Delightfully unpleasant top-down survival horror Darkwood [official site] has finally escaped early access and launched in full. I’m a big baby where jump scares are concerned but Darkwood looks like exactly the sort of horror I crave: surreal, unsettling, often slow, and with some friendly-ish faces but so many more awful things. The bits I’ve heard from certified brave man Adam make Darkwood sound wizzo, so I’m glad it’s finally properly out.
Here, look at the launch trailer showing the terrible things that happen when you receive something as simple and pleasant as an invitation to a party:
I do did how limited the view is, how things are hidden and revealed in peeks and rays.
So there we are in a strange forest where we explore, quest, and scavenge around the procedurally-generated wilds by day, then at night hide out to evade bad things. It’s full of colourful characters to meet and unpleasant things to do and here, a chunk of Adam’s thoughts after he had a quick play:
“The talk of plagues and the Slavic-tinged otherworldliness bring Pathologic to mind, although that may be partly because it has been thrust back into my mind forcibly in recent days. Darkwood is made up of shifting perspectives and an uneasy sense of doubt as to what is being seen and experienced.
“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.”
Darkwood is out for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam and GOG. It costs £10.79/12,59€/$13.49 right now, which includes a 10% launch week discount. Do have a peek at the current Known Issues post, which includes a warning that it’s a bit bum on 32-bit systems.