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Darwinia (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

In Introversion's second sci-fi computer-themed game, you once again find yourself as a hacker. Unlike Uplink, however, Darwinia focuses on the world inside the computer rather than our own.

Cruising around the net, you stumble into a mysterious computer network called Darwinia, the brainchild of the barely sane genius Dr. Sepulveda. Darwinia is what amounts to a Jurassic Park for programs; small sprites called Darwinians evolve and adapt to their digital environment as its maintainers watch. But despite the fact that you're not supposed to be in the system, Dr. Sepulveda has no choice but to enlist your help. A deadly virus has taken over the system, and in order to save not only billions of dollars of research but also the simulated lives of the Darwinians, you will need to take command of the computer.

Played inside a fractal-generated world inspired by retro arcade games as well as films like Tron, Darwinia requires you to take strategic command of various program-generated units to protect the Darwinians as well as engage in fast and furious action combating the virus with soldiers.

Screenshots

Darwinia Windows The task manager where you can execute processes, start research and view the objectives.
Darwinia Windows Virii have infected the land, you need to create squads to take them out.
Darwinia Windows Tower view
Darwinia Windows The overview map with different locations. You have to secure portals to access new areas.

Alternate Titles

  • "达尔文" -- Chinese title (simplified)
  • "Дарвиния" -- Russian spelling
  • "Future War" -- Working title
  • "Darwinia: A digital dreamscape" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Daerwen" -- Chinese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

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The Press Says

Entertainmentopia Nov 14, 2005 A 100
GameZone Jul 26, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Dec, 2005 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
FOK!games Mar 18, 2005 88 out of 100 88
Gameguru Mania Jul 17, 2005 86 out of 100 86
GameSpot Aug 25, 2005 8.5 out of 10 85
JeuxVideoPC.com Nov 17, 2005 17 out of 20 85
PC Action Jan 24, 2006 76 out of 100 76
Digital Entertainment News (den) Oct 27, 2006 6.5 out of 10 65
Game Revolution Jun 28, 2006 C+ 58

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Darwinia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Inspiration

Similarly to how Introversion's previous game, Uplink, had several references and inspirations from hacker movies of the 80s and early 90s, Darwinia's art direction is also drawn from film, specifically Tron.

Loaders

The game has different unique loaders every time it is started, with references to The Matrix, Cannon Fodder and the ancient Spectrum platform. The fodder loader for example, shows the message "This game is not in any way endorsed by SENSIBLE SOFTWARE". Sensible Software, the developer of the Cannon Fodder games, had the message "This game is not in any way endorsed by the ROYAL BRITISH LEGION" when starting the game.

Release

There was a last minute problem before the Steam release. The Valve guys ran into Darwinia's "Cracked by DMA Crew" bootloader and actually thought some hackers had compromised the build they were releasing, while it just was an inside joke. Ultimately, the release went as planned.

Unused virus model

A giant tripod virus model was created but never used in the main game. It is available in the map editor, however, which is unlocked upon the campaign's completion.

Awards

  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2006 - Wannabe Retro Game of 2005
Information also contributed by Zack Green.

Related Web Sites

  • Darwinia (Official website)
  • Darwinia (Darwinia Wikipedia article)
  • Developer Interview (AllAboutGames interviews Introversion Software's Chris Delay about Darwinia.)
  • Grok These Games (An Apple Games article about two games offered by independent developers, including Darwinia (May, 2005).)
  • TheNextGame (One of the earliest fan site for the game, with exclusive content first looks. Now hosting mods for Darwinia.)
Darksun (14) added Darwinia (Windows) on Feb 28, 2005
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (120581) and Darksun (14)