Dreadful survival horror Darkwood launches in full

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.


  1. Kushiel says:

    This has been on my radar for some time now, but I don’t normally buy into Early Access games. Would love to see a WIT on the release version of this.

  2. ReluctantlyHuman says:

    The creators are doing an AMA at the moment, too.

    link to reddit.com

  3. Crusoe says:

    This excellent game needs deserves a lot more attention.

  4. vorador says:

    I decided to buy it on a whim and so far hasn’t let me down.

    So far is weird, oppressive and interesting.

  5. Blackcompany says:

    I might try this.

    To me, Dark Souls is the greatest horror game ever made. Gorgeous and bleak; enticing and deadly. Real loss from death, giving rise to a fear of that loss and thus of death.

    Jump scares don’t make a game scary. They make it tedious and annoying. Kudos to these guys for grasping this.

    • Crusoe says:

      You won’t regret it, it really is the most interesting and unique horror game I’ve played.

      Acid Wizard are only three guys, and this is their first game.
      It’s superb, and well worth your money at full price.

  6. Caiman says:

    Am I the only one who saw the headline and thought “What? It’s not dreadful at all, it’s really great!”?

    • Vilos Cohaagen says:

      No, you’re not. The headline states the game is dreadful, though the article itself says it is great. That’s going to put off a lot of people who only see the headline through steam.

    • OmNomNom says:

      causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness.

      i.e Full of dread

  7. Doug Exeter says:

    I bought it at 5 today and played it to Midnight. It’s great. I thought it was gonna be a roguelike just from the crafting and the persective and it’s nothing of the sort (Unless you want to turn on perma-death). Just when you think you’ve settled in to a pattern, the game throws curveballs at you to keep things fresh. I haven’t seen any creepy sequences repeated. It also doesn’t throttle you on supplies you have to have to survive day to day. It’s tough to upgrade your stuff but it makes sure to not leave you in a unwinnable position. The balance is spot on.

    Night time is whats impressed me most. At first I thought you could just sleep through the night since there is a bed but then realized that there is no sleep. You have to survive the nigh every night. There’s not a lot going on at first enemy wise but there’s ALWAYS some cool or creepy new thing happening every night throughout to keep you on your toes or keep you uneasy. The atmosphere is unmatched. This game is a steal at 13$ and it’s on sale for 9 this weekend.

  8. ironman Tetsuo says:

    Bought into the alpha/beta during the indiegogo campaign years ago, played 2 hours and decided it was so good I didn’t want to spoil it and have been waiting for the release ever since, incredibly hyped!

  9. Premium User Badge

    MOOncalF says:

    Been waiting patiently for this one, grabbed it as soon as I heard it was ready. It’s good! Controller isn’t the way to go, I found mouse and keyboard much more natural. On the first night I got so spooked I went and accidentally stepped on my own bear trap.