set in a near-future environment where that technology is so widespread someone decides to use it to control the population, so that would give some context to your idea.

    • Cloudiest Nights says:

      …Are you Molydeux?

  2. Arkh says:

    Looks lovely. I like the camera and the objects, and the UI seems fairly simple and intuitive. I wish Project Zomboid took a similar approach to graphics.

    And would be great if this (and PZ with a similar engine) would give you the option to construct things, even if shoddy, instead of just barricades. Like walls and other things. Or open holes in walls. I’m a sucker for completly destructible and constructable environments.
    Thanks for telling us about this game, Adam!

    • Luringen says:

      PZ showed a video recently of constructing walls and painting them, allowing for full house construction with a lot of work. The walls were a patchwork of crappy construction thrown together with a few planks and nails until he gained experience in carpentry.

    • Martel says:

      ROAM seems to have a similar feel to what your describing, at least that’s the type of thing that got me interested in it. Their kickstarter is already over, and funded, but might be what you’re looking for.

      link to kickstarter.com

  3. Vorphalack says:

    ”Excellent, nails….metal rod…..duct tape…..rope……wait a second……who keeps hardware in their closet?!”

    The spine chilling moment when the protagonist relaises he’s just barricaded himself in the lair of a psychotic DIY fetishist.

    • Josh Millard says:

      Bleeding and terrified, the handyman scrabbles at the two-by-fours he’d only just recently nailed into the door frame. “I’ve got to get out of here,” he gasps, but then a firm hand in a flannel shirt clamps onto his shoulder and turns him roughly around. Al leers at him: “I don’t think so, Tim.”

      • iucounu says:


        • Josh Millard says:

          Where men have mouths and jaws and teeth, Wilson’s face is only a fence-shaped void, an unseeable, unthinkable swarming of jocular eternity, a tunnel to an impossible place far furth of his smiling eyes. The Taylors hear a noise echoing in that void, and realize only after a long while that it is the sound of their own screams.

          And at 8:30: Roseanne catches Dan when he tries to cheat on his diet.

  4. Shooop says:

    So a top-down view Minecraft. Oh and some loud noises thrown in for YouTube posters to scream into their webcams at.

    • Arkh says:

      But minecraft is just a java based Infiniminer.

      • Grey Ganado says:

        Infiniminer is just a 3D Dig Dug.

        • Strangerator says:

          Dig dug is just Pac-man with digging elements.

          • Koozer says:

            Pac-man is just Pong with more dots.

          • Strangerator says:

            But pong is just digital tennis…

          • golem09 says:

            Tennis is just so 80s

          • Josh W says:

            Java based top down 3d digital tennis with more dots and digging elements? Sounds wonderful!

            Build trenches and walls within your opponents half-court to make them platform to get to where you hit the ball, but have randomly spawning dots that give them extra balls on a serve, based on the amount of digging done.

          • scatterlogical says:

            But tennis is just pong with fuzzier balls.

    • Lemming says:

      Wow, check out the ray of sunshine here!

      I think it looks ace.

  5. Alexander says:

    Just damn amazing. Can’t wait to terror some of my nights with this.

  6. Jake says:

    call me Captain Ignoramus if you must but is really mandatory to use that in-game font? The graphics are higher fidelity now than in the era of the low resolution font, why not update the font as well? It looks distractingly ugly.

  7. guygodbois00 says:

    Darkwood, home of the Za-Gor Te-Nay, I presume?

  8. Strangerator says:

    This looks great. If they can manage to terrify using the top down perspective, that’s quite an achievement. I like the zoomed-in views of important objects. Looking forward to what the final product will be.

  9. ukpanik says:

    Looks very nice & spooky.

  10. Christo4 says:

    Honestly, this is one of the few gameplay trailers that left me thinking “what happens next”.

    The game looks spiffy.

  11. Jupiah says:

    That was remarkably spooky and atmospheric, but… why was the generator talking to the player?

    • JFS says:

      “worrying sanity effects”

      Trust me, insane people hear generators talk all day.

  12. Caiman says:

    I nearly ignored this when you mentioned Slender, but I’m glad I watched the video to discover it does in fact look fantastic.

  13. Leramar says:

    Wow, this looks amazing! I really want to give it a try!

  14. bigblack says:

    Looks fabulous!

  15. F3ck says:

    Holy shit…did I just witness thunder come after lightning? Amazing what they can do with tech these days…

    For all the teasing I dole out to lovers of these low-fi games, this looks genuinely spooky…

    …I started out all great, a “scary” TD game…but then I was like wtf was that?

  16. Geen says:

    This looks freaking awesome. When this comes out, I will guarantee brick-shitting. Maybe even cinder block shitting.

  17. Abattur says:

    This one just went to indiegogo. Also the pitch video is amusing.