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.