Darwinian is like being able to see inside the mind
of a game programmer. It's presented in a framework
style, almost like a blueprint to demonstrate the
gameplay. Since the gameplay is unique there is no
competition, so the game doesn't have to live up to
any preconceived standards. It's obvious that developers
Introversion don't have a huge budget but they managed
to create a minimalist masterpiece that any gamer
with an imagination can appreciate.
you're looking for farting bears that smoke cigars
and swear at hookers than Darwinian is not for you.
Not to suggest that cigar smoking bears with gas and
a predilection for showering working girls with expletives
is in any way depraved; it's just not something you
will find here. Darwinian is a strategy game with
a good blend of combat action and some puzzle solving.
It does have some "cute" characters but
they aren't what you might be thinking.
is composed mainly of geometric shapes and symbols.
There are some fully rendered, 3D environments and
characters but most of the game looks like a cubist
painting. It's really cool how the developers were
able to create such a sense of atmosphere by understating
the graphics. The storyline expels any notions of
"low-budget" as long as one takes it at
face value. I know it's my job to point out the flaws
but in this case I can't help but feel that the developers
were able to transform any flaw to flawless.
in the digital realm live a race of digital creatures
called Darwinians. They live in a virtual theme park
called Darwinia which was all created by a computer
scientist named Dr. Sepulveda. The Darwinians are
a virtual-life program and as such they become more
intelligent with each new generation. Unfortunately
some have begun to mutate and have turned into a deadly
virus which now threatens the stable Darwinians' very
existence. These evil looking mutants come in the
form of insects and viral clusters, to name a few.
To keep the doctor's project and the Darwinians safe
you must combat these creatures by shooting various
weapons at them and outsmarting them on the virtual
battlefields by using various computer programs devised
by the good doctor.
will be shooting lasers and rockets at you in addition
to grenades. Using the mouse to aim you will shoot
back with weapons from your own arsenal. There is
no auto targeting. The enemy can get very aggressive
and quickly replenish themselves by laying eggs, causing
you to have a nervous breakdown trying to take them
greatest weapon is the interface where you implement
computer programs to aid you. At first you can only
store three of them but as you go you can boost that
number up a bit. There are only a handful of programs
to use and you won't be able to collect more or upgrade
the ones you have. You have to work within your means
- much like the developers did with this game. One
program, for instance, turns a Darwinian into a commanding
officer and automatically directs others close to
him to follow a path that you've laid out that will
bring them to safety. It's refreshing to have a restricted
format where you are forced to use your brain instead
of trying to unlock more and more powerful weapons
to do your work for you.
good doctor will give you advice on missions as well
as explain the background of the critters and world
that he's created. It's a totally believable scenario
and you will actually form an attachment to these
little green buggers. There are different missions
that require different actions and reactions. They
become more complex as the game progresses. You can
expect to get between 10 - 20 hours out of the game
the first time through. It's not loaded with replay
value but you'll want to play it over at least once.
music at the beginning of each mission reinforces
the retro style of the game. There are some sound
effects during the missions including the sounds of
weapons and the occasional squeals of dying Darwinians.
The sound is sparse but not empty.
can purchase Darwinia online. I would heartily recommend
getting your hands on this game so you can wrap your
brains around it.