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 (344 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 14, 2005

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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

"fun little singleplayer game, very unique artstyle, simple and easy to understand, fun little story."

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

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
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
If you like the retro-graphics, don't mind micromanaging dumb units in RTS as the primary gameplay, and get this on sale (I got it for like $1.45 with Multiwinia during the 2014 Exploration sale) then you'll probably like it fine. Otherwise you probably won't.

The game definitely pays tribute to Tron and other such digital-grid visual experiences.
Regarding Tron, anybody else notice the bombers for airstrikes in this game are called "Invaders"? Heh.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
39.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
This is the only strategy game I feel good when playing. Normally, strategy games are either so insultingly easy you steamroll the enemies without really working out a plan, or complicated enough that I don't understand what's going on when I'm suddenly wiped out.
This game isn't like either of those! There are challenging moments, frustrating events, hilarious little quirks, and of course, beautiful digital environments, but all in all, the game is really genuinely fun to play. I just wish there was more to do, since it ends so quickly.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
ну ребята тута даже сказать нечего, такие гранаты, такие пикселы тут, тут такой касперский бля, такие полигоны торчат, всё ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ взрывается, дарвинианцы орут, ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ец, короче
Релизд бэк ин 2005 еар зис гейм кипс вайбс оф лонг лост эйдж, вен геймерс хэд нью хау ту плей нот онли прити мач айдентикал бурые паркурные дристосы все эти с какими-нибудь рпг элементами, бат реал тайм стратеджи геймс! Ивин бэк зен, ит лукс аутстендинг, соу итс тотал оусомнес тудэй из гоуз визаут сэйнинг. Дарвиния из абсолютли юник - бэд сингс мейк ит онли бетер. Плей ит энд ю вил андерстенд!
Еще тут можно вызвать авиаудар на голову какающего осьминога.
Короче покупайте играйте, ну, вы-то полюбому играли все уже на ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥е, но надо больше покупать игры интровершн, чтобы они скорее перестали свою новую игру эту, ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ аршитект, из бумажки, клеить, чтобы им снова денег на полигоны хватило и свои нормальные начали бы игры мутить. Ну или если кто не играл тоже обязательно сыграйте.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
Played a really old demo back in 2005 and still remember the amazement I had playing this. Surprised it was still being develpoed. It is a simple game with an engaging story. The retro design depends on the players taste but for the game, it represents the birthplace of the Darwinians. Even bought it on Steam Sale. Woohoo! Merry Christmas.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
A minimalist world but engaging. I felt very protective of my little green icons. There were times that I would restart a level if I had unacceptable losses.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
I personally liked the game.I beat the whole story in 13 hours (that is killing every enemy on the map not just completeing each objective) and enjoyed every bit of it! Frist i'll tell you what i liked about the game: The story, the art style, and gameplay! I haven't read much about the story in other reviews but i like it and thats all ill say. The art style is supposed to look like you are in a computer world(kinda like tron) so it is really simple but kinda "cute" or cartoony. The game play is what everyone is talking about so first the problems.
I couldn't unplug my headset while playing the game or else an error would appear and it would crash.
The Darwinians are like cattle where they move in straight lines but if you use officers correctly then you're fine.
a bug happened where i couldn't build anything but restarting the game fixed that.
The first mission (not prolouge) is really boring and that deterrs many people.
Alot of game time for 1$ (currently 13hrs)
I thought the sound effects were funny.
Some stratiegic thought and tactics do go into this game. (its not just run at each other, get more units and repeat)
You unlock something at the end that increases the amount of time you could play it! ;)
Nice soundtrack
There is alot more that i like but i must go to the counter arguments or problems.
Dubhe said
"- Units with bizarre controls, like:
--- Left click to select
--- Left click to move
--- Left click and hold to to special action 1
--- Left click and hold near the unit to do special action 2"
I don't know what game he was playing but you do use left click to select and move but you hold right click to shoot and while holding right click if you left click they do their special.
Dubhe also said
"--- Don't worry, though, because your units will randomly exit and reenter the turret every couple of seconds! Even during battle!
--- Also, you can't control where the turret fires! And it does damage to friendly units!
--- And, it's inexplicably easy for enemy units to kick your guys out and take control of the turret!"
My units never reentered and exited turrets unless the units inside the turret were killed. You can control where the turret fires but darwinians have to be inside and your units can also kick enemy out of turrets too. (kinda funny when they just keep kicking each other.) XD
Lidion45 said
"Unable to select more than one unit at once?!?!
Clunky controls for moving units
Units don't fire by themselves, yet randomly play the shooting sound when you're not looking?
Bullets bouncing on uneven terrain makes shooting very awkward given most of the map is mountainous"
Yes the first is true but i didn't have a problem with it. My units did fire by themselves (maybe he/she didn't have darwinian reasearched to level 2?) Bullets do bounce on terrain and sometimes that got annoying so i avoided terrain like that.

Overall i loved the game even though it does have its little bugs and problems but wouldn't buy it for the 10$ (or 20$ for both) I would get them on sale so you get both games for 1.30$.
(No offence to the other reviews I just used yours as counter arguments.)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Excellent game. I can't believe people weren't beating my door down trying to get me to play this game. I strongly reccomend this to any RTS fan who is enjoys a good story and some casual play.
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37 of 40 people (93%) found this review helpful
24.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 19, 2014
Darwinia is one of my favorite games of all time. So it gets an obvious reccomendation from me. There is a lot going on with Darwinia and I've never played anything like it. It's one of those types of games that is really hard to describe, and you can only really understand after playing it for a bit. It's a weird game to get into at first. But once you get past the first two or so levels and understand what's going on it really takes off.

So basically what's going on with this game is your thrown into a level, and your given a few goals to complete the level. There are a lot of different objectives in the game, but most of the time your goal is to kill all the enemies on the map, and move your little Darwinians to key locations. What's really nice about the levels is all tools the game gives you tie in together in really clear ways. You make soilders to kill enemies and create souls, the engineers retrieve the souls and bring them to the soul collector to generate new darwininans, and the Darwinians interact with the map and you don't have direct control over them. It all comes together really well.

My favorite part about the game though is how much freedom you get. It sounds weird but let me explain. Darwinia perfectly lets you experience it at your own pace, and in your own way. There's so many ways to handle each situation in the game, and you're encouraged to handle it any way you want to. You can be super effiecient and try to carefully mine every enemies' soul, or you can do things more crazy and charge in with air strikes. Both are valid strategies in Darwinia. You can try spam engineers to take over a semi-hostile base and raise hell from inside the enemy territory, or you can enter from the shores and work your way in. The game doesn't care which way you do it. Nothings timed, nothings scored. And I love that. Because if you had a score, or a time limit it means you'd have to play the game in the most effient way, but without those things I felt more encouraged to try out crazier ideas, or ideas that I knew were just stupid, but its ok because it's fun. And that's what Darwinia encourages. It's all free. But it's more than just that. The game let's you jump into and out of levels at anytime and it you'll be able to jump right back into exactly where you left off instantly. You can acess more than one level at once so if you get bored or stuck on one level, you can jump out and start working on another level. It's great! Probably my absolute favorite part about Darwinia is how free the camera is, and that's a really weird thing to say, but lemme explain. The camera in Darwinia is very free. You can move it to any location, and look at anything from almost any angle. It's almost like a camera you'd see in an editor of some sort. But it really really works in Darwinia. Because the camera is so free it really makes the game feel like a world that's actively happening, and you're just interacting with it. Almost like a little toybox world, or at least that's how it makes me feel anyway.

With the camera, and entire game giving you so much freedom, and a lot of the units do things on their own in this game, ontop of the very simple art style(which is perfect for this game), and the great ambience the sounds create, I felt like I could get really immersed into game. I liked to put the camera at dramatic angles and imagine all sorts of adventures and stories as things were happening. I've taken more screenshots in this game than any other. So basically what I'm getting at, is if you like to imagine weird stuff or like to get really immersed into a game both strategically and artistically, then this game does the trick.

And the game has a level editor and mod creator. Yeah. ♥♥♥♥in sweet. This is one of those games that I have NO idea why this isn't more popular. And the story is really weird and cool. And it's really existential and you are an active part of the story... like you the person sitting at their computer, not you the player in the game. It's a bit weird, and I didnt really understand what was going on for awhile. But I really like that kind of stuff so the plot I really really liked.

So final reccomendations: Definity get this game. It's amazing. It really really appeals to what I like personally, so you probably wont think it's the most amazing thing like I do, but I think you'll definitly have fun. Don't get it if you don't think you'll be able to handle the controls. Darwinia can also be really weird difficult to understand at first so if you're not willing to do that, then you probably wont enjoy it either.

Anyway, love this game. Personal favorite. And it's $10. So no excuses. That's less than a movie, or dinner at a nice restaurant.
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: August 17, 2013
Hard to describe this game, apart from it being so damn good and unique.

It has a lemmings feel to it. Great hacker vibe. Challenging. Great style. Amazingly fun mechanics that you just have to try to convince yourself.

Try to survive and evolve.

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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
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.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 19, 2014
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.

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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
51.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2014
I don't know what compelled me to even buy this since I can't stand RTS games generally, but it didn't take long before Darwinia became one of my all-time favorites. Something in the way it's presented just made sense to me, and I found the context to be especially endearing.

Part of what really appealed to me was how simple and straightforward everything was: soldiers shoot stuff, engineers build stuff, etc. Even the upgrade options, in the context of file updates (v2.0), made everything feel more accessible. The game code is mercifully stable for an "indie" game and I found myself wasting hours defeating every last enemy and making sure that every uninhabited piece of land was repopulated. I frequently found myself rooting for individual scouts and soldiers that bravely out-maneuvered their enemies. It really says something about a game that can make you feel so attached to its literal pixels.

The excellent score and sound effects coupled with the game's relaxingly retro aesthetic have proven great for replayability, making Darwinia a world I'm happy to revisit often. 9/10.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
21.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22, 2014
Darwinia is hard to describe. It's part RTS, part god game one could say. You are in charge of protecting and restoring the Darwinian population, however you can't directly control them, although the officer tool does make up for that fact. Instead you spawn in several programs to assist the little guys in order to destroy the red virus that has infected their world.

The gameplay is pretty solid, and becomes massively fun during the fights where you get to utilize your Darwinians. Having two massive forces collide and duke it out while you influence the battle field with your programs is something not many games capture too well.

Speaking of the Darwinians, they are the stars of this game. They are important for manning buildings, turrets, and eventually the main fighting force at your disposal. They have a few things they do that adds a nice little touch, such as jumping into the air when a mission is complete, or mourning over the loss of a fallen comrade. The story brags about how smart these guys are, but they don't do much that isn't scripted. They really come to life in battle however, their digital screams, panic, and blaring war trumpets and marching tunes give them character.

The story is servicable, although nothing groundbreaking. They thankfully allow you to skip through it if you aren't that interested, although I soaked in as much as I could. If your a sap like me, you'll grow fond of the little guys, otherwise the gameplay should suffice.

All in all, the game is great fun and a blast to play. It took me around 6 hours to beat on one playthrough. Beating it will give you a level editor to muck around in and another profile with all locations enabled, so you can edit to your heart's content. Some would argue it's a little short, and I feel like it could have a few more levels, but what it does offer is more than worth it's price tag.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2013
The lackluster trailer, uninspiring description, and graphically deficient screenshots for Darwinia made me gloss over this game for years. And for whatever reason, I decided to give it a test drive. The game does not disappoint. It's a really fun, simplistic RTS. The developers have stripped out all the typical complexities of a traditional RTS and provide extremely intuitive controls making it manageable fun that does not overwhelm. The story is quite good as well--a creative evolution of a digital species. Very enjoyable.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 22, 2014
"Fascinatingly charming" is how I'd describe this game. The retro graphics are vaguely evocative of Tron, and the enemies and characters are all subtle references/homages to video games and video game culture of the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. There are Spiders and Centipedes reminiscent of Centipede, the Engineers which are evocative of Recognizers from Tron, even the Bombers that respond to Air Strike beacons look like they're right out of Space Invaders.

The Darwinians themselves are adorable. Though they have no animations and are simple 2D sprites in a 3D world, they manage to demonstrate a lot of personality. From the little mourning kites they release when souls ascend to the Central Repository, to the way Officer Darwinians chant out a marching cadence when issuing a "Follow Me" order, to the screams of horror and pain Darwinians have when terrorized with explosive weaponry and laser fire, you can't help but feel a little for the little guys.

As far as gameplay goes, it's very intuitive and usually pretty solid, some camera wonkiness aside. Managing a Squad is simple (Everything you can do aside from secondary-weapon switching is handled with two buttons) and intelligent use of Squads forms the cornerstone of gameplay. The game doesn't punish you for failure - replacing Squads is as easy as hitting F1, then clicking within a valid spawning area. You're encouraged to replace your Squaddies often and try out different tactics to accomplish your goals. All of the other units you can control are similarly uncomplicated, and the game gives you plenty of room to learn without holding your hand and beating you over the head with forced tutorials.

Darwinia encourages freedom of choice and lateral thinking in ways I haven't seen a lot of games do - stages are frequently nonlinear and the objectives can be accomplsihed in any order. Often times, you're simply thrown into a stage and challenged to figure out your own method for victory. Do you burmush your objectives or methodically wipe out the virus infestation between you and your target? Do you take your foes head-on, or can you sneak an Engineer around to a different comm port and use it as a second beachhead? Do you carefully avoid enemies in order to get a shot on a particularly annoying foe unopposed, or do you just carve your way in?

All in all, Darwinia's one of the most refreshing tactical games I've had the pleasure of playing, and I heartily recommend it for anyone who enjoys a little old school nostalgia, adorable faux-retro graphical charm, and solid gameplay.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 25, 2013
Let me start off by saying that this is in my top ten favorite games of all time. Darwinia's a cool retro-style game about a digital world populated by little people called Darwinians, who are under siege by a dangerous computer virus. Under the instructions of Darwinia's creator, you have to help get rid of the virus and restore Darwinia to it's fully-funtional self.
The whole time playing I thought I had the ending figured out, I thought it was going to end on some lame twist where Darwinia's actually Earth or something. But no, it actually ended very originally, and on an extremely bitter-sweet note.
My only complaint, and it's really a minor one, is that for a game called "Darwinia" it's not very Darwinian. I was expecting a lot of heavy symbolism reflecting Charles Darwin's Theories of Evolution, but there's only a few, very subtle, nods to evolution where you can upgrade the troops of Darwinia. In fact the game's sequel "Multiwinia" is more Darwinian, since the Darwinians are battling eachother for supremacy.
There's actually more symbolism for religion than anything else. But don't be alarmed by that, the symbols are very subtle. And even then the symbolism is actually really good, the symbolism helps the message it tries to convey, which I won't tell you, because it would spoil the ending. Just trust me it's a really good and interesting message.
I can't recommend this game or the team behind it enough. I've never seen anything like Darwinia, and I'd say you should check it out too.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
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.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
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!

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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29, 2014
The game says: "here are your tools, this is how you use them, this is your goal. get to it."
there are no scores, no timer, no end to the number of ways each level may unfold.
this game is worth every penny that has ever been spent on it.
the style is simplistic, yet complicated, bold, yet modest.
the game presents itself as an RTS but it's so much deeper than that.
there are so many things this game does right, it makes me feel ashamed that i looked over this one during that "call of duty" phase every middle schooler goes through.
one thing i will warn you of, however,
your macro skills better be on point, else, you'll be spending a lot of time watching a lot of green stick people dying in a very speedy manner.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
Tron meets microing focused RTS. Very good.
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