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.