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
828 of 888 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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394 of 412 people (96%) found this review helpful
13.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
<Subject to change>

My first few hours in Darkwood were certainly very interesting, after the impressive prologue I decided to go speak to an NPC i was advised to find. After I did this I realised daylight was running out, and here's what happened next:

-Returned to my safehouse and pushed a wardrobe up against a gaping hole in the wall.
-Panicked because I didn't bother to collect the tools necessary to barricade the house.
-Everything is now pitch black, my cone of vision is tiny
-I weep as I slowly walk myself to the 'front lobby' room because it has no windows to reduce the chance of being spotted.
-I hear the moans of some unknown ethereal horror
-Check both the exterior and interior door to ensure they are closed
-The moaning gets louder
-The action prompt for the front door now says 'close door', meaning it has been opened
-My cone of vision is still 2-3ft btw
-I quickly close the door
-The prompt changed to 'close door' again
-I close the door again
-Moaning is still extremely loud
-Continue in this pattern for 60 seconds in sheer terror before the door finally stays closed for a while.
-I sigh a breath of relief
-Something swiftly moves past the far edge of my cone of vision
-* very loud moaning continues *
-The monster was in the lobby with me for the whole night
-I'm sure i'm going to die
-Suddenly Daybreak
-*Day 2*
Posted: July 26
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247 of 281 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Dear Journal:
I keep coming back to life, despite my best efforts. I thought death would be a release, but it's only a continuation of the torment. In what I'm sure is a futile effort to keep my sanity, I will try to catalogue my various deaths.

Death 1:
No weapons in sight and night is falling rapidly. In a misguided attempt to make the animals friendlier towards me, I've brewed a strange concoction from the local mycological flora and injected myself with it. The only effect I've seen towards my original intention was that the rabbits have stopped gnashing their teeth when I approach and have opted for a more subtle, indignant sideways glance. Night fell and I drank the well water as I was told by the nonchalant wolfman (nonchalant in that he seemed to have no compunctions that he was a freak of nature) that woke me up. The generator has failed and my only light is the mocking phosphorescent glow of my last flare. I hear things approaching. Hungry things. I've pushed my wardrobe in front of the window in the hopes that it would stop them. It did not, and a howling naked man has bashed my skull in and, presumably, eaten me.

Death 2:
Woken up by the wolfman again. He doesn't seem to remember me. I show him the dogtag as before and, as before, he tells me to seek out the chicken lady. My travels this time have been more fruitful. I've discovered several nonfunctional vehicles nearby, each containing a substantial amount of fuel. Hopefully this will help me keep the generator running this time. I've also found enough material to fashion a crude weapon for my inevitable self-defense. On top of that, I've found a bear trap with which to lay a trap for any more au naturel forest men that want to avail themselves of my sweetmeats. Once again, night falls and I drink from the well. I'm somewhat prepared this time. Again they come. I catch one in the bear trap and proceed to beat him into submission. Shortly after, another bursts in behind me, catching me by surprise. A pitched battle erupts, with me barely surviving to fell my opponent. I'm bleeding badly, but have enough rags to fashion a welcome, if somewhat unsanitary, bandage. Eventually morning arives and I stride wrecklessly back out into the forest, perchance to happen upon more provisions and survive another night in this hellish place. I happen upon a corpse, seemingly hidden under a jagged thicket. Immediately upon poking it, it explodes and I'm slain by its cadaverous stench.

Death 3:
Again the wolfman comes. I think he's mocking me. Is it a he? It sounds male. I have little luck in finding anything useful in my wanderings. The woods are crawling with wolves (the normal kind... I didn't think to stop and check their gender), and I have to skirt around them constantly. I find some alcohol, rags, and a lighter, but little else. At least I can keep warm with this, one way or another. Night falls and I drink the water. I'm beginning to wonder if I should be following the wolfman's advice at this point. For all I know, it's the well water that's keeping me here. I can do nothing but sit in my dark house, hoping they don't find me and tear me limb from limb. My hopes are completely unfounded. Having no other weapons, I quickly fashion a crude Molotov cocktail and hold it at the ready for when something crashes through the window in front of me. Alas, one crashes in behind me. Panicking, I drop the freshly lit incendiary at my feet, immediately catching myself and the wildman ablaze. I'm not sure which of us died first. I can now officially say that immolation has been my least favorite way to go.

Death 4:
Banshee... or witch? I'm unsure at this point.

Death 5:
Pack of wolves. Gender unknown.

Death 6:
%$@&ing CORPSE BOMB!

Death 7:
Ok, this is getting a little ridiculous. I'm just going to sit in my house and pretend I'm dead. Maybe the universe, or whatever cruel deity placed me here, will forget that I exist and move on to torment some other poor soul... Nope.

Ten out of ten. Would die again!
Posted: July 24
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136 of 153 people (89%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This games makes a great impression in the prologue and in your first night out of the tutorial.
Mine went like this.

-I was able to gather a bit of resources and boarded up a door and a window
-I turned on the generator since I moved a lamp into a room I thought would be perfect
-I moved the lamp to the window which was boarded up so I could see outside as well as inside
-As the night got darker I see creatures outside through the small cracks within the boarded up window
-Moans closing in and sounds of furniture moving in the room next to mine
-The generator dies and everything is now pitch black
-I sit for a while in the darkness
-When the door opens and this THING enters
-I was luckily able to kill it with my plank with nails in it
-Close the door and hold out
-Day 2 starts and I leave the room I was in
-I check the house to see how it got in
-NOTHING was moved from its original spot and no windows or doors were broken
So...how did it get in?
Posted: July 27
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138 of 165 people (84%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
*Early Access Review - Subject to Change
I backed this game up from Indiegogo and I am happy to say I am 100% satisfied by what it is at this stage and the things to come. Creepy, immersive, rogue-like and top down horror game with sounds,art and gameplay that will keep you on the edge of your feet, you'll also die alot. because this game is absolutely brutal with permadeath on.

To start off you'll have a couple of save files you can choose from with the ability to skip the entire prologue or play it. You'll also be able to turn on or off permadeath, the real way to play but that is up to you ;).

The game starts you off with explaining to you about a man with a dream, You'll be treated with some seriously scary art and you'll be very confused. You'll search around a bit to find an axe to break a passage but at the same time find your dog dieing and you'll have to make a choice, to end his suffering or to leave him. Now back to the log and you'll learn the tutorial of the game, the basics of attack and how to craft and the things you need to create to survive int his horrible hell. As you head south you'll find a cabin and there you'll meet a man inside which will begin the entire story of DarkWoods.

Darkwood is very immersive and scary, You'll feel it as you move your character around this living breathing world. The sound is downright phenomenal and done brilliantly to give so you can feel the world. It will scare you when you turn corners in this game. From the winds blowing across the trees, to the moving shadows, and the eerie noises around the woods. The characters you'll meet in this game is also very creepy, with well animated features drawn with personality combined with decent dialogue.

The gameplay is a survival top down game horror game that takes place in the woods somewhere in russia where theres day and night cycle with items and locations in the woods randomly generated and randomly placed. The story and building layout is usually the same, so are the quests but the amount of randomization is enought to keep you satisfied. Everything is done well to give you the feeling that everytime you step out its never the same. Also read everyone's dialogue or read your journals, yes Dialogue will give you hints of location changes of certain npcs you'll want to take advantage of, especially the wolf merchant. The further you go out into the woods the darker and more dangerous it'll get So keep your base in check because the map in this game doesn't tell you where your position is. You'll have to remember the way back. Also BE WARNED OF THE WELL MECHANIC YOU MUST DRINK FROM THE WELL TO SURVIVE EACH NIGHT or you will suffer death hence forcing you to return to base every night. The goal of the game at the moment is To explore the quest and survive.

The game mechanic works by your character facing a direction you'll see a frontal cone view, You can only see where you point your mouse and whats under certaint trees with the cursor on it, even if an enemy is behind you you'll have to look behind otherwise your vision is obscured. You also can't see past trees or buildings which will give you you immersion and realism. You'll also have to be on your feet and aware at all times.
The top left displays your health in red, stamina in grey and buffs along with debuffs go the very top left. Use up too much stamina and you'll move at a very slow rate so sprint wisely otherwise become easy target for monsters. Also at the same time the crafting and inventory is limited, but as you progress in the game you'll be able to discover recipes to craft things such as barricades, torches, traps, healing items and weapons and collect mushrooms to inject yourself so that you can improve your trait, later on with this feature you'll have to sacrifice a certain trait to gain a new one. Some will help your vision, some seems sorta useless at the moment.

You'll also be able to interact with objects to move it around like book cases to cover door etc or pick locks or even break down doors. To attack you'll have to equip an item into the limited 3 hotbar slots and then hold down right mousebutton followed by pressing left mouse button so the controls feels very unique and fits the game perfectly. It will take time to dig into your inventory, pull out an item and to actually use it, Also note to set up a trap it'll take time to set up along with searching large cases or items. Everything in this game adds to that realism and hardcore of survival games.

The game is hard, the elements of the woods will get to you, There are things you can accidently step on such as mushroom and bodies that will poison you if you don't watch your footing, patrolling monsterous dogs and creatures from the very depth of your nightmares which screams in the middle of the night out for your blood. When day turns to dusk it is time to go back to base and hold out as long as you can until morning to continue your survival. Currently the best way is to probabaly cut line of sight from monsters in the dark and pray that they won't find you. Probabaly will need more work ont his mechanic to give it a little more to do than just hiding in corners especially on permadeath mode.

This game is a survivalist horror hardcore dream and it was worth the wait, it is currently in alpha 1.0 and it is pretty solid gameplay save some bugs here and there and the fact that it is unfinished. The woods might be very dark and seeing things might require a gamme adjustment, Inventory is very scarce so be ready to horde since many items do not respawn so it can be tough to find those supplies. Be warned that you will die. I've played hours and only survived 4 days, most of my friends are stuck at 4. You'll be playing this game quite a bit my friends but that is what makes it so great.

+ Phenomenal Sounds that is immersive, the heavy breathing, the monsters and the woods itself gives it life and horror at the same time really powerful sounds and brilliantly done.
+ Rogue-like environment placement of items and places of discoveries
+ Realism from what you do, searching, crafting, setting up traps, learning to fight your enemies, the interaction between items. Also the
+ Creepy, animated art from the nicely designed characters and the map itself, everything is alive including the trees waving, grass blowing.
+ The difficulty of this game is Hard, Brutal, and you're absoulutely dieing.
+ immersion level +++

- Need more ways to fight back monsters, Corner surviving at night in corner with vision blocking is fun and scary but can get really overplayed.
- Multiplayer!
- Game still in beta, things in work
- Dark, too dark hard to tell if you throw something off sometimes.
- sound is a little loud, even when turned down but its damn good
- Game isn't done so don't expect to finish the main story.
- Bugs here and there but very minor
- Characters should have voice acting to those dialogues, creepy voice acting.
- loading time in the beginning takes a bit of time, due to generatings of the rogue-like environment even for my pc.
- Needs auto Check for skip prologue, sometimes forgetting to hit it is annoying

Currently trying to pass day 4 on permadeath
Posted: July 24
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