A Hardcore Fantasy Game Becomes One Of The Most Played Titles On Steam With Its Demo Alone

by bhernardo
Image via IRONMACE

Adventuring through dungeon games never seen to go out of fashion, no matter how many titles have been released and loved by players in the past. Now, Dark and Darker is the “unforgiving hardcore” adventure game of this kind that’s taken Steam by storm, even though its release is only coming in the later months of 2023.

Fortunately for fans of the genre, the Dark and Darker playtest was released on Feb. 6 as a game demo, and it will be available for free for anyone on Steam until Feb. 13, when the playtest period will be over and the game will be disabled. That way, players can experience the first moments of the game ahead of its release, which will still take a few months to come.

The demo version has, at the time of writing, almost 94,000 concurrent players on Steam, according to stats site SteamDB. That’s enough to become the #11 most-played game on the platform and snag a top spot from games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Rust, and War Thunder.

Screenshot via SteamDB

The greatest appeal of Dark and Darker to some fans—aside from the Dungeons and Dragons vibe of spells, warriors, and monsters—is its blend of combats against computer-controlled opponents and real players. While exploring dungeons, you and your other two allies will have to loot chests and enemies to grow stronger, but it can all be in vain once you run into another team of real players that destroy your party. If you’re defeated by these other real players, you lose all your loot and they can keep it all, making you respawn in the dungeon with nothing but your base gear, if any.

Your goal is to collect loot, survive, and escape the dungeon before all other players, which makes Dark and Darker a mix of battle royale games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends with the extraction-shooter twist like Escape from Tarkov. Once you do that, you can sell your loot to the merchant to face the harder levels of the game in future attempts.

How to Play The Dark and Darker Playtest of February 2023

To join this huge number of fans in Dark and Darker, you must log into your Steam account and check the game’s page in the Store tab. The first square under the featured images carrousel will read “Download Dark and Darker Demo” with a huge Download button. Click it, and the demo will be added into your Steam library and start downloading.

Remember that the demo version of Dark and Darker will not be available forever. The February 2023 playtest ends on Feb. 13.

- This article was updated on February 6th, 2023