Top Critic Average
Darkwood is a brutally atmospheric take on the top-down horror genre. Coming out of Early Access, Acid Wizard Studio's hit title is something of an amazing amalgamation of genres; blending horror with exploration, challenging combat, roguelike-world generations and roleplaying game-like character development, Darkwood is simply put, and awesome title. What shocked me most was that it seemed to be very similar to some of the best board games I have played, not in play style, but in the way it feels. For example, Mansions of Madness, easily one of the best board games ever, leaves you with this dark and foreboding feeling when you are done playing. Darkwood is that, but in video game form, and with rich gameplay and stunning sound design, Darkwood is easily the breakout title of the season.
The atmosphere, the darkness, the eerie soundtrack, and the design of the monsters you encounter are what make Darkwood one of the most memorable survival horror games I've played in recent times.
Darkwood is a deeply unsettling horror game that turns night into your greatest enemy and makes players question what could be lurking in the dark. For any fans of the genre, this is an instant classic.
Despite some unsatisfying gameplay systems, Darkwood can provide legitimate thrills and scares for the horror fans that miss the vibes of such classics as Silent Hill 2 and Pathologic without ever using a jump scare. Whether it is the uniquely grotesque art style or the ever-challenging design of its difficulty, Acid Wizard Studio has proven it understands what ingredients make up a good horror experience and the randomised elements of the game allow a unique narrative every time you play.
Darkwood is a challenging and rewarding horror game that will test even the hardcore survival horror buff. The gameplay loop of finding new and better resources by day and fending off horrifying creatures by night is surprisingly addictive.
Darkwood does so much with its simple top-down perspective that it matches some of the best horror games released this year. It is easy to appreciate the finer details when you methodically explore a captivating wooded area, gather resources, and fend off deadly creatures before the terrifying night arrives.
Despite a seemingly unnecessary level of challenge, Darkwood is genuinely one of the scariest games out there, featuring some of the best sound design in the survival horror genre.
Darkwood plays with the fear of the unknown to create an atmosphere and situations of pure terror. If you've been looking for a true survival horror game for years, one that doesn't rely on jump scares and make you turn on the lights at night... You've just found it.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Darkwood is a tense and challenging horror and survival game with superb atmosphere, excellent visual presentation, and a strong gameplay core, but it's marred by clunky movement and unintuitive combat mechanics.
Darkwood is, thankfully, rather unlike any other horror game on Switch. Those with a taste for survival games will appreciate the constant pressure to salvage parts and craft new items while a clock ticks down in the background, while those with a love for all things sinister will really appreciate some of the truly disturbing moments. Despite the occasional technical flaw, the result is a purposefully slow experience that rewards multiple playthroughs with a storyline that branches depending on just how far into madness you're willing to tread.
Darkwood is one of the most terrifying games I've ever played as it challenges you to explore and survive a dark and twisted world. Unravelling the mysteries of the night time horrors will consume you even before you try the permadeath mode. This comes highly recommended, but remember to wear your brown trousers.
Darkwood is gritty, difficult and scary, and these are just three of the reasons why we liked it: the crafting system is good, the atmosphere is always tense and the sound design is excellent. Don't miss it if you like survival horror games.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Darkwood does a great job of showing off its weird, unsettling world, but it struggles to tell players what they have to do. The woods are home to secrets and terrible truths alike. Though it falls short of reaching its full potential, mostly due to questionable controls and cumbersome combat, this horror game is worth the experience on the merits of its haunting atmosphere alone.
Darkwood is on the verge of greatness. The terrifying and foreboding atmosphere it manages to create is unmatched in the genre, while the scares themselves are earned and equally alarming. The experience is somewhat held back by gameplay annoyances, but they're not enough to sway a recommendation.
Darkwood is a fine open-world survival experience, and spins a good yarn, but doesn't quite succeed as a horror game. The ominous veneer wears off quickly enough, and you're left with a somewhat cumbersome Don't Starve clone. Darkwood has its moments and will please a certain dedicated breed, but less masochistic general gaming audiences may find the title more tedious than terrifying. Don't venture into these woods unless you're prepared to rough it.