Survival horror Darkwood escapes early access Aug 17

The surreal top-down survival horror game Darkwood [official site] is almost ready to launch, after three years in early access. Developers Acid Wizard Studio have announced a release date of August 17th. Darkwood is a strange and awful game set in a nightmarish forest of odd creatures and odder people, where our survivor explores by day and by night, ooh nights are unkind. Our Adam had a crack way back when Darkwood first hit early access and was delighted/horrified, comparing it to “a slow-paced Teleglitch, a survival horror game by way of Ice-Pick Lodge and Stalker.” Also, he mercy-killed a dog.

Darkwood is a survival horror game set around nightmarish woods. You need to explore them and scavenge for supplies, but do watch out for the flora, the fauna, the residents, the everything. Strange and terrible things are abound. Flicking through the patch notes, I enjoyed being tantalised by mysterious mentions of things like The Three, swampers, chompers, Mushroom Granny, the Doctor, the Musician, the Chicken Lady, sawmills, centipedes, infections, and a talking tree.

“Darkwood is made up of shifting perspectives and an uneasy sense of doubt as to what is being seen and experienced,” Adam said after playing the start of the initial early access release.

“I killed a dog, to put it out of its misery, even though I had to backtrack to do so. It’s a strange action to use as a hook but it certainly worked for me. Only as the axe encouraged the poor creature’s guts to spill out did I realise I had nothing to gain from giving my former pet the chop. I did it because the world is convincing and I didn’t want to leave suffering animals lying around the place if I didn’t have to.

“A few minutes later, I was preparing to drug and torture a wounded man. And then I became that wounded man. And then I beat my former self to death with a plank full of nails. I think. I think that’s what happened. The sequence of events isn’t particularly clear but the shrieks are clear. I can still hear them.”

Awful.

Darkwood is coming to Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

6 Comments

  1. DeadCanDance says:

    Finally I can return to play it once more.

  2. Daymare says:

    Remember playing it a bit on Adam’s recommendation. But I found it hard, the UI fiddly, the game itself a bit directionless and just visually too dark (might’ve been brightness setting mistake on my part, or intentional, but I didn’t like it very much).

    That was years and years ago and the Stalker/Picnic-esque setting certainly fascinates me, so I might be in for a treat with the full version. Can we expect a WIT?

    I’ve just read Jeff VanderMeer’s “Annihilation: A novel” and it’s basically The Zone: Redux. Very much in the mood for more, that might just scratch the itch!

    • Zaraf says:

      Same here. None of the 2 or 3 runs I had ended well for the protagonist, so I decided to put an end to his sufferings and left the game in hibernation on my account.

      I will have a look at the final version.

  3. vahnn says:

    I found this game while digging deep through the Steam store during a dry spell of interesting-to-me-games. Terrific atmosphere, very dark and foreboding. Three sound was great, if I remember correctly. Ultimately shelved it because it was extremely early in development. Time to dust it off and give it anther go!

  4. caff says:

    Wow, I think I backed this many years ago on indiegogo. I think it was one of my first crowd funding gambles. I’d totally lost touch with the development of it, so I’m surprised yet pleased to hear news of it launching properly.

  5. dorobo says:

    I got early into early access and mainly kept waiting for the final release. Can’t wait to play it properly. This is a great game. Get it you won’t regret it.