Wolf This Down: Darkwood’s Interactive Trailer

Darkwood is a shining light in the coming night. Leading ludotechnicians now agree that by the year 2018, every game will be either a roguelike Metroidvania, an Ubi-style open world murder simulator, or a survival-based endurance test in the style of Day Z. Acid Wizard’s first title straddles these genres, being described as “a top-down, open world surreal horror experience with a randomized world”, but it manages to look entirely different to anything else out there. A new trailer, with slight interactive elements, demonstrates the appeal of the unusual setting and its uncanny inhabitants.

I don’t even know what to say to you if you didn’t choose to run. Running is so in right now. I refuse to have a business-related breakfast with anyone who hasn’t done a casual 5k between lattes. There’s a time for fighting, sure, but running is where it’s at.

Darkwood is coming to Early Access on July 24th, a date so close that I can feel my fight or flight response kicking in already. There’s an Icepick Lodge level of oddity in some of Darkwood’s finer scenes, which knock down the props and window dressings of reality like a cowboy builder making short work of grandpa’s garden gnomes.

Just when I think I’m tired of crafting my way through the long dark nights of the soul, something like this reminds me that there are still new shapes to find in the dusty corners. Despite all of this uncharacteristic enthusiasm and optimism, I will say this – Darkwood looks like a very very dark game. To be expected, of course, but I hope that most playthroughs don’t become blind fumbles in the fury of the night.


  1. Freud says:

    I’m not a fan of top down games, but it seems to work well here with the line of sight. It’s hard to know what type of game they are going for with the supernatural elements.

  2. Philomelle says:

    This may be a dumb question, but how do I do the interaction thing? The trailer reaches the “FIGHT | RUN” screen and freezes on it, ticking down to the end without anything happening and me being unable to convince it to do otherwise.

    • SooSiaal says:

      Uhm, have you tried clicking on either fight or run?(Also a dumb question, I hope)

    • Acid Wizard says:

      We added the fight / run buttons in the video description, in case they aren’t showing up for you :)

      • Philomelle says:

        Thank you! As I’ve mentioned below, annotations don’t seem to work for me in that video.

    • golem09 says:

      Well, you do have to activate annotations in the youtube video settings to be able to click them. I usually have them turned off, and had to turn them on as well.

      • Philomelle says:

        Turning on annotations is actually the first thing I tried. I also attempted to click them off and on repeatedly with those words on the screen and it didn’t do anything.

        I wonder what causes it. Annotations in other videos are working fine. :|a

  3. BooleanBob says:

    Hamster? No, no, that can’t be right the creature at all. Why would he yell ‘Gopher! The eyes, Boo!’ if that was the case?

  4. Frivolous says:

    Looks fantastic, but what’s the Early Access for? Why would you release a single player horror game with missing components? Or is that not what Early Access implies anymore?

    • Niko says:

      Not the kind of game to play during Early Access indeed. It’s basically ruining the experience, considering it’s supposed to be a horror game of sorts.

    • ShadowNate says:

      They do offer their own explanation in the Steam Early Access page for the game. I quote:
      “Because we want to hear what you have to say about Darkwood – the good, the bad and the ugly. We still have a lot to do until we’re satisfied with the game, and we believe the current version is a good balance between showing you what Darkwood is about, letting you decide if it has potential, and being early enough in development to have room for change based on your feedback.”

      It should be noted that this was a crowdfunded project (using the indiegogo platform) that met its goal, albeit a goal that was considerably low (goal was $40,000, they raised $57,323) . I am a backer for the project, and I am amazed by what has been implemented by Acid Wizard Studio (a team of few people) with so constrained resources – keep in mind that they also switched engines (to Unity) during the last year and made various redesigns to the original concept/ideas (all detailed in regural updates). It would be perfectably understandable if the early access phase is something necessary to raise more funds while proving that they have a solid game in development.

    • robby5566 says:

      It’s not a traditional 1p horror game, it’s a procedurally generated open-world roguelike. I get that some people like waiting for the full release, but it’s not like the game is going to be unenjoyable.

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    Funny, I was thinking about this game last night while on bed (yes, I think about games while I’m sleepless), but couldn’t remember its name. So, Darkwood, I don’t always love indie titles, but this one has a really nice atmosphere, and those sounds… I wish more developers could pay so much attention in sound effects, like with this game, Hotline Miami, some Stalker mods, etc.

  6. Reapy says:

    Not sure what direction it is going in. It is looking a bit different than when I backed it originally, but I can see that sometimes when you start out to make a thing it turns out to not really be that fun. This seems to be along the lines of traditional horror survival. Maybe not a bad thing but not really as excited about it for some reason.

  7. altum videtur says:

    Sounds disturbingly like “crotch rot”, but the gameplay looks (and previously already looked) really interesting and now Getoutofherestalker Wolf with the Kalashnikov has me thinking there will be PSYCHOLOGICAL! involved which means you’re an ex-commissar forced to revisit, Idunno, Harkov or some other lovely bog of an Eastern WWII battlefield. And there will be things involved.