The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004

Game Reviews 42 RPGs 55 Arcade 34 Puzzle 18 Platform 10 Strategy
Sections QB News Site Archives Game Guides Our Projects Entertainment Awards QB Links
Interact QB Chatroom Mailing List Submissions Link to Us Job Openings

Dark Woods 2
(BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast)

"Where Riches are the Doorway to Death or Reason"
2002 QB Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Puzzle Game

The Dark Woods are an entrancing and dangerous place, inviting those who are too arrogant and greedy to find it's golden treasures and magical artifacts, hidden in a maze of trees and mist. You are one of those poor souls drawn in to it's allure-- and now, there is only one way to escape!

Use your sword, arrows, and walls of fire to pave your way to hidden passages containing the treasures that you seek. But be careful! Orcs and trolls thirst for blood nearly as much as you thirst for wealth. 

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The original version of Dark Woods 2, which was made by Jocke the Beast, featured ASCII graphics with a little bit of color. The Dark Woods 2 graphical remake throws the old style completely out the window by combining some graphic tilesets with new, miniaturized animated enemies and special effects, all optimized to keep the gameplay of the original Dark Woods 2 while introducing fresh, RPG-like graphics. BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast collaborated very well for this part of Dark Woods 2.

The particle effects and animations featured in the Dark Woods 2 graphical remake are all welcome additions to the game. However, I did notice that some of the graphics don't quite match up to the actions the game wants to convey. When you swing your sword, it looks nothing like swinging a sword. When you're making flame walls, it looks more like you're making a campfire. Also, when the game gets particularly intense, slowdown does rear it's head a bit (but not to the point where it detracts from Dark Wood 2's gameplay). Even if it didn't match though, the special effects are still well-done. 

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A In this game, the Dark Woods are infested with orcs and trolls, but free of sound or music.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
Dark Woods 2 is best described as on overhead RPG/Puzzle game with more emphasis on puzzle game elements than RPG elements. You play the role of an adventurer seeking treasure and magical items guarded by orcs and trolls. It's this lust for wealth and power that draws you into the Dark Woods, armed only with a sword and some knowledge of how to use mana.

The strange thing about Dark Woods 2, and this introduces the puzzle aspect of the game, is the way the enemies move. The enemies walk only when you take a step; in the orc's case the movement is random, and in the troll's case, it's directly after you. That means to reach treasure, keys, and other vital items, you need to either fight these bad guys, or use their unusual attack pattern to somehow dodge them.

This is where Dark Woods 2's unusual control system pops in. To use your sword, you have to hold the spacebar, then tap the arrow keys to swing the sword in the desired direction while still holding down the spacebar. If you're not holding down the spacebar, tapping the arrow keys will move your character in the direction tapped.

In addition to the sword, mana and arrows can sometimes be picked up in the map, allowing you to cast fire walls and shoot arrows. These extra items come in handy when fighting trolls, since your sword has no effect against these red monstrosities.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) Despite all the medevil elements, Dark Woods 2 does not feature any storyline. The intention of the game is to pull you in quickly and get you hooked while you're trying to figure out the game's control system and layout, as opposed to getting enthralled by a storyline that gradually builds.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Here's where my problems with Dark Woods 2 rest. The graphics do a good job of updating between stages, but usually with an RPG/Puzzle type game, new types of creatures or challenges are introduced as the levels progress. The first level pretty much teaches you the fundamentals of beating any other level in this game; grab the treasure, beat the orcs, then beat the trolls.  Perhaps some new enemies or magic spells in the later levels would have helped to stir up something for this game, especially since it does come with a downloadable map-maker.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Dark Woods 2 only features two kinds of creatures, all with a rather predictable AI that can be avoided or destroyed as long as you can keep your enemies separated into small groups. This is easier said than done, of course, and there will be more than one instance where you'll be running around the map trying to avoid foes you can't strike down with your sword.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast completed their mission in Dark Woods 2 when it came to making a successful graphical remake. The graphics are respectable and up-to-snuff with what's expected of a QB game, while offering a little more to keep your eyes nice and happy. The game does need to pull in gamers a little faster; perhaps a tutorial mode of sorts would help accomplish this. But should you begin to understand the gameplay of Dark Woods 2, you'll be generously rewarded. It may be a one-time journey, but it's quite satisfying from beginning to end.

Dark Woods 2 Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing/Puzzle Game
Rating To solve: 1 hour Final Rating: 10/35

To download Dark Woods 2 (288KB), click here.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
wTo play Dark Woods 2, unzip the file and run "GFXWOODS.EXE".

Back to RPG Page
Back to Puzzle Games Page

Game Summary
Coding Group
BlueSckR and Jocke the Beast
Homepage URL
Final Rating
10 out of 35 points

The Highs: Downloadable map editor keeps the fun going after you beat all the game levels.
The Lows: Because of the limited creature types, there aren't a lot of surprises as the game goes on.

V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.

Site Highlights
2004 QB Gaming Gold Awards Almost Set To Begin!
Get ready for this year's Gaming Golds! After a long hiatus, this year promises to be one of the biggest galas in the history of the QB world. Who will take home the gold this year?

Site Watch
Pete's QBasic Site
The original king of QB reviews is back with a vengeance! Check out the new and improved version of his website and don't forget to upload your latest QB projects to Pete's new download section!

Antz Entertainment
GBGames QBasic
HyperRealistic Games
Jocke the Beast
Pete's QBasic Site
Pickers Games Website
Piptol Productions
Programmer's Heaven
QB Colony
QB Chronicles
QB: Cult Magazine
QBasic/QuickBasic News
QBasic Contest
Statto Software


QBasicNews.comGBGames QB Game Review SiteStattoNet (Links/Site Reviews)Antz EntertainmentQB Top 50QBRPG Top 50The Hulla-Balloo NetworkQB45 (Future Software)