Something Different: Duskwood (Game)

I don’t think that I’ve ever, in all the years I’ve had this blog, talked about a game on here. And yet, I’ve been quite fascinated by this one and somehow felt compelled to share it with all of you!

*I have not been asked to talk about this game by the developers! I am sharing these views of my own accord.*

Duskwood is a free crime and detective game available for Android and iOS. It’s been developed by an indie company (Everbyte) from Germany and I’ve had so much fun with it so far. I’m playing it in German, but it’s also available in English, Portuguese and Russian.

Basically, it’s an interactive thriller, where you have to solve a mystery through chat-based conversation, online research and some good old-fashioned match-three-interludes to “hack” the missing person’s files.

It’s been 72 hours since Hannah disappeared without a trace. Out of nowhere, her friends suddenly receive a message from the missing person’s phone. The mysterious message only contains a number… your number!

Duskwood is a small, sleepy village surrounded by dense forest. Rarely do strangers get lost in this remote area and when they do, they have always described the area as strange or even scary. The inhabitants of Duskwood have never been worried by this. But since 72 hours, many things have changed and even among them there are more and more concerns… Join a clique from Duskwood and help them find their friend Hannah. The old frightening legends of the forest seem to come alive – will you be able to find Hannah before its too late?

(all game blurbs taken from the official website)

Why Do I Like It So Much?

  • Duskwood is one of the best chat-based games I have ever played. While you obviously can’t just write whatever and have to choose from some given dialogue options, I rarely found myself forced to interact in a way that was contrary to what I wanted. All characters seem very well fleshed out and have their own style. You immediately know who you are talking to.
  • The way you choose to interact with the characters matter! It’s possible to befriend people, but also flirt with them (the amount of people who want to romance a mysterious hacker is … huge! Like there’s really just so, so many), but most importantly you should probably try to gain people’s trust and be prepared for them to talk to each other without you too.
  • I personally found the season pass, which is required to unlock certain video-calls and voice messages or other media (which you don’t need for the game, but which add to the atmosphere immensely), very cheap. So far, it’s a one-time payment, but it might change in the future into a monthly fee or something. Still, it’s not necessary to spend money if you don’t want to – the game is free!
  • It’s SO thrilling! I get nervous talking on the phone with regular people and now, getting those video-calls from strangers and seeing creepy wood cabins really get my adrenaline pumping. There’s always something new and unexpected that happens, even if you thought you started to figure things out.

Downsides?

  • This game is still in development and while I am 100% obsessed with it, there are only four episodes out so far and it takes almost two months for a new one to arrive. Patience is paramount!
  • Another point that requires some patience is the match-three-game-part. In order to progress with the story, you have to “hack” a cloud via playing some mini-grames. Most of them are easy enough, especially in the beginning, but certain levels are massively irritating and frustrating. However, this, again, just requires some patience until your lives fill back up again.

This is probably a ridiculous comparison, but to me, Duskwood is like the Dark (Netflix show) of games. It’s dark and creepy and complex and entertaining (although no time travel or parallel worlds … yet). I know some people don’t love the mini-games, but I don’t really mind them. The wait in between episodes is really the hardest part, but other than that I can’t think of anything to complain about. In fact, I am SUPER pumped for episode 5 (click here to track the developer’s progress for the new episode).

If you end up playing this game, definitely let me know! I need more friends to talk about the characters and story with!! 

Stealing Candy by Stewart Lewis (eARC Review)

Publishing: May 1, 2017
Publisher
: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 288

**I was provided with an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

When I first read the blurb, I was quite excited about the sound of Stealing Candy but unfortunately it didn’t hold up to my expectations. Candy is quite the self-centered person. From the first page on, I got a vibe from her like she thought she was better than everyone else and also that she didn’t appreciate what and who she had in her life. All she wanted was to get away from everything, but when her wish comes true, it’s not at all what she wanted … or is it?

To be kidnapped is, I imagine, a very terrifying thing to experience. Candy was scared all of two seconds, but then she was sort of happy? That’s just something that did not go into my head. She had absolutely no feeling for how much danger she was truly in and she basically regarded the whole situation as a fun adventure. All I wanted to know then was “How?!”. In addition to that, she got a closer look at one of her abductors and decided he is hot? I understand how you might hold on to the person that is treating you well in a traumatic situation like this, instead of the other guy, who beat and threatened her. Nonetheless, I would have expected her trust in him to grow over time and not for her to ponder how dreamy he looks and just be okay with how they met and his intentions for their journey. There was just no build up of them getting closer, but rather this immediate attraction, which I found odd considering the circumstances.

There were some interesting elements to this, such as the reason why Levon kidnapped her and how Candy’s famous dad played into all of it. It added mystery to it somehow. The pacing was alright too, albeit a little repetitive in terms of how they progressed on the road.

At the end, there is a change in Candy’s attitude. She opens up to people and accepts them just like she wants to be accepted, but the change was too sudden for me. I couldn’t comprehend where it was coming from exactly, it felt more like she just had to do that to come across as a better person in the end. Speaking of the end, I didn’t mind that it was quite open in terms of the romance. It seemed to be more about where Candy was in life than where she was with her relationship with Levon and I appreciated that.

Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! A difficult protagonist made it hard to relate to what was going on and why she was feeling certain ways.

Have you read any good kidnapping books that weren’t too much like thrillers? Tell me all about it!