USA, LOS ANGELES – Dec 21, 2015 – If you ever find yourself walking on walls and ceilings in attempt to prevent being eaten by monsters, it’s probably a sign that it’s time see a psychiatrist. There is an alternative explanation though. You might be playing DARQ – a psychological horror game about lucid dreaming, developed by Unfold Games.
DARQ tells the story of Lloyd, a boy who becomes aware of the fact that he is dreaming. To Lloyd’s misfortune, the dream quickly turns into a nightmare and all attempts to wake up end in failure. While exploring the darkest corners of his subconscious, Lloyd learns how to survive the nightmare by bending the laws of physics and manipulating the fluid fabric of the dream world. In DARQ, sound plays a very important role. There are sections of the game that take place in absolute darkness and in order to navigate the environment, Lloyd has to rely on the location of sounds.
The game is designed to be a moving artistic experience. The art style of DARQ is a juxtaposition of opposites: it combines 3d locations with 2d hand-drawn characters, beauty with horror, elegance with roughness…The beauty element becomes the means of seduction, inviting the player to enter the world of Lloyd’s nightmare. Developers of DARQ are very particular about the use of light in the game – both as a part of the overall aesthetics, as well as the main component of the gameplay. Light and shadow are almost the main character in DARQ.
The game builds tension based on the uncertainty of not knowing what to expect when switching the flashlight on and off. Lloyd is up against much stronger enemies; he has no chance of winning in an open confrontation. Instead, he has to rely on stealth and careful planning to avoid getting detected. In addition to hearing, most enemies posses good sight. That’s why sneaking by would often require switching the flashlight off.
When the light is off, it becomes crucial to listen closely to the sounds made by enemies. Faster and more irregular breathing indicates higher level of alertness, and therefore higher possibility of being detected. In DARQ, there will be numerous jump scares, however the developers of DARQ are working hard to avoid making them cheesy or conventional. A jump scare will never occur for the sake of an easy scare. It will always result from the story.
The developers have just started IndieGoGo and Steam Greenlight campaigns:
– Unique artstyle combining 2d and 3d graphics.
– Shining-like pacing
– Music written by Hollywood film composer Wlad Marhulets.
– Puzzles that involve bending the laws of physics
– Emphasis on sound – some parts of the game involve navigating the environment in complete darkness
– Randomly generated elements of the gameplay. No walkthrough is the same.
– Multiple endings, depending on the choices you make throughout your journey.
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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