I’m a coward when it comes to nightmares, so Darq’s premise of a psychological horror game set in a lucid dream was enough to make me uncomfortably squirm in my chair on its own. My brain already loves to put me through the wringer with restless dreams, so I was worried that Darq’s subject matter might be too much for me. But its somber monochromatic visuals and puzzles that bend the laws of physics were too alluring of a sirensong, and I’m glad they pulled me to play it because, even at its most bleak, Darq is beautiful.
Darq fixates on submerging you in a dreamscape and doesn’t elaborate much in the way of a backstory. There’s no initial title screen, even; instead, a decaying apartment with a boy quivering at the center. This is Darq’s protagonist, Lloyd. He’s at the mercy of his unconscious mind, desperate to wake up – but I only know even those few details from perusing Darq’s official website. The story is intentionally opaque to replicate that “fuzzy details” feeling when you try to recall a dream from memory – more thoughts and feelings, less plot and exposition – which works in its favor.
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