If you’re a regular PSLS reader, odds are you have noticed that I am drawn to puzzle games. This DARQ Complete Edition review is the fourth puzzle game I’ve covered for the site in only three months. Add on a couple others I picked up on the Switch, and yep, I definitely have a thing for making my brain hurt.
DARQ Complete Edition Review – DARQ Dimensions
DARQ is the story of Lloyd, a young boy who becomes cognizant of his dream state. Our goal is to guide Lloyd through his nightmares so that he may finally wake up. To do so, we’ll need to master the increasingly twisted and topsy-turvy puzzles keeping us imprisoned. There is no tutorial; through trial and error I learned how to manipulate this world of greys. The first interesting tool in Lloyd’s belt is his ability to Wall Walk. Since this is a dream world, when Lloyd approaches a wall he can walk along, he presses his hands against it to give us the signal. Press X to shift onto the wall. He can also walk “down” holes if there is a solid wall attached to the floor you are standing on. He’ll do this naturally, which threw me off the first time I did it.
One of the coolest aspects of DARQ Complete Edition using levers to shift positions. These don’t show up until a little later in the game, but when they do they bring a whole new dimension to the experience. Instead of a floor/ceiling combination, I could now shift Lloyd forward and backwards. I absolutely loved changing perspectives and feeling more like I could explore a true three dimensional space. If Lloyd could Wall Walk, it only made sense that he should be able to use every available surface in an interior setting.
DARQ Complete Edition includes both DLC chapters, The Tower and The Crypt. I started dabbling with both, but so far I think I prefer The Crypt with its gory other-dimensional shifting and severed heads. Although, I am just realizing as I type this that both of these add-ons start out with disembodied heads and wondering if maybe the creator has a phobia of losing his…
DARQ Complete Edition Review – What Lurks in the DARQ
Atmospheric horror games like DARQ lend themselves well to jump scares. Oftentimes games in this genre tend to put in too many, cheapening their effect. Not DARQ. Each scare is meaningful and leaves a lasting impression. But never did I end a level thinking there were too many or two few scary moments. This isn’t Silent Hill, after all.
Each stage has useful items hidden within, and as with most games in this genre you will do some backtracking or revisit rooms. Thing is you never know what may have changed when you go back. Most of the time this means Junji Ito-esque enemies are on the hunt. Lloyd can sneak around on his tiptoes with Circle if you spot enemies in your path. Sometimes there are hiding spots he can climb or duck into with a quick tap of your interaction button.
In the core DARQ chapters, only one puzzle really annoyed me. While I understand the meaning behind it, I could have done without the labyrinth puzzle. It takes a lot to make me feel dizzy, but that one got my head spinning. Took me three attempts to get a handle on rotating the puzzle while the screen spun Lloyd around and I am not generally not sensitive to that kind of movement. That puzzle was the only one I have encountered that could potentially trigger a photosensitive event.
Because I’m much more inclined to play these sorts of puzzle platformers on a console over computer, DARQ has been in various wishlists of mine for some time. I’m honestly glad that I waited for the chance to play this on my PS5, not only because my old laptop couldn’t have handled it, but I feel that this complete edition is a polished final version and everything the developers wanted it to be. It runs smooth as silk, autosaves frequently, those scary moments have more impact when I witness them on a TV over a computer screen. DARQ Complete Edition has been such a positive experience for me that I’m excited to see what Unfold Games does next.
DARQ Complete Edition review code provided by publisher. Version 1.002 reviewed on PlayStation 5. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.