DARQ: Complete Edition Gameplay Preview – Grotesque Horror Puzzle Game

Developed and published by Unfold – August 15, 2019 (PS4/5, Xbox 1/S/X, Switch, PC)
*MSRP: $19.99 – https://store.steampowered.com/app/433550/DARQ_Complete_Edition/

DARQ is a pretty grotesque horror puzzle game. You play as a young lad named Lloyd who is trying to escape from his dreams. The harder he tries, the more nightmarish they become.

The first mechanic introduced is the ability to walk up walls. You use this in interesting ways to navigate levels.

Even though some may find DARQ to be frightening to play, it is a puzzle game at heart. Each level is represented by a different dreamscape as well as a new mechanic to master. For example, the first level looks like a gloomy basement and introduces the mechanic of shifting your perspective so you can walk up walls as a floor. Another level looks like it takes place on an outdoor street and introduces the mechanic of shifting your perspective so you can access the opposite side of hallways and so forth.

The art style is very grotesque, morbid, and imaginative.

The levels are cleverly designed and unpredictable. This keeps the puzzle solving fresh as each one is pretty unique. The art style also pairs well with the puzzles. It just looks very grotesque and very surreal. The visual style is fantastically morbid and imaginative. For example, the street level has four switches that you need to turn on using severed arms. Another level has a terrifying grandmother figure in a wheel chair chasing you.

I thought this particular mechanic was simple but interesting. You can flip your perspective to access new areas.

Overall, DARQ is a well designed and produced puzzle game. The art style is amazing, along with the tiny animation touches and sound effects. The puzzles are well thought out and always keeps you guessing. They’re not too easy to figure out at a glance because they require exploration as well as some outside the box thinking. For example, one level required me to put a toy piano on an empty wooden block and then shift my perspective so that it fell onto the floor and created a hole. There are plenty of moments like this in the game. As a side note, personally speaking, the horror element was lacking for me but then again I don’t find horror games scary.

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