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DARKOUT (Steam PC) Website

Darkout is what is known to video games players as a sandbox, and like many role-play and action games it has strategy and survival components. The clearest influences found in this game come from the already very popular titles, Minecraft and Terraria. These are also  sandbox platformer games where the player has the ability to create buildings and modify the environment. But in Darkout there is one very interesting point that you should take note of and that is that light is extremely significant in the game.

To move back and forth on the platform you use the usual WASD keys and [space] for jumping. You can pass by trees and move over the glowing plants and fauna or you can chop them down or dig them up. If you manage to get killed, pretty easily to begin with, you are transported back to the beginning fully alive and ready to run back to where you just died and continue what you were doing, as long as it was worth dying for because it is highly probable that whatever killed you will still be hanging around waiting for you to come back.

          

The game development is constantly evolving, so we keep adding new features and improving the existing ones:

• Unlimited randomly generated worlds providing endless possibilities for replay.
• Use of the light plays a key role in the game, it will attract enemies, but you can use it to defeat them (feature now partially implemented).
• HD graphics and unique visual style.
• Craft new materials, weapons and armour.
• Explore and collect resources to research new technologies.
• Hollywood quality soundtrack.
• We keep permanently updating the game, thanks to our committed testers community, each new public update is intensely played and all the big bugs identified get ironed out before releasing.
• The game is evolving towards a shared vision between the devs and the community. We have a suggestions forum were you can drop your ideas and we will do our best to put them in the game (http://darkoutgame.net/index.php?forums/suggestions.7/)
• Backstory implemented through relics spread all over the world, you will also get to unlock some unique items (weapons, armour, resource, etc).
• Complex and realistic power wiring system that will allow you to trigger devices and activate lights of your base and its surroundings.
• You can craft sleds and use them as mobile storage as well as creating moving platforms and lifts.
• Every week we do streaming of the test version of game, showing the most relevant updates and fixes: http://www.twitch.tv/darkoutgame

Upcoming updates (summer-fall 2013):
• Further game backstory implementation through relics.
• Completely revamped Dark vs. Light mechanics, along with improved enemy AI.
• Addition of our first Boss 'The Brute'.
• Addition of a male character.
• Multiplayer support (more than 50 players per game, several modes, co-op and versus, based)
• Game translations to several languages. (we will try to cover the same languages that are available in the wiki)

         

Even with the game manual available on .pdf, complete with screenshots and examples, it still takes a fair while to get used to the workings of DARKOUT. You begin by creating a character (at present you can only create a female, but males are coming soon) - basically this is simply just naming it - and then similarly you create a world, just name it and choose Small, Medium or Large. Then select the character and the world and within seconds you are in the game. Your character is seen in fairly dark conditions standing next to what appears to be a spaceship or escape pod that has crashlanded. The area around it afire, probably from the crash. If you move (WASD) towards the fire you will burn up and die very quickly. [shift] + [click] on the pod when your cursor shows a chest symbol and then press [I] to open your inventory. Drag the items you have saved from your pod into your inventory and then ensure that your you have selected [auto] on your Action Bar so that your tools are automatically selected as necessary. When you need to collect wood the cursor changes to an axe as the cursor moves over a tree, a shovel when you need to dig and a pick-axe when stone needs breaking and collecting.

Using the[C] crafting ability you can make wooden doors and walls, stone walls, and a myriad of other assorted useful items. When you dig, mine, chop etc you gain RPs (Research Points) and you can spend these on, surprisingly, [Research]. There are so many different things you can research and then build/make.

         

You do not build a shelter simply by clicking build shelter you literally have to make the walls and the blocks and the back walls etc and construct it, first having flattened and prepared the ground for it to stand on. There are times, especially near the start where you might fall into a crevice or pit but by moving the cursor over the ground small blue boxes appear and your cursor changes to a pick-axe or shovel. You can then dig yourself out. However it is not like Dig-A-Dig or other digging games where your character zips through the ground at speed, no this is long and laborious and takes real time, much more than you would expect from a game where you can die so quickly - spiders, jellyfish aliens and other flying creatures beng the first to be the death of you. I have found that the best way to survive is to run away from these things. You cannot use tools as weapons, so no hitting things with axes and shovels doesn't work, neither does using the gun-type weapon (ray-gun) you have removed from your ship. Some of these creatures can be killed or warned off by light though so use the lantern, flares and torches you have wisely.

DARKOUT was aided by KICKSTARTER and although it is currently still in beta it is very popular already. The land to explore is quite vast even when you have selected to create a small world so there is plenty of continued game play. Like the other two games mentioned it continues to expand and evolve so no two games are exactly alike. The wished for cash start on Kickstarter was $500 and around $5000 was pledged so it looks like there will be no shortage of updates and add-ons etc, at least in the foreseeable future. To buy it now costs around $10.00 (I believe) and it is raw around the edges but improving regularly and quite speedily. Definitely a game to keep you up for hours even in its infancy.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015