Oakwood is a game that looks like it has taken all the horror elements of the Jurassic Park movies and distilled them into a game. The indie first-person survival horror experience has been co-developed by studios Breaking Dimensions and Polygon Dust, who bring the combined experience of working on games such as Slender: The Arrival, and Valley.

oakwood sign

What is it about flashlights in games always being utter trash?

For reasons possibly explored in the game, temporally confused dinosaurs have made a home in the forests of British Columbia. As a walking bag of fleshy dino-treats, the player must avoid the dinosaurs, rather than confront and ride them, ARK-style, although that probably won’t stop a lot of people from trying. Much of the gameplay will revolve around hiding, running, and outsmarting the suspiciously featherless fiends. Also, remembering to turn your flashlight off when hiding.

oakwood t rex

The environment looks a bit sparse here, but I guess brush density isn’t at the front of your mind at this point.

The influences of Slender: The Arrival is clear in Oakwood. Although there is some voice-over, most of the story will be uncovered in the environment. Slender: The Arrival made ample use of notes and other visual clues about what has transpired before the player arrives. In Oakwood, the player arrives late at a hastily abandoned campground and has to find their missing friends (I sure do wonder if the Dinosaurs are related). Judging by the trailer, we will at the very least get to feast our eyes on Raptors, T-Rex(es?), and an acid-spitting lizard (also known as a Dilophosaurus).

Oakwood will come out on Steam PC on December 4th.


Quick Take

Indie horror survival games are a dime a dozen, but I hope this manages to set itself apart a bit with good environmental storytelling and, well, dinosaurs. Because dinosaurs are cool.

More About This Game

Marcus Hansson

Staff Writer

Marcus wants three things: to make fat coin writing cool stuff, to play games, and to find a piece of cardboard that fits neatly under the short leg of his desk. He's been making stuff up since 2006, which happens to be the year David Bowie thanked Marcus for writing all his songs.