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Darwinia's 10,000th anniversary edition remasters the classic indie RTS

The only good metaverse

Darwinia is a fabulous, offbeat strategy game set inside a virtual world overrun by a virus. It's an early indie classic. It's possibly Introversion's best game - though, god, that's a close call. It's also now fully remastered.

Darwinia's 10,000th anniversary edition launched this week, with a newly re-written graphics engine, support for surround sound, cloud saves, Steam Deck, and various bug fixes. Lovely stuff.

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You can find the full list of new additions in the Steam post. It includes support for anti-aliasing modes like MSAA and SSAA and anisotropic texture filtering, but the real wins are things like the in-game UI now scaling better for different monitor sizes. UI is often a headache when trying to play older indie games.

And Darwinia is old now, which means we're all old now, or at least I am. Darwinia is old enough that it predates RPS by two years, meaning we don't have a Wot I Think of it despite it being formative in so many ways. Here's a quote from Alec's Have You Played instead:

It looks beautiful of course, with its 80s-arcade-as-dream-sequence art style, but it's the languid, slightly sad atmosphere which really sells me. Its hapless pixel people seem that much more alive than any hyper-detailed space marine, as they totter and wobble and scatter and die. I feel compelled to protect them, which is a profoundly different motivation to the RTS norm, of feeling compelled to destroy.

Which I think gets to the heart of the thing.

Darwinia is £7.19 if you get it from Steam right now, but it's 79% off and £1.59 if you get it from GOG. Not a bad price for a game that won the IGF award for Technical Excellence, Visual Art as well as the Grand Prize. An even better price for the game that stopped Braid from winning the Grand Prize.

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