Darwinia PC

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 129
  2. Negative: 17 out of 129
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  1. JanS.
    Jan 7, 2007
    3
    While I really like some of the design touches, the gameplay is - quite frankly - broken. It's a tedious task to eliminate those virus infestations in endless dataspaces and the pathfinding is just frustrating. It's like Introversion didn't care if their game was actually fun to play. The premise and setting might be fantastic but gameplay has to work.
  2. Ross
    May 12, 2006
    4
    I just cannot see what all the jumping up and down is for. All these 8's and 9's, for a game where you cannot actually fail? Where is the challenge in that? To me it was just a fairly entertaining way to pass several tens of hours doing exactly the same thing over and over. In the end I got bored and it now just languishes morosely in my steam window. If you want existentialism I just cannot see what all the jumping up and down is for. All these 8's and 9's, for a game where you cannot actually fail? Where is the challenge in that? To me it was just a fairly entertaining way to pass several tens of hours doing exactly the same thing over and over. In the end I got bored and it now just languishes morosely in my steam window. If you want existentialism with decent challenging gameplay, go download Mistake of Pythagoras mod for Half Life 2. Its free and actually worth dedicating hours of your life to. Expand
  3. JeffreyS.
    Aug 16, 2008
    2
    Unique but not worth buying.
  4. Jan 28, 2012
    4
    In the first five minutes, you will realize that this game offers close to zero instruction on how to play, and its in-story help mode/tutorial are deplorable examples thereof. Then, about 30 minutes into the game you will realize that the path finding is probably the absolute worst in any game you have ever played. The controls and operational methods are so inadequate and poor that youIn the first five minutes, you will realize that this game offers close to zero instruction on how to play, and its in-story help mode/tutorial are deplorable examples thereof. Then, about 30 minutes into the game you will realize that the path finding is probably the absolute worst in any game you have ever played. The controls and operational methods are so inadequate and poor that you will wonder if this is the result of a bug (or many bugs), or even if the game has been installed correctly. Proceeding past the second mission without help is impossible. Because Darwinia does not explain itself to the player, you will be forced to search on Google for help and explanations, as this is the only way to make sense out of this presentational disaster. Further, because many aspects of the game are obscured by terrible presentation choices, you will feel as if the game does not allow you to play it. You will not know how to do several things that are required to achieve many of the mission objectives, thanks to the developer's choice in being vague and uninformative. The goals in Darwinia are explained so badly, that once again, I imagine that this portion of the game is also among the worst in any game I have played. The developers clearly did not have any care in designing a game that is intuitive, user friendly, and enjoyable. The feeling is that Darwinia is simply not complete, nor is it fully operable by the user. It is as if there are numerous amounts of game play that were not done to completeness, leaving the player at a loss and in frustration. In addition to the aforementioned problems, you can not save during a mission. The game does all the saving for you, after you complete each mission objective and at other seemingly random moments. This means, that you sometimes have to restart a mission from the very beginning, if something does not go according to plan. This is totally unacceptable. If the rest of the game was better suited, this saving problem would not bother me as much. The responsiveness of your units is atrocious. Ordering the units and Darwinians around is quite problematic, as they simply do not respond as they should, nor are they very useful to your commands. The processes required to order them around are tedious, slow, and unresponsive. They have such a difficult time maneuvering around the map, it's disgruntling. These shortcomings are so major, that enjoying the game as a whole is an arduous chore as you progress through the missions. Slowly, as you learn to endure Darwinia's league of problems, there are minor and sparse hints of quality gaming behind it all. Achieving the mission objectives as you hurdle past the developmental shortcomings and obstacles can give the player feelings of accomplishment and relief, since Darwinia is so inefficient and unfriendly. After all, this takes more work than it is fun. The creativity from the developers is undeniably present. The plot and storyline are original, going along well with the artwork and aesthetic style. Each map is basic, but they do have their stylistic charms. The missions can be repetitive, but at least they make sense in relation to the story. Unfortunately for the developers, creativity does not equal a quality product. There is a serious and widely known bug that will not allow you to deploy new units to the map, and the only way around it is to quit and restart the game. There are also some placement glitches that mysteriously do not allow you to deploy units. Darwinia is all about being an annoyance, a bother, a bore; a game with severe flaws that barely works or provides the player with anything remotely enjoyable. It is an incredibly tedious and inconvenient game. You will be spending your time and money better elsewhere. Expand
  5. Apr 1, 2012
    3
    There is almost no instruction on how to play the game, you have to do that from google. The pathfinding is just about the worst i have ever seen in a game. The graphics are boring, the enemies are seemingly endless and infuriating on the later levels...the levels, which all seem to blend together in repetition, are boring and offer nothing new. The combat is bland and boring. ANotherThere is almost no instruction on how to play the game, you have to do that from google. The pathfinding is just about the worst i have ever seen in a game. The graphics are boring, the enemies are seemingly endless and infuriating on the later levels...the levels, which all seem to blend together in repetition, are boring and offer nothing new. The combat is bland and boring. ANother problem i had with it is that they made the same button to select a unit as the button to move a unit... Strategy 101 mistake. Never buying an Introversion game again. Terrible, just terrible game. Expand
  6. Dec 16, 2015
    4
    I first saw this game in 2005, after someone told me there is an RTS with decent looks which only weights 1.5MB. Indeed it was so small, due to absence of textures and usage of "procedurally generated" graphics or something instead, which look stylish and very original. Unfortunately my experience at that time ended right in the first mission because I didn't know how to complete it andI first saw this game in 2005, after someone told me there is an RTS with decent looks which only weights 1.5MB. Indeed it was so small, due to absence of textures and usage of "procedurally generated" graphics or something instead, which look stylish and very original. Unfortunately my experience at that time ended right in the first mission because I didn't know how to complete it and the "help" system gave no clues.

    10 years later, in 2015 I got this game inside a bundle together with Prison Architect from the same dev (Prison Architect is a very good game btw). So, now, again, I almost got stuck in the 1st mission. Luckily I then guessed that you need to capture some satellite dishes (or something, the graphics are pretty low-polygonal) by placing an engineer next to it. And to go to a different island - since you can't send squads there because they don't walk over water - you need to delete a squad, then create a new one near a satellite dish on a different island. And - engineers walk over water and get to that dish... ok. This time I completed the first mission and got stuck in the second one because I don't know how to transport a flock of darwinians over water. And I ran out of patience because it took me half an hour to guess why red snakes keeps respawning (you need to kill a big red egg-laying spider with grenades or something - normal shots don't seem to hit it? the presentation was very unclear). That basically sums up my experience with the game.

    Pros:
    - great unique graphical style
    - pleasing music
    - nice intro scenes at the beginning of the game (one of them is a "game of life" simulation well-known to programmers and mathematicians; another says the game was cracked by a hacker which it's not since I got it on Steam..)
    - intriguing story

    Cons:
    - terrible tutorial, nothing is explained -> which alone makes the game unplayable for the vast majority of players and would actually make this game worth 0/10. Yet, judging from other reviews, also ones I read on professional websites, I still think that's it's me who is dumb and there is tons of gameplay which I wasn't patient/clever enough to get to. I'm pretty damn sure I represent the majority though
    - non-existent pathfinding (basically, units can only walk in straight lines, and if there is something in the way which they can't walk thru - they will keep pushing into that obstacle forever)
    - awkward camera system, with mouse wheel zooming in/out working in reverse (!), with no way to reconfigure that
    - unique but awkward unit selection/creation/ordering/combat system
    - units walk too slow over huge landscapes, no way to speed up the game
    - no save/reload

    Overall, this game is more of "look how much we can stuff into 1.5MB" rather than a product for real people. I doubt they even tested this game on anyone outside their office. If you get it in a bundle for $1 or less - fine, it's worth a look for its originality. But most likely you won't be able to play it due to the described issues.
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Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. The graphics in Darwinia while a throwback to times past, are superb.
  2. In plain English, don’t ask, "What’s it like?"- Just buy it, play it, and spread the word to anyone you know who’s a gamer about it by any legal means necessary.
  3. 75
    It has a completely unique style, both in the audio, sound and gameplay departments that cannot be easily compared to anything else.