The Dink Network

Woods (The)

From the COTPATD project.
April 29th, 2021
Score : 7.2 good
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
I'm rewriting my 2015 review of "The Woods" as I have actually gotten around to reading some of what Robert W. Chambers wrote, and because my main topic of condemnation was the download size rather than the game itself. "The King in Yellow" is actually a series of short stories set in the early 20th century that describe a mysterious French play that turns people insane upon reading. Similarly, this D-mod is also designed to turn you mad upon playing it, although that is mostly due to its design which seems to be oriented towards irritating the player more than anything else.

Upon starting, you're presented with what appears to be a standard game of Dink. Soon after walking around and talking to the familiar characters of Stonebrook, you'll quickly realise that nothing is as it seems. In typical Lovecraftian fashion, you start out in what should be a familiar and comforting world where known established rules ought to apply. It's not until you talk to the well and take a tumble down that you realise that you're somewhere very different to what was first presented to you.

From the bottom of the well, the player is presented with Cassilda's Song by a disembodied entity, with the only guidance being a trail of blood. The world of Carcosa is mysterious and unforgiving and the game will quit a lot during this time. Eventually you'll encounter the eponymous king after which the game will quit. Any attempt to play the game after this just results in a yellow screen and the game quitting.

I really wanted to enjoy "The Woods" as there's a lot of interesting variation present within it. Unfortunately, the process of encountering the king and subsequently being unable to play any further can be accomplished in just a few minutes from starting this causing you to miss out on a fair bit of what's on offer. In order to go back and do anything else, one must delete the fake save files that are used to make the game work as it does. The resultant "megabytes to minutes" ratio that it possesses is incredibly poor, and whatever novelty is provided by this save mechanic turns out to be more of an irritant rather than something that complements the experience. I hope the author does indeed continue with his stated goal of working on it further, as in its present state it feels more like fan service requiring intimate knowledge of the source material instead of something that can stand on its own.