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 (648 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 is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if 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.”

Approximately 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 (16)

June 12

Alpha 5 [hotfix 2]

Alpha 5 is here, baby!

Remember, if you wish to keep playing on alpha 4.2, just follow this guide before launching the new version.

You can find the full patch notes here, as it looks like we've hit the size limit for announcements.

There might be some bugs that got through the testing builds from the recent changes, but once we iron them out in the next minor update, I think we will be able to describe Darkwood as pretty darn stable!

It looks like we're in the final stages of modifying the gameplay mechanics. As of now, we still have to work on a few things, like The Well (or get rid of it in favour of something else), adding unpredictability to exploring locations, or the loot distribution system, and of course some technical stuff like gamma settings and normalizing the camera zoom across all resolutions... But once we're through with that, we can focus on the things veteran players are interested most: adding more content!

Hotfix 1, 13.06.2015
Generating a new world is required for some of these fixes to take effect!
- Fixed a case where the burned cottage between the Meadow and Old Woods would be rotated incorrectly.
- Fixed crafting requirements for high level workbenches.
- Added workbench level cap.
- Removed some repair kits from the game.
- Added a few missing translations.
- Added loot to a picture on the wall.
- Fixed pigs in the pigshed being aggro to the player when attacked by villagers.
- Fixed not being able to enter the journal when dreaming.
- Fixed villager in pigsheds not doing any damage.
- Dogs are a bit relentless sometimes. Don't know why, so I temporarily nerfed their speed slightly.

Hotfix 2, 15.06.2015
- Fixed exploit for The Three and Mushroom Gift.
- Fixed Mirror disappearing after the night.

The Acid Wizard

34 comments Read more

June 4

Alpha 5 news + how to keep your saves


We’re close to finishing up work on Alpha 5! The testers already have their hands on the first Release Candidate. Here’s a sneak peak on what we’ve been working on:

The majority of craftable items are now created through the workbench. Instead of finding recipes for new items all over the place, you will have to upgrade your workbench to craft better items. Workbenches are found in every hideout.

Repair kits have been removed. You will be able to repair your weapons on the workbench.

In addition, weapons can be upgraded / modified with different perks.

The workbench gives players some short-term goals to look forward to, which are much needed until we add more detail to the storyline.

World refinements
A lot of work has been put to make exploration better and more rewarding, with new locations and a more varied wilderness.

Roads are more plentiful and informative (they don’t end in the middle of nowhere anymore).

Biome borders have been overhauled, and now contain unique stuff and are much less confusing. Also, new enemies have been added.

Other bigger changes:
- New trading UI, preventing accidental purchases.
- Time freezes after surviving the night, allowing you to breathe a little, repair your hideout and interact with a new NPC.
- New weapons.
- The saw has it’s own UI now.
- There are only two types of mushrooms now: regular and night mushrooms. The essence you gain from them depends on the quality of the oven you use.
- Loot randomization has been put through a balance pass (the system needs to be pretty much redone in the future though).

Apart from the major changes, we’ve spent a lot of time on refining smaller elements and squashing bugs, but those will be outlined in the update notes.

How to keep your saves
We've added a quick and easy way to keep playing on older versions, so your saves do not get wiped when a new Alpha is released. Read all about it here!

In other news, we’re very happy to be part of Independent By Design, a upcoming book about the stories of awesome indie game developers like Lucas Pope, Frictional Games, inXile Entertainment, Dennaton, Vlambeer… And, well, us! :D

The book is in the final days of it’s Kickstarter, so it’s your last chance to get it early!

17 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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
Early Access Review
Recipe for a "mind-blowing, survival-horror experience":

1. Take Hotline Miami's top-down perspective and control scheme.

2. Add a cup of Amnesia's "barricade-the-door-with-anything-that-isn't-nailed-down-and-WHAT-THE-♥♥♥♥-WAS-THAT-style" mechanics.

3. Place them in a bowl and douse them with a gallon of Silent Hill's thick, foreboding, dread-inducing atmosphere.

4. Pour all ingredients into a blender; set to "puree" for 10 seconds.

5. Dump the whole thing into the bathtub, wait for a spawn of Cthulu to emerge, and allow it to drag you down into the black miasma that is Darkwood.

Buy this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
Early Access Review
Game forced me to kill 1 dog and that was horrible. Then 50 more dogs. I am now an expert at killing dogs. -_- Yay.

Other than that it's a really rough game to play; if you have emotions it'll probably make you feel them. So it's effective that way. It also looks and sounds fantastic.

Anyway I'll have a hard time playing this game again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Early Access Review
The only way that this game can be described is impressive to the largest degree. This is hands down the most crafted, perfected, and enjoyable early access experience that has been released in the history of steam's early access system. I have dumped around 17 hours into the game, and I would check in and play a little after every update to see the changes that have been made. Amazingly, the devs have kept up incredibly well with updates, and in the many months that I have owned this title, it has become a very different game, and all for the better. The atmosphere is incredible and haunting right down to the core. This is aided by the fact that your character has a limited cone of view. How so, you might ask? Though you can see things like trees and large rocks outside of the cone, you cannot see things like items, characters, or enemies, meaning that one of the many creative and challenging enemies in the game can still sneak up and attack you if you are careless. The way this is implemented is masterful to say the least.

The game demands that you be conservative with your resources, often making you choose between upgrading your weapon, upgrading your workbench to allow you to create more weapons and items, or fortifying your base to keep the mutated nightmares at bay once the sun goes down. And the night time changes everything in the game. Whereas in the day you can travel in relative safety and strategically kill or avoid most enemies that you come accross, the night turns you into the prey of the creatures that lurk through the forest. Not only will monsters invade your home and attack you at night, but depending on whether or not you have any fuel in your generator, dark shadows will close in on you and kill you, and are a threat that can only be fought off with a light source. While the early game will find you cowering in your home praying for morning light, you will later gather the resources and the courage to venture from your home at night, during which special and unique items and resources may be collected.

Lastly, the sound design: HOLY HELL, the sound design in this game is PERFECT. From the hair raising squeal that grounded objects such as stools and wardrobes make when dragging them accross the floor to the haunting moans and screaches of the night, this game will keep you scared and on your toes, especially at night. Take it from me, when you are cowering in your room with the door baricaded with the wardrobe while not straying more than two feet from your light source, and then you hear the slow creaking of the other doors of your home opening at the will of murderous, rabid invaders, you will feel a fear for your life the likes of which very few games can produce.

If I were to summarize this game in one statement, I would say that this is the most fun I've had from a horror game since Dead Space. At $15, this game is currently an absolute steal, and even more so when the final version is released. If you want a horror experience that is original, extremely well produced, and scary as all hell, do yourself a favor and PICK THIS GAME UP.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
82 of 93 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
Early Access Review
So, I invested 31 days (in game time) to one world, thinking I could go through it and get some of the many endings this game provides.

On the 30th day I go into a hellish pigshed and find a monstrosity that no words can describe, the only way of ending said creature (besides being insane and fighting it directly) was to electricute it.

In order to do this I needed a particular cable that was sold by a good buddy of mine called Piotrek, whom I had just given all the items to for the rocket he was building.

At the time he was really excited about this and told me that by tomorrow he was going to fly to the moon or something of that sort.

What was unknown to him was that I had allowed the Wolfman to see one of the components to his rocket (I had no clue that this would cause the ship to explode, sadly.) So the very next day I walk to Piotrek's house only to see him dead on the ground, skewered by the many pieces of shrapnel that came out of the exploding pile of junk.

In a flood of sadness and fury, I head over back to the wolf camp and began talking to my partner in crime, whom was sh*tting himself in laughter after seeing the explosion.

Once I realized that I wasn't able to finish off the monstrosity, I stride behind the Wolfman, brought out my pistol and put a bullet into the back of his head.

I then promptly loot the dead man's body and walk out into the middle of the meadow as I waited for the time to tick away.

As the sun set I felt my body begin to corrode away until my heart stopped, and I fell to the ground dead.

I'm sorry, Piotrek.
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62 of 64 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Early Access Review
Eight months after my initial purchase and after 48 hours of total playtime, I've finally decided to write a review. This is also my first review for any game, which should give a hint right off the bat of how strongly I feel.

The most common complaint I've seen is that Darkwood is too hard. And this game is, in fact, HARD.



Got it? Good. I'm not joking! Unless you play stuff like Dark Souls (a direct inspiration for this game), then this will likely be the toughest game you'll ever play. Period. It will also likely be the scariest. Playing on perma death only, it took me 40 hours just to beat the game. And I've yet to turn over every rock, discover every secret.

But I don't think that it's fair to give the game a negative review because it's too difficult. If Darkwood was any easier it wouldn't be Darkwood. It would be Flaccidwood, and it would be boring and not very scary.

If you play the prologue, you will not be in the Dark (pun intended) when you first awake in your little hut. Granted, you will need to move quickly, explore locations as you find them, and avoid anything with teeth, BUT you will be able to do so with a grasp of basic mechanics and controls. Just make sure to return to your hovel before nightfall. Believe me, I've played games with far less introduction and instruction.

Now that that's out of the way, it's time to talk about the game, the real meat-and-potatoes. The concept is simple -- escape a little slice of densely-forrested rural Poland. Standing in your way are packs of roving mutations, insane NPC's, and a whole lotta beartraps.

There's a lot of ways to die. Mauled by ravenous dogs, mauled by *bigger* ravenous dogs, beaten to death by naked dudes with sticks, pelted with rocks, torn in half by creepy-crawlers with a whole bunch of teeth,, poisoned by shrooms, stepping on beartraps, and, if you're like me, you'll probably end up setting yourself on fire a few times.

But it's not all bad news. You can cook the indigenous mushrooms growing around the forest and shoot them up to improve your skills and such. Well, I mean, you'll suffer from terrible drug-induced nightmares in the process, but now you can put more stuff in your hotbar! Hooray!

Oh, and did I mention the Banshee? Yeah, wait till she pays you a visit. It took her about 35 hours to find me, but when she did, I didn't sleep for a few days afterwards.

Anyway, Darkwood is really, REALLY scary and unique. So pick it up. And say hi on the forums :). The devs are very active there and are always looking for suggestions.

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