Darwinia is the second game to come out of Introversion, the first being a game titled Uplink. The name Darwinia is not a reference to biological evolution, but rather a reference to the evolution of the digital characters, the single-poly Darwinians.
In Darwinia, you are tasked to save the world of Darwinia. A digital world inhabited by evolving little AIs called Darwinians. When you arrive the world has been attacked by a virus, which is consuming and deleting decades of work. It is up to you to save the single-poly inhabitants, and restore peace to Darwinia.
It is hard to put a label on Darwinia, as it has elements from action, strategy, hacker, puzzle and God games. The graphic style is also quite unique, with the retro style mixed in colorful 3D.
To defeat the virus, you need to use the only means of defense Darwinia has. The combat program, which was intended to be used as a simple mini-game, letting visitors have some fun, can be used to run programs. This is what you do. You start out with a simple Task Manager, in which you can run a few programs. As the game progresses, and you upgrade systems, you can run different programs, and more programs at once.
Most levels task you with saving a certain number of Darwinians, as well as other objectives. All levels are briefed by Doctor Sepulveda, the creator of Darwinia.
These green little fellows are the heart of Darwinia. The culmination of Dr. Sepulvedas work, they have been evolving for thousands of generations. They have free will, and can therefore not be directly controlled. They also start out unarmed, but can be upgraded during the game. Before that they run screaming from any danger. With the laser upgrade they fire at enemies, using a hit-and-run tactic. Can also be upgraded with grenades, which they will fire now and then.
They can use certain buildings.
These are Darwinians who are upgraded with a special program, making them controllable, and also able to give orders to other Darwinians. They do not take up space in your Task Manager, except when installed. Easily spotted by their big yellow bodies and waving flag.
The orders you can make them give are GOTO, FOLLOW and ABSORB. Any Darwinian nearby will follow the order given. Absorb sacrifices nearby Darwinians to generate a protective shield around the officer.
This is your basic soldier unit. Their primary weapon are lasers, while their secondary weapon can be grenades, rockets or airstrike beacons.
Starting out with three units in one squad, they can be upgraded to have six. Only one squad can be controlled at once, but more can be on the map. All weapons can be upgraded with better range, except the Airstrike, which increase in power adding more bombers instead.
Laser: The default weapon, which is effective against Virii, Red Darwinians, and Centipedes, but more or less useless against other enemies. Must be fired in order to use secondary weapons.
Grenade: The first secondary weapon you unlock, they are effective against almost all the enemies. Especially effective against groups of enemies. The grenades are lobbed, and takes two seconds to blow up. This, in addition to the fact that they are effected by gravity, they can be difficult to be used right. Throwing them up a hill might end up in blowing up your squad, while throwing them downhill gives you better range.
Rocket: Rockets are really effective against any enemy, but they are also effective against your own squads. Without the range upgrade, they do not travel far, and they are as dangerous to you as your enemies. They explode when hitting terrain, and so they can easily hit your squads.
Airstrike: The most powerful secondary weapon. When fired, your squad lobs markers which shows where the airstrike should hit. Then hit-and-run bombers enter the map, flying over the mark and drops a payload. You first have only one bomber, but can be upgraded to four. The bombers use some time to reach the target, and their aim can be a bit off.
The utility unit. These units are used to reprogram buildings and collecting the souls of fallen troops. The red soul of the virii and the green soul of the Darwinians can be picked up, put in a incubator, which makes new Darwinians. This unit is slow, has no weapons, but can move over water.
An APC like vehicle, this can be used to transport Darwinians through rough land and over water. It has no weapons, and if it is destroyed, all Darwinians inside dies. The armoour can spawn battle cannons, but can only be spawned though trunk ports.
The Armour can be reformed into a Battle Cannon if it is placed on level ground. This is a stationary four-barreled turret. Requiring Darwinians to be of any use, it can easily be rendered useless. Up to four Darwinians can man one Cannon, making all turrets in use. The Cannon has a max and min range. It can be manually controlled if at least one Darwinian operates it. Cannot be moved or deleted, so it must be destroyed if not needed anymore. The Cannons can be used by enemy Darwinians, and so it is dangerous to leave one unmanned. Does not take up Task Bar space.
The product of the virus released into Darwinia. All enemies are red, and attack Darwinians or troops on sight. They all drop souls, which can be used to create new Darwinians.
The first enemy encountered, and the most common enemy in the game. Resembling flat snakes made out of triangles, they rarely stray from a
specific spot. Not that dangerous by themselves, but seeing as they are usually not alone, they should be dealt with cautiously. These enemies pursue hostile units to death, even across water.
:The same as Virii, but these have grown larger and threedimensional. Crushing any hostile units in their paths, they are quite dangerous. Not so much alone, but when attacked they break up into smaller, faster versions. If these get the chance to eat souls they can grow into big Centipedes.
Usually floating above clumps of Virii, these jellyfishes lay eggs. Unable to attack, laying eggs are its sole purpose. When these eggs are fertilized by virii carrying souls, they hatch several Virii. This makes them very annoying, as no laser can harm them. Explosives are needed, and they must be attacked several times before dying.
Jumping enemies capable of crushing large squads. Cannot be harmed by lasers, so only upgraded squads can harm them. Can also lay eggs like Spore Generators.
Plants capable of shooting eggs over long distances. These eggs can hatch into anything from Virii to Spiders or even other Triffids. Having no other means of attack or defense, they can be easily destroyed when getting close. Explosives are needed though, and they will attempt to fire several eggs as they are destroyed.
These ants gladly carry of souls or even Darwinians back to their colony to make more ants. Mindlessly attacking anyone close enough, an all out war often turns into their advantage due to them making more Ants.
More or less the same as fully upgraded Darwinians, only evil. Can operate buildings and often mobs spawn points in order to overwhelm you.
The hardest and most dangerous enemy in the game. Soul Destroyers fly around like dragons, attacking anything anything they see. These actually permanently kill Darwinians, leaving behind a ghost instead of the souls (this has no real effect to the game compared to other deaths, but is viewed as more tragic to the characters). Can be destroyed by a well timed rocket, which usually kills the squad attacking it, or by using cannons.
In the final level, Dr. Sepulveda has managed to identify the source of the virus. Spam mail he had on his computer. The Darwinians had managed to connect to an open connection, and had downloaded loads of mail when they arrived to the Spam Mail folder. Several of these emails contained viruses, corrupting the Darwinians and Turing into the virii you have battled against. Some of these mails are still active, and need to be destroyed. They can only be destroyed by explosives. They cannot move, but shoot out beams which destroy units, corrupt Darwinians and spawn more enemies.
A three-legged unit similar to the Spore Generator, which shoots laser at a short distance. Cannot fly like the Spore Generator, but it does seek enemies from a distance.
Controls the connected building. Can be reprogrammed by Engineers, making the building connected yours.
Creates new Darwinians if Souls are put in. Use engineers to collect souls from fallen enemies and Darwinians and bring them back to incubators.
Teleports units to another Radar Dish. Both structures must be aimed at each other in order to function. If the connection is broken for whatever reason, all Darwinians and programs traveling through it die instantly.
Connects parts of Darwinia together, and is usually needed to be turned on to finish a level. The only location APCs can spawn through.
Darwinians arrive here, without needing souls. Highly contested between green and red Darwinians in the last few levels.
Used to build Armours.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP
- Processor: 600MHz CPU
- Memory: 128 MB RAM
- Graphics: DX7 compatible
- OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
- Processor: Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz+
- Memory: 1GB of RAM
- Graphics: 64MB of video memor