This underrated survival horror game will chill you to the bone

A month ago, I'd never heard of Darkwood. Now I can't stop thinking about it.

The top-down survival horror game from Acid Wizard Studio was released in 2017 after four years in development, hitting Steam first before eventually rolling out to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

It is a stunning exploration of psychological horror and the player's ability to endure...

Darkwood's most talked-about element is that there are no jump-scares, at least not in the deliberate sense. In fact, its creators detested the horror genre because of these cheap tactics.

But you will get startled occasionally, especially if you don't carefully look where you step — and god help you if you play without the sound on.

Audio cues are everything.

“We did not like the usual cheap tricks used in most of those, so we decided to try creating a horror without jump scares. It was an ambitious task, but thanks to our field of view and light mechanics we achieved a dense, creepy atmosphere enjoyed even by people who don’t like standard horror tricks.”

Gustaw Stachaszewski, Co-Founder, Acid Wizard Studio

In Darkwood, the forest is alive — and it's closing in on you. Beware of the people you encounter, not everyone will be your friend, and never stay outside when night falls. There are all sorts of creatures out there; don't let them inside.

Every move you make adds up to determine your fate; there are multiple endings. Choose wisely.

But whatever happens, Darkwood is sure to get under your skin and stay there long after you've finished playing.

Good luck.

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