“The game breaks its own rules all the time which puts the player in the state of constant uncertainty and anticipation. “
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.
Apart from gravity-defying puzzles, Lloyd will have to use stealth when around enemies. He has no chance of winning in an open confrontation, since the creatures he will encounter are much more powerful and faster than him. Instead, he has to rely on careful planning to avoid getting detected.
Jump scares in DARQ serve one purpose: they help establish that in a dream world anything can happen at any time. However, this isn't a game that is all about jump scares. Quite the contrary, they rarely occur. DARQ is more about building tension and anticipation in between jump scares. Once the player knows that a jump scare could happen, they are more likely to stay on the edge of their seats for a very long time.
The game is designed to be a moving artistic experience. Elegance is the key word in DARQ's art direction - it serves as a means of seduction, or an invitation for the player to step in and develop and emotional connection with the experience as they progress. The goal is to make the player like being there, even though being there involves facing their fears.
While still in development, DARQ won THE BEST OF THE MIX Award at the Mix event at PAX West 2018.