Darkwood is a unforgiving survival horror with a procedurally generated, open world. 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 (415 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 (6)

October 31

Alpha 2 hotfix 1

Here's a hotfix for a few issues some of you may have been having.

The update should not break your saves, although you might need to generate a new world for some of these fixes to be in effect:

- Fixed crashing due to memory leaks.
- Added back crows.
- Fixed infections.
- Fixed saw running forever.
- Fixed black void areas around some borders.
- Fixed characters not visiting at night after some time.
- Added (experimental) support for 1280x720 resolution.
- Fixed some save errors.

The game will update automatically. You will still see "Alpha 2.0" in the corner.

5 comments Read more

October 30

Alpha 2 is live!

Rejoice, mortals! Alpha 2 is here, just in time for Halloween! With it, changes big and small!

This update focuses mainly on a huge rewrite of some of our back-end systems, meaning they are now more optimized, less buggy and allow for some cool stuff to happen.


Brand new world
We basically rewrote the whole world generation system. The main thing you will notice is that the biomes are now grouped together, and getting through to the next biome requires a trip through a “gate” location. Borders are much more interesting now, and aren’t only impenetrable walls.

This system allows for a lot of new cool stuff. We’re tingling in excitement just thinking of the possibilities in future updates! For now, the benefits of this approach are mostly visible through better pacing (easier in the beginning, harder at the end of chapter 1), more rewarding exploration, more interesting navigation, and a better sense of progression.

Even though we optimized the generation script quite a lot, the new world is now about 50% larger than the previous one, and in result creating a new one takes more or less the same amount of time. This will of course be optimized in the future. Some parts of the procedural generation system are turned off for now to avoid some bugs.

Modified combat
Combat in Darkwood is supposed to be slow, tactical, but lethal. It may be unintuitive at first, as you can’t spam attacks like in every other game with this perspective, but it is a lot of fun when you get used to it. We worked on it in this update to make it more responsive, but also made the Secondary Attack and Dodge skills available right from the start.

Optimizations and fixes
There are a ton of optimizations to pretty much everything. Less stuttering, better performance! We also fixed most of the reported bugs (including the dreaded Mac crash and disappearing Wolfman!). However, a lot of new features were added, which still need to be polished.

And also:
- New hideouts! Nights are different based on the hideout you are sleeping in.
- New content to be found in the wilderness.
- Wood is more plentiful, but to make use of it, you need to convert it to planks with the new Saw object.
- New shader for trees.
- Friend of the Forest skill has been nerfed. Animals will be less aggressive, instead of befriending you.
- Rebalances to loot and enemies.
- And a lot of other smaller (or secret) changes!

We are pleased how these changes add to the game, and hope you feel the same! This is hopefully the last BIG rewrite of any of the systems, and we can return to more frequent updates.

We would also like to thank our awesome testers for their hard work on hunting bugs! <3

Remember, the Acid Wizard sees all, so post your feedback on our forums or here on Steam!

35 comments Read more
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Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

Current features

  • 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 unforgiving, story-driven survival horror with a procedurally generated, open world. If you crave for a deep and rewarding experience with dense atmosphere, memorable characters, satisfying exploration, crafting and challenging combat, Darkwood will suck you in for days.

The fear of unknown is powerful. Your senses will be deceived 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
29 of 31 people (94%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
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.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
33.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
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.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Early Access Review
There you are, alone, in your safe house with nothing but the darkness for company. Then all of a sudden, you hear a scream, and what's that? Your furniture is moving all by itself. It's ok though, you're safe, in your barricaded room and there's only another few minutes of night time left. Oh, wait, they're knocking on your door, you can see the barricade splinter...It's fine, daylight will save you. Argh, but here they come, relentlessly banging on your door and it's one hit away from being broken. Phew, daylight is here, but you have no wood left to barricade yourself in when night time comes again. You have no weapon so you need to go out into the woods to scavenge and prepare yourself, but you know they're lurking out there too.

Darkwood does this brilliantly, it builds up so much tension that even when nothing is going on, you're still on edge. Sure, there are a few bugs still in the game, but it's an early Alpha release, and the devs have acknowledged that a few things here and there need to be fixed.

Don't let the bugs take away from what is a stunning survival game, and a survival game that builds up the horror through it's atmosphere like no other that I've played recently. Reminiscent of the old Silent Hill games in the way that it builds tension, it builds you up and then knocks you down but it's not frustrating. You don't mind meeting your maker, even though you lose your precious mushrooms, because you learn a little each time you die.

The game looks beautiful, the lighting is glorious and really helps set the tone when you're out to discover new things. Your cone of vision can either help you out or destroy you if you're not vigilant enough, but it's something you get used to after a while.

The crafting system works nicely, and is clear and easy to use, but sometimes the amount that you can carry becomes a little bit of a problem, that said, it doesn't take away too much from the experience. If anything, the frustration is outweighed by the fear that you won't have enough to survive the night, making the game more tense.

The world is randomly generated on each play through so you will never get tired of exploring the same old places again and again.

The characters in the game thus far have enough depth to influence how you behave toward them, but enough mystery that you never really know what to expect from them the NPCs are great fun to come up against whether you're ready to fight them or not.

Darkwood is something that any survival horror fan should try out and if at first it seems a little slow, I'm sure that it will grow on you and eventually you will approach each night filled with terror and worry that you've missed something and they can get in your safe house while you're completely defenseless because you didn't have time to craft a new weapon before you had to lock yourself in.

If you're still unsure whether to get the game or not, then please check out my playthrough and see how I experienced the night terrors (and the day terrors for that matter) and then form your own opinions, and hopefully learn from my mistakes if you do decide to get the game!

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
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
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
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
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Early Access Review
(Silent Hill + Stalker) x Hotline Miami = Darkwood
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Early Access Review
first : silent hill then : darksouls now: darkwood ...... what a game!!!!!! ty acid wizard
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
I'm sorry is this still in Alpha? <<amazed>>

One of the beauties of Steam is that you are able to actually support a new game. When you find a Gem like Darkwood or the Long Dark it gives you a great, almost smug like, feeling inside.

Thanks guys!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Early Access Review
I have been waiting for this game. I don't have much time to play and horror games I always like to play in small bits. But even with the short impression: This game is amazing and it's been worth buying. They really thought this through on gameplay, atmosphere, graphic design and story telling. You can see this right from the beginning. It all comes together as a whole. Even that there are no voice overs in the game fits the artstyle and atmosphere. It is intense as hell. I just have to get used to the controls a little bit though. I'd like to have the direction I am going applied to characters view and not to the view on the screen. But besides this it is definetly worth buying at full price. That is cheap for what you get.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Early Access Review
quite scary and fun so far.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
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.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Early Access Review
THis game is somthing spoopy wan it gets dark after like night 3 to 4 or 5 but this game is best play'ed with perma-death to make you feel as if you will loos more than just some of the stuff you have on you and your last upgrad but i wud say do all that hard stuff after you know what your doing i mean i'v die'ed like 10 times if not more just from me going out to far and becomeing food for the dang chompers (f chompers)

The only bad thing about this game i can see so far is you will get bord some wat fast as the sun gos down and the fact chompers can come out at night 3 or 4 witch never end well wan they get in XD
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
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
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
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!
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
36.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
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.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
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
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Early Access Review
weres the update they promised.
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Early Access Review
new game>meet monster>dead>quit>go to bed
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5.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Early Access Review
I love the theme; it inspirably leads me into the creepy atmosphere, which is really my favourite. Although I have some prob to play this below, I have to recommend this.

Here is my problem. I'm not sure that this is only my mac prob though, my macbook pro retina is unstably rolling its cooler, and in 50% of chances, the game is shuted down (just it stop the screen, and never come back normal) even before my death; I CAN'T play the game for fun with my mac. (Simply, start the game -> wait for map building for few 'minutes' -> get out the shelter -> find another house or encounter some enemy -> died or shut down -> press my bloody booting button to force-shut down my mac.)

I HOPE this is only cuz of my old retina macbook pro, and the next version of this game is much stable on mac as well.
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28.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Early Access Review
A dark, story-driven survival game with a gripping atmosphere, splendid 2D-art direction and sound design, and—for an Alpha 2—very refined game mechanics that reward both exploration as well as experimentation.
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