Darkwood is a unforgiving game about survival, exploration and fear set in mysterious woods somewhere in the territory of the Soviet Bloc. By blending RPG, roguelike and adventure elements together with a challenging difficulty, Darkwood aims to please players craving for a deep and rewarding experience.
User reviews: Very Positive (405 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 24, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Because we want to hear what you have to say about Darkwood - the good, the bad and the ugly. We still have a lot to do until we're satisfied with the game, and we believe the current version is a good balance between showing you what Darkwood is about, letting you decide if it has potential, and being early enough in development to have room for change based on your feedback.

On a general note, being able to have an impact on something you are excited about sounds really cool for us, and we would give A LOT if we could go back in time and put a piece of ourselves in a game we love. Thanks to Early Access, this is now possible.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“About a year (counting from July 2014), although that depends on a lot of things which will become clear during Early Access.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The final version will have pretty much more of everything, with possible overhauls of some of the current systems, and even major changes based on community feedback.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“It's very playable, with some of the features and content pretty polished, but also some that are pretty rough or even placeholder. The amount of content is also limited to the first chapter of the game.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price of the game after the final release will be either equal or higher than during Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We read pretty much all of the suggestions posted on our forums, or the Steam discussions, so if you have something valuable to say, don't be afraid to speak out - even if it means bashing the game. We want to make Darkwood the best experience we can”
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Recommended By Curators

"Despite only being in Early Access, Darkwood is a shining gem in the survival-horror arena."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (4)

August 13

Plans for Alpha 2

Dear mortals,

We’ve been very busy after Darkwood’s launch, and released a few critical updates and hotfixes for most of the problems you’ve been having. We’ve also rested a bit after the pre-launch crunch time, watched a ton of Darkwood letsplays, hanged out in loads of streams, and read a lot of the suggestions you have been posting on the forums. We’re extremely excited about the reception of the alpha, but that’s a story for a different time.

The important thing is, we can now begin working on the first major update for Darkwood. There have been many reports about optimization - sometimes you can run the game on old and feeble laptops without a problem, while other times beefy rigs struggle with Darkwood. To fix this, we need to rework some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, which will take some time. This is a big change, so the sooner we do it, the better, and we’ve decided that it is a priority for the next update.

Optimization is of course not the only thing coming in Alpha 2. You can expect a little bit more of everything, and hopefully a fix for the issues some of the Mac users have been experiencing. I’m afraid the exact things we are planning will remain a secret. The Acid Wizards see your suggestions and what you would like to see improved in the game, so keep them coming! <3

When is the update coming out? We don’t know. We work *a lot* better if we’re not stressing out about a deadline, but it’s safe to assume that you can expect for us to work on it for AT LEAST a month. Don’t worry, we haven’t run off with the money, and we’re not spending 100% of our time playing Dark Souls.

There’s a lot to do before we’re satisfied with Darkwood, and we’re fully commited to making this the best experience possible!

The Acid Wizards

82 comments Read more

August 5

Alpha 1.3 hotfix 2

It's been 10 days now after the launch, and here we are with the third minor update with a ton of fixes, and some balance changes to help players struggling with the first days in the game. Please note that this does NOT mean we are "dumbing" down Darkwood. It will remain very challenging, but as of now the difficulty curve is way too steep and needs a lot of work, which will also be addressed in future updates.

- You can now dismantle barricades which you have created, reclaiming some of the materials used.
- Weapons are more durable now.
- The plank with nails has a new default attack.
- Time passes a little slower.
- Days are longer.
- It's brighter during the day.
- The player moves a little faster, and has a lower movement speed penalty when aiming weapons. Also, no speed penalty when out of stamina.
- Enemies have less stamina, and are a bit less aggressive.
- There is a new visitor during the night.
- You can't brute force padlocks anymore (at least it's much harder).
- Throwing a item (like the molotov cocktail) for a second time requires you to press the RMB again, to help prevent unintentionally dropping it.
- More space for items in your hideout.
- You have some starting reputation with the traders.
- Red and gray potions can be crafted from the start (you don't have to buy the recipes). Their effect is visible instantly.

- NPC in the church sometimes gave the wrong code.
- Wolf reputation sometimes didn't sync.
- Some optimizations for stuttering in the forest.
- Fixed receiving reputation from selling a item when a trader's inventory is full without actually losing the item (and vice versa).
- Recipes are no longer duplicated.
- Fixed player freezing on some occasions.
- You can no longer learn the same recipe twice.
- Fixed infinite item turn in for NPCs exploit.
- Rain was too loud.
- If a well was repaired in the middle of the night, it didn't have any water.
- Fixed huge FPS hit while in the pigsheds.
- Fixed ambient light not saving in some locations.
- You no longer lose your inventory at the end of chapter 1.
- Fixed black screen on end of chapter 1.
- Fixed notes in the journal sometimes leaving a page if you've found too much.
- Fixed beartrap duplicating exploit.
- Fixed incorrectly loaded doors and barricades.
- Fixed not being able to drop a dragged item by pressing LMB if accessed the journal or map.
- Dying outside of the normal world no longer freezes the time.
- Fixed some issues with the cursor.
- Fixed issue when sometimes you could not craft stuff even though you had the required ingredients.
- Item quality no longer changes when loading game.
- Chicken heads and the violin no longer serve as repair kits.

Update 06.08.2014:
Released a hotfix for some of the issues with the new patch:
- Hopefully final fix for black screen at the end of chapter 1.
- Fixed player freeze when harvesting mushrooms and moving at the same time.
- Fixed health / stamina upgrades resetting sometimes.
- Wolf dialogue no longer loops infinitely.
- Fixed endless flare burning upon loading game.

Update 08.08.2014:
Another hotfix:
- New cursor animation when aiming a melee weapon + info about it in the prologue.
- Night attacks no longer stop after day 5.
- Fixed infestation causing serious lag, especially when burning.
- Hopefully a fix for the filling generator freeze.
- Roads no longer disappear.

56 comments Read more
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Current features

  • Prologue.
  • Randomly generated, open world.
  • The first chapter of the game.
  • Several skills and perks to choose from when leveling your character.
  • Several types of enemies, each having a different set of behaviours.
  • Choices and consequences. These will be much more visible in the later chapters.
  • Crafting, barricades and traps.
  • Mysteries, secrets, and surprises!
  • A couple of melee and (rare) ranged weapons.
  • A few NPCs to talk, trade with, complete tasks for, or kill.

Planned features

  • More of everything! Characters, enemies, loot, skills, events, locations, you name it!
  • Finishing and polishing the first chapter, and adding the remaining one(s).
  • A probable overhaul of the crafting system.
  • A better, prettier, more efficient lighting system (hopefully).
  • Optimization.
  • Lots of other stuff that might come up during Early Access!

About This Game

Darkwood is in Early Access right now. This means the game will have bugs (ranging from minor annoyances to not being able to run the game at all) and will change during development. Your savegames will be wiped on each update, which will happen about once a month. However it may happen that if we are in the middle of implementing a new chapter, or making a transition to a newer version of our game engine, these updates may be slower. If these things bother you and you'd rather just play the finished game, simply wait until the final release.

Darkwood is a game about survival, exploration and fear, set in mysterious woods somewhere in the territory of the Soviet Bloc. It is a top-down, free-roam, surreal horror experience with a randomized world, taking cues from classic games, where oftentimes you had to figure things out for yourself. By blending RPG, roguelike and adventure elements together with a challenging difficulty, Darkwood aims to please players craving for a deep and rewarding experience.

The fear of unknown is powerful – and the unknown will try to remain unseen, forcing you to watch your back. Your senses will be deceived, your sight fooled, your smell tricked by Darkwood's surreal terrors. No answer will be given to you for free, yet somewhere in the woods lies the truth, an explanation to what has happened in this godforsaken place.

  • By day, explore the randomly generated woods, scavenge for materials and weapons, discover secrets, solve mysteries and talk, trade with or kill the various inhabitants of Darkwood.
  • By night, find shelter, barricade, set up traps and hide or defend yourself from the horrors that lurk in the dark.
  • Gain skills or perks by extracting essence from mutated fauna and flora and injecting it into your bloodstream. This might also have various unexpected consequences...
  • Each action you take will have impact on Darkwood and its inhabitants. The choices you make will define the story which you will experience.
  • As days go by, the lines between reality and nightmarish fantasies will begin to blur. You will start to question the protagonist's sanity, but may also stumble upon your own hidden fears...

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows Vista or later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 4850
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements may change during development. Minimum resolution: 1280x768
    • OS: OSX 10.6 or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 4850
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements may change during development. Minimum resolution: 1280x768
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 4850
    • Additional Notes: Requirements may change during development. Minimum resolution: 1280x768
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
It’s 2:30 AM and I had myself backed into the last small and desolate room of my home base. My flashlight trained, not on the sounds of wet acidic undergrowth that has taken over what used to be the foyer to my hideout, but the splintering door hanging to its frame on the far side of the room from me. The only taste for flare in this room is a stool I have jammed against the door as one last final barricade. This was my last stand and I’m ill equipped to face the horrors that have been tearing their way after me all night.
In Darkwood, the night is a stressful 5 minutes of gameplay where you shore up your defenses and hope that the creatures of darkness don’t tear you to pieces before day breaks and you are once again free to unravel the mystery of the plague afflicting these lands. Your only clue, a doctor who still lives somewhere nearby with the forlorn mission of curing the local villagers of their blight. The most respectable villagers’ bodies have rotted and their minds have frayed. Their gruesomely drawn images are ghastly warning s of what happens to those who linger in the Darkwood too long, a thought that scratches at the back of my mind with each passing night spent in your hideout. To survive you consume odd mushrooms and tainted meat which granting powers to cope with the cruel forest in which even the trees seek to claim you by clawing at your line of sight with crow laden branches. Your tainted new powers come with a price, nauseating side effects and warped hallucinations that could be clues to what went wrong in these woods or signs that your mind is decaying like those around you. Darkwood is a cruel game but no more than a true horror game should be, it challenges the player with every encounter but if you really want to get the full effect play on permadeath.
Dawn is almost here now, I think that I should be able to make it through the night when the doorknob turns and the door creaks ever so slowly open and rather than raining open in a hail of splinters like the horrors have done to the rest of my house. Monsters are wiggling their way through the crack and pushing my barricade effortlessly to the side I aim my pellet gun in hopes that I can survive through one more night in the Darkwood.
Posted: October 16
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is what makes life worth living. It is the essence of the soul. I pray to the Wizards of Acid every night before I go to sleep to thank them for blessing me with this beautiful work of art. It's mysterious, scary, has great art style and an excellent yet difficult combat system. You need this game. Darkwood is love... Darkwood is life.
Posted: October 17
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
(Silent Hill + Stalker) x Hotline Miami = Darkwood
Posted: October 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Nice 2D survival horror game, i can't wait full version now
This make me feel scary when it night fall :D
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Amazing game. The atmosphere fits perfectly and the game is challenging. Really looking forward to what the devs have planned next.
Posted: September 28
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
first : silent hill then : darksouls now: darkwood ...... what a game!!!!!! ty acid wizard
Posted: October 13
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
quite scary and fun so far.
Posted: October 14
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Great game, very great, but need more chapters :(
Posted: September 28
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
A superb isometric horror survival game.
This has all the elements you would expect from such a title. I'm not normally a massive fan of this genre, but I loved the atmosphere generated and the art style involved. I don't think a tutorial is required as you learn via references which you simply highlight, click, drag and examine. Most of it is common sense logic and the crafting system is superb, it will only highlight craft-able objects if you have the required materials and objects. Overall I'm really impressed with this title. - Highly Recommended!
Posted: October 7
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
new game>meet monster>dead>quit>go to bed
Posted: October 16
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
weres the update they promised.
Posted: October 10
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2.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
You will love this game just after prolog. It is amazing and intriguing.
It's my opinion as developer and as player
Posted: October 1
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2.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Darkwood is a suprisingly scary overhead view horror game. Currently theres still much more needed to be added to the game and some of it feels like you get more perks if you kill everyone but wolf man. Dont kill wolf man hes awesome. Its a good game but wait a bit before you buy it. Its taking but a minute to add more content.
Posted: October 3
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12.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is great eventhough its top down it is still extremely scary and fun. The atmosphere at night when your huddled in a corner listening is great and I cant wait for future updates. 9/10
Posted: September 26
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0.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
You'll know, that you made good decision buying this game, when you put on good headphones and start playing it.
This game provides massive immersion.
Belive me.
Posted: September 25
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1.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
first 15min in game, creepy and cant see ♥♥♥♥. got silent and mate randomly shouts noise i crap my self 10/10 mates a A holes
Posted: October 8
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3.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Darkwood brings horror game to a totally different level, or at least one that has not been around in quite some time.

Darkwood makes me panic, and stress, all in one sitting. The felling of knowing that something is lurking just outside your door and out of your sight, or something creeping past a boarded up window, and just barely being able to see it, leaves me nervous and covered in goosebumps. I think that Acid Wizard Studios really did something special here by bringing people into the light of top down horror games, through such a dark, and scary environment. The game is just crawling with atmosphere, and other things!

I totally suggest this to anyone into horror games! Great game overall! - 9/10
Posted: October 14
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15.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
thow very fun also very hard i've had the game since 1.2 and I just beat it like 2 days ago so if you are looking for a hard survival game here it is
Posted: October 11
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36.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I can't. Too Stressed... running through the woods to grab a stupid lynx.... but i keep trying... and killing all these things just to shoot up their meat.

Ahhh, this game is so good.
Posted: October 13
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837 of 897 people (93%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I'm about one... maybe two good jump scares away from being institutionalized. Playing as an Indonesian schoolgirl with a magic phone, an archeologist with amnesia, and a toddler with diapers full to the brim has had an ill effect on me. My heart just can't take it – my mind just can't take it. The filaments that hold my fragile psyche aloft are pulled taut, straining as each frayed fiber falters and my sanity slips closer towards the cold, dark depths of derangement. Which isn't super great, really. But I'll gladly surrender my faculties for a game as fun as “Darkwood.”

“Darkwood” isn't a “Slender” or “Amnesia” clone. This is a game in the vein of old school horror where atmosphere was king – you'll hear lots of comparisons to the “Silent Hill” series. The key to good horror is cultivating a crushing, foreboding world environment... one that fosters paranoia and unease the whole way through. Sure, jumpscares are necessary to finally break the tension, but the best horror games are dripping and oozing in atmosphere. The whole world should FEEL hostile, not just the denizens that inhabit it. This game doesn't want you playing it, no. It wants to play you.

Here's what you can expect playing “Darkwood:” your hands should be clammy with an itch you can't scratch, not now. Your face should be inches from your monitor, blinking only when necessary, scanning wildly back and forth for something, ANYTHING, to betray the game's ill intent. As you talk with each bizarre NPC you should feel nervous, wondering when the conversation will go from benignly creepy to malignantly violent. And when you finally encounter an unspeakable horror, you'll have to make that gut decision whether to run or stand your ground. I recommend running. Like with all survivor horrors, you are at a notable disadvantage. You'll also be able to set up hasty barricades... rocking back and forth as claws scratch and jaws click outside, tearing your defenses down piece by piece.

There are a lot of cool things happening with this game. Your vision is funneled, forcing the aforementioned wild scanning. You can see the world generally in your “peripheral vision,” but you have to be looking relatively dead-on to see any actual threats. They'll be effectively invisible otherwise. You'll inject yourself with concoctions extracted from fauna and flora that provide mutations. They will grant a boost in one way and a hindrance in another. There's a crafting aspect that's pretty basic right now but feels natural... rough and raw. Besides health you have a stamina meter, one you'll have to keep an eye on when deciding whether to fight or fly. Graphically speaking, “Darkwood” isn't exactly next gen, but it is highly stylized and creepy. It's a beautiful, dark, Gothic painting – like the ones where the eyes follow you wherever you go and it talks smack about your mother. And the music will chill you to the bone. If the environment and enemies start to give you a little break, don't worry. The music will swell and put you right back on edge, or the heavy creaks and sudden cracks of the sound design.

Like any good horror this is a challenging game. I do recommend playing with permadeath on. Adds to the spook factor! Anticipate shedding lots of your own pixelated blood. My biggest gripes? It's hard to determine sometimes (between how dark the game is and how... generally dark the colors are) what I can search and interact with and what's just a creepy thingy. The controls also take some getting used to, but that seems appropriate considering the genre.

Now seeing that this is an Early Access title my recommendation is tentative and subject to change. But at the moment there is nothing out on Steam quite like this. Every day you hear people bemoan the death of “true survival horror,” myself being one of them. Well folks, it wasn't dead. Just waiting for the right moment to sing its siren song... and draw us in at least once more, into those dark and dreary woods where light dares not penetrate and your screams can't quite escape.
Posted: July 24
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