Combining fast-paced action with strategic battle planning, Darwinia features a novel and intuitive control mechanism, a graphical style ripped from 80's retro classics like Tron and Defender, and a story concerning a tribe of nomadic sprites trapped in a modern 3D world.
User reviews: Very Positive (269 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 14, 2005

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Darwinia

Packages that include this game

Buy Darwinia + Soundtrack DLC

Includes 2 items: Darwinia, Darwinia Soundtrack

Buy Multiwinia + Darwinia

Includes 2 items: Darwinia, Multiwinia

Buy Introversion Complete Pack

Includes 6 items: Darwinia, Uplink, DEFCON, Multiwinia, Darwinia Soundtrack, DEFCON Soundtrack

 

Recommended By Curators

"Its hapless pixel people seem that much more alive than any hyper-detailed space marine, as they totter and wobble and scatter and die."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Combining fast-paced action with strategic battle planning, Darwinia features a novel and intuitive control mechanism, a graphical style ripped from 80's retro classics like Tron and Defender, and a story concerning a tribe of nomadic sprites trapped in a modern 3D world.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux

    Recommended: Windows XP, 600MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, DX7 based video card

    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz+
    • Memory: 1GB of RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB of video memory
    • Hard Drive:
    • Processor: 1.66Ghz
    • Memory: 1Gb
    • Graphics: 64Mb of memory
    • Hard Drive: 60Mb
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
It's fun!

The retro, polygonal graphics, (tasteful) chiptune soundtrack, and overall atmosphere are really interesting to experience. The gameplay is fun in a non-frustrating way - it's hard to get into a position where you lose, and even if you aren't employing the optimal strategy for a level, given enough time, you will be able to beat each stage in different ways. I rarely got frustrated with this game and never really felt bored, even though a lot of the gameplay isn't necesarilly that complex. The story doesn't dominate the experience, but the brief sections where you learn more about Darwinia are definitely rewarding.

Overall, all these little details don't really matter in the face of the fact that I constantly was entertained while playing this game and never really felt bad, something that even modern games don't necesarilly provide.

If you're expecting a complex RTS, this is not that game. Think of it as more of "digital weeding", as you slowly and carefully purge the viruses through each stage using a variety of tools.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I received this game as part of a Humble Bundle and it's a great play at a low price point. If I had a problem with the game, it's the same as many people: it's too short. Otherwise, it's a perfect little arcade-puzzler that will engross and entertain you for a few hours.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
I still have no idea wtf is going on ever

11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Was this review helpful? Yes No
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
It could have been much more, but it still is really good. What I mean is, it lacks complexity that I wish there was in the game.

If you like what it looks like you will probably like how it plays.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
An absolutely wonderful casual game. You dont need the latest and greatest hardware to play this one on the road. It doesn't eat your laptop's battery for breakfast. The 8-bit sound track is awesome, gives it that retro feel, it only enhances the game play. As for the graphics, love the volumetric effects and the old looking shadow effects. Very engaging, on the edge of your seat as you get attacted from all sides just trying to keep ahead of the battle.

Bought this originally on CD-ROM when it came out. I'm glad Steam released it on OS X. Brings back the early 2000's.

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 27
Darwinia is a classic indie game, an RTS on a large yet microscopic level. Very tron-like in it's intention and it pulls the theme off well. I highly recommend it, and it's "sequel", Multiwinia. The basic story revolves around you, a hacker, that finds a scientist's private server, that contains his experiment on creating a digital species (Darwinians). But viruses have corrupted the majority of his life's work, and you need to command his creations to free themselves from the malware and virueses that are destroying the world that the scientist has created for them. It makes you feel good when you have a victory, and mourn the loss when innocent souls are slaughtered on a mass scale in these epic battles.

Gameplay-wise, it has essentially no resource management whatsoever. But that is a good thing, especially for those that are just dipping their toes in the RTS genre, and just want action. You instead control the battlefield by initiating various programs and deploying them to fight the infection. as well as appointing captains of the local population of darwinians that rally those nearby to attack, move to a position, and such. The programs you can initiate to help fight your battles include engineers that collect dead 'souls' to be revived, and capture important buildings such as spawn points and traffic lanes. Then there are you direct combat commandoes, the squad. The squad is a group of 3-5 heavily armored humanoid soldiers that you can command to directly move anywhere, and you can direct their fire yourself, like in a top-down shooter. Upgrades can also allow them to lob grenades at your will, among other things. As I mentioned before, you can appoint a Darwinian to be a captain of sorts via another command. The final program is initiating an airstrike over a designated location, devastatingly ripping anything below (including your own troops) to pieces.

As you progress through the campaign, you can find boxes of previous research from the scientist, and tell him to research (essentially, upgrade) one of your commands, which takes some time but is useful. Upgrades include adding more members to a squad, allowing regular darwinians to throw grenades, adding another bomber to your airstrike runs, etc.

No buildings that you can control ccan ever be destroyed, and there is no resource whatsoever that you have. Darwinians spawn in waves, coming out of large buildings that you can take control of with your engineers. Your engineers can also pick up the souls of dead enemies and allies that linger after they die, to deposit them into these buildings that resurrect them.

As you can see from the trailer, the battles are massive cluster#$!@s of friendly and not so friendly darwinians, other enemies lke snaking viruses and spiders, etc.

The story is inspiring, the gameplay is unique, simple, and fun - I would recommend it to anyone, even those that don't do the RTS genre. To be honest, this a a gateway drug to the RTS genre. What I have to say to the customer who wants to buy this, is that they should buy this in the pack you can see below that has all the classic games from Introversion (The development studio behind this) and two of their soundtracks. Multiwinia is essentially the same as darwinia just without as much direct unit creation, but focuses on the aspects of using the darwinians in legions and using such strategies. You can get power ups too, that allow you to do various things like in Darwinia, plus some more. DEFCON is a good RTS that takes heavy inspiration from movies like 'Wargames' and the general Cold War scenarios that were hypothesized in the mid 20th century. You control a world power with nukes. You are just the general in the bunker, not any politician. As the situation escalates, you mobilize more and more forces that you place strategically early in the game. Then everything goes to ♥♥♥♥ as thermonuclear war breaks out. It really is more complex than what I'm saying here, and you might as well get it with getting the other games. Uplink is a neat, almost too-plausible hacker simulator inspired by the things you see in your average action movie.

So I would get all of their games for the value price when they are bundled, and it includes the soundtracks to two of them.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Great game that can bring you hours of enjoyment. The controls are a little wonky and there is a slight learning curve but once you get past that, you realize how amazing the game really is. The story is great and the worlds are beautiful and the retro style graphics paired with the old school techno, make it that much better. I do believe for a 9 year old game though, the price is a little steep at $10. If you can find it on sale, I say go for it!

8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
This is a great game. I would recommend it to anyone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Even though it is an RTS game, it reminds me of god-games.
It might be the setting or the 'story', I'm not sure.
It doesn't have a multiplayer mode (however, a separate multiplayer game called "Multiwinia" exists).

What it does do, however, is mixing genres into something both unique and enjoyable.
It doesn't fail to create an interesting atmosphere, mainly due to the soundtrack, which reminds me of Introversion's later title "DEFCON".
Not having humans but rather "abstract virtual digital lifeforms" who can't speak and who don't have any emotions (or do they?) probably adds to that fact, along with the "cyber-word" that you play on/in, which does have water, hills et al, but, after all, also has a digitalized and abstract look-and-feel.

The featured game mechanics were not surprising, but overall very enjoyable.
Along with an intuitive control mechanism the game was easy to handle.

The included "loaders" (intro animations) are a nice gimmick.
One of them parodies a typical 80s crack intro that looked so authentic, a steam employee believed there had been a compromise and thus delayed the game's Steam release.

In the end, I hope you have realized how this isn't your normal off-the-shelf strategy game.
You might want to go watch some gameplay videos on your favourite video platform to check if you can cope with the game's style.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
This is an interesting though fairly simple RTS type game with abstract graphics. It's not bad but it failed to totally suck me in. I got it as part of a Prison Architect package, so it's not a bad bonus. Worth checking out if you get a similarly good deal on it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
good game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
LITTLE BITPEICE GUYS WOW THEY'RE SHOOTING EACHOTHER IT'S REALLY FUN I WISH I COULD PLAY MORE.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
This game....is very confusing to say the least. The reason im not recommending it is well...what little tutorial there is....isnt really enough. i got stuck in the first level...cause i couldnt figure out how to finish it. or control anything to do anything. Spent 20 minutes trying to accomplish what i guess i was supposed to do and none of the little men or whatever they are would respond or do what was needed
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 9 people (22%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
I don't get it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 5 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
This game is way to slow to be any fun i like its music and sound but thats it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 9 people (11%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
I literally don't understand anything in this game and nothing tells me how or what to do.
My friend absolutely loves this and multiwinia. Me? I can't figure out a thing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 8 people (0%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Nice gameplay; nice story; good imagination; nice graphics; 3 stars.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 8 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
why o why o why did i buy this ♥♥♥♥ty game? Damn you summer sale...
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 8 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
amazing idea, poorly translated into a game. Would have played the @#$! out of this if it were playable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No