DARQ is a dark, perspective based, puzzle game. You play as a young man named Llyod, he finds himself in a literal nightmare, and a lucid one at that. You only move to the side because it’s a side-scroller and throughout the game you find items that allow you to shift reality, either changing it to where you’ve moved from the X axis to the Z axis, sometimes even the Y axis. Gravity is only for where your feet are sitting, beyond that there is no gravity, so wall even ceiling walking is possible if you can find a way to get up there.
The game is fairly short, including the DLC, it takes around an hour and a half to two hours in order to beat it all. The main game is split between various chapters, I believe ten but won’t swear to it at this point, after you beat a chapter you can replay it which is nice. There are some collectables, a few diary pages, which you can’t access or read, they’re simply there for an achievement and nothing more. There are ways to die in the game but there are checkpoints constantly so that’s fine. Most of the things that can kill you are monsters that you have to run from or hide from, though there is a level where you can die from objects falling on you or out from under you.
There are two pieces of DLC, one is called The Tower, the other is called The Crypt. These DLC are linked to each other and should be played in the order I mentioned them. The Tower is based on your character trying to find enough heads to cause a machine to blow out a wall so Lloyd can escape, and he needs I believe it was seven heads. In The Crypt you have gotten out of the tower and you’re trying to find your way through this vampire infested crypt seemingly near a subway.
For the achievement hunters out there almost all of the achievements are super easy to do, but there are three or four timed achievements, only one of which is all that particularly hard, so there’s that, everything else is pretty simple. Beyond that it’s just a nice simple fun puzzle game that’s dark and twisted. And it’s not just dark in a metaphorical way, it’s also dark in a ‘it’s night time everywhere’ kind of way. The whole game is played in black, white, and some shades of grey, I believe there might be some browns but that’s about it. It’s a very visually interesting game. Not pretty, not beautiful after all it’s very visually twisted, however that hasn’t changed the graphics being interesting.
Overall, I rather liked it, I like puzzle games that aren’t too hard. I do wish it was a bit longer because I enjoyed it. The DLC story, I guess I’d call it, I liked more than the main story, just because it linked together better than most of the main story chapters connected to each other. I would have liked more story to it, because, well the only reason I know the boy’s name is Llyod is because the game’s description says it. As for the lucid nightmare part, he does pull out of his own body in most chapters, I mean you might have figured he was lucid dreaming or maybe you’d think he was having a really fucked up out of body experience. I mean I get that dreams don’t oft make sense but games that make sense tend to be better overall. I don’t really have any issues with the game honestly, to have a problem I have to, as you’ve seen, kinda nitpick. There was an issue with The Crypt being unbeatable because you couldn’t interact with the start button for a puzzle in it that you needed to complete to continue, but that was fixed fairly soon after. So all I have is OH there was a problem!!!… that they already fixed. Real hard to have a problem at that point.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire awards DARQ Complete Edition the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.