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Darkwood (2017) is a survival horror role-play where you must scavenge the forest to fortify your cabin ready for the strange and disturbing attacks of each night. You play by exploring the grotesque open world that changes each day then get back to hunker down in your hideout and pray for morning. The tower defence premise is well-worn, but the strange viewed-from-above visuals and inventive peculiarity of the world and night visitors make it stand out.

The game is a simulation that throws you in at the deep end with no hand-holding or quest markers. You must survive on the basis of your skills and ability to figure things out. Each day you venture out to find what randomly generated, sinister creatures wait in the woods. Your hope is to find materials to craft weapons. Each night you must barricade yourself in, set up traps and defend yourself from the horrors.

As you progress you (very slowly) gain skills and abilities by extracting a strange essence from the mutated fauna and flora and injecting it into yourself. But with new abilities also come other unintended consequences that make survival harder.

The result is a disturbing game about holding your nerve and thinking clearly in deeply unsettling circumstances. Each of your decisions impacts Darkwood and its inhabitants as you steadily discover its secrets.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Darkwood 11 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 11 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Darkwood. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Fighting, Role-Play, Simulation and Strategy game with Adventure, Narrative and Shooting elements. This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 20 hours and 28 hours to complete. To see everything in the game can take up to 60 hours.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for frequent scenes of strong violence, violence against vulnerable and defenceless characters. and use of strong language. Violent scenes include ‘The Stranger’ being tied to a chair and tortured for information by ‘The Doctor’, who beats him repeatedly until the chair breaks and he is knocked unconscious. ‘The Stranger’ is able to murder most other characters at random, including a vulnerable, elderly lady, and a defenceless, man who is on his knees, begging for you to leave him alone. Blood and some injuries are shown on the corpses that litter the woodland, with some able to split themselves into pieces and transform into horrific monsters. Strong language including the word ‘*!@?*’ and its derivatives can be heard throughout the game.

Skill Level

14+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You need to be able to cope with the high pressure of the night phases and the paranormal creatures. You also need to deal with the unsettling horrors and persevere in the face of likely failure. Managing resources efficiently is also important.


Darkwood usually costs £12.79.


Steam Store PC £12.79
Steam Store Mac £12.79
Switch Store Switch -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
XBox Store Xbox One -
XBox Store Xbox X|S -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 17/08/2017, updated in 2022

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Fighting, Role-Play, Simulation, Strategy (Adventure, Narrative and Shooting)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 2D Overhead, Day and Night, Open World and Pixels

Developer: The Acid Wizard (@TheAcidWizard)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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