Actually, I don't like horror games very much, and when I came across this game, it didn't interest me much because when I saw DARQ's in-game photos, it was pretty scary to me. The game has a very dark and constricting atmosphere, but the puzzles and the creatures you encounter are exciting so you don't get bored while playing. DARQ is an indie game and if I remember correctly, it is a game developed by only one game developer. According to only one developer, the game is really impressive because the graphics and level design of the game are perfect.
DARQ's story is unclear. Our character is a little boy, his name is Lloyd. Those who follow my game reviews have noticed that these days, I am very interested in dream-themed and supernatural games, and DARQ is one of these games. The game actually looks like 2D, but the gameplay is 3D. We move forward by going left and right and there is no jump button in the game, only a stealth button, which is used for the stealth feature in the game.
As a different game mechanic, we can climb walls and ceilings with the space key. Yes, it is surprising, but since we are actually playing the game in Lloyd's dream, we should not be surprised because the laws of physics and gravity are completely ignored in our character's dreams. When we start the game, we first start at our house, we visit all the rooms, but the only thing that can be clicked is our bed. We click on the bed and sleep.
After going to bed, there is a slight earthquake and as if he is astral traveling, the soul of our character leaves his body and the environment changes completely. Our bed, the other rooms, the house completely disappear and we start the game in completely different and creepy places. You have to carefully examine each room and environment in the game because in all rooms there may be a useful object or a puzzle that we need to solve to complete the level.
As you can understand from the name, there is a dark and gloomy atmosphere in the game, everywhere we enter is dark. As we walk through the rooms, creepy creatures suddenly attack us. We cannot respond with these attacks because there is no attack mechanic in the game, we can only hide from enemies using stealth.
By the way, do not forget to check the game controls in the settings before starting the game because the game does not provide you with any tutorials and does not teach you mechanics, you learn to play by trial and error. This was really annoying, I couldn't do anything in the game for a few minutes as I didn't know the mechanics of walking on walls and ceilings.
DARQ's level designs and puzzles are really impressive and difficult. In addition, every time you start a new level, you encounter new puzzles and new puzzle mechanics. The puzzles are quite difficult, but the most difficult thing is the mechanics of solving the puzzles, because the game does not teach you new mechanics added in new levels.
As for the puzzles, what we had to do to complete the section in the first level was to find four gears and place these gears in the puzzle and door mechanisms. We also had to solve many puzzles while searching for these gears. My favorite puzzle was the Symbol Puzzle.
To get to the symbol puzzle, we needed to find a key symbol. While walking in the game, sometimes there is no continuation of the path, so by using the walking mechanism on the wall, we do not fall to the ground and at the same time we can discover what is happening in that space.
When we enter the room where the key is, we first need to place a gear in the mechanism in front of us to get the key, in order to place this gear, we need to have at least one of the four gears in the previous rooms. When we place the gear in the mechanism, we need to solve the puzzle to get the key symbol. This puzzle was actually an easy puzzle, but took some time to solve.
After getting the key, we walk through the walls, find secret passages and move on to my favorite puzzle, the symbol puzzle. To start this puzzle, we put the key symbol in the mechanism and the puzzle begins. The puzzle asks us for 6 symbols, they are:
- Key symbol
- Death symbol
- Ankh symbol
- Eye symbol
- Death symbol
- Key symbol
First, we insert the key symbol, so that the hammer in the key mechanism hits the button of the key symbol and we complete the puzzle of the key symbol, which is the 1st symbol out of 6 symbols.
Then, for the death symbol, we go up to the right wall of the room and let the hammer hit the death button on the right. Thus, we complete the second symbol.
We move on to the 3rd symbol, the Ankh symbol. Since the Ankh symbol button is on the ceiling, we go to the wall on the right again and then walk on the ceiling and wait for the hammer to hit the Ankh symbol button.
After that we move on to the eye symbol. The symbol puzzle continues like this. This episode was difficult to play, but once you understood the logic, it was a simple puzzle. I hope I was able to explain the puzzle because it is a very, very difficult puzzle to explain.
Then the closed door in the room opens and we find the gear we need in the opened room. We need to find the remaining 2 gears and go to the main gear room and place these gears, but there are 2 lamp women in the other room where the gears are located, and if we are caught by these women, they shoot us with an electric gun and kill us. In this section we need to use the stealth feature. If they see us while the lamp women's lamps are on, they will kill us and the chapter will start again from the checkpoint, but when the lamps turn off, we can move forward and get the gears.
After getting the gears, we have to run immediately to the mechanism room, place the 3 gears and complete the level. Actually, we need to hurry in this section because the lamp women follow us after stealing the gears. When we place the 3 gears in the mechanism, a new door opens and we complete the first level by exiting the door.
At the beginning of each new level, we start in our normal house and again we go to bed and sleep, we astral travel and our soul leaves our body, places and rooms change, the game continues in this way, but the puzzles of the next levels are really great. There is no jumpscare in the game, but I suggest you turn down the volume of the game as much as possible because very sudden loud sounds can scare you.
Although DARQ looks scary and weird, it didn't scare me much, but I can say that I was quite restless while playing the game. You can finish it in one sitting as the gameplay time is around 2-3 hours. I think it is a very good game for those who like this kind of games.