This fast-paced action game is challenging and difficult, and frequently unfair due to player interference, but its gameplay keeps you coming back for more. The battle royale genre has taken off, with games like PlayerUnknown's Battleground and Fortnite Battle Royale often dominating livestreams; Darwin Project takes full advantage of this, adding its own twist by combining the battle royale formula with wilderness survival and presenting the whole experience as some sort of warped reality show, complete with plot twists and audience participation. The biggest X factor is the addition of the player-controlled, all-powerful Director. This omniscient overlord can turn the tide of any given match on a whim, using its abilities to help or hurt whoever it sees fit. While it seems like this can (and admittedly, sometimes does) throw off the overall balance of the game, there are certain safeguards in place to help keep Directors from abusing their power. It's not a foolproof system, relying on players' votes to rank a Director's effectiveness, but it helps.
Lots of unique features make Darwin Project stand out from the crowd. Aside from being hunted by nine other contestants and dealing with the Machiavellian antics of the Director, players also must contend with the environment's bitter cold. While crafting a fire is a quick way to keep from freezing to death, it's also a dead giveaway of your current location. Plus, every time you craft something new, you leave a glowing trail behind for a short time that others can use to track you down. All of this can actually be used to your advantage, though. For example, you can build a fire to warm up and then use the trail you leave to lure unsuspecting predators into a carefully placed bear trap. Plus, using this sort of strategy tends to stand out with the audience, and with whoever is in the role of Director ... unless your cunning ingenuity gets upstaged by some plucky underdog who suddenly finds himself gifted with invulnerability at the last minute. You see, to survive the Darwin Project, you don't just have to be good, you've got to be entertaining, as well.