In this historical investigation game set in the immediate postwar period, players expose the crimes of the Nazi era and ensure justice.

Berlin-based developer studio Paintbucket Games announces the arrival of “The Darkest Files,” the spiritual successor of their award-winning Nazi resistance game “Through the Darkest of Times.” The game is currently under development and is expected to be released in 2023 for PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. A demo version will be available to play at this year’s gamescom in the Indie Arena.
In “The Darkest Files,” players take on the role of Esther Katz, a young prosecutor living in West Germany in the 1950s. She is part of the team around the Frankfurt Attorney General Fritz Bauer. As Esther, players investigate crimes committed by former Nazi officials, collect evidence, question witnesses and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice. The game leads players on a gripping, emotional journey through the crimes and dark times of the Nazi era.

“After Through the Darkest of Times, we decided to stay in the realm of history for one of our next games — especially since current events continue to concern us deeply. We decided to move chronologically to the period after World War II, when many former Nazis were still active in high-ranking posiitions all over West Germany,” explains Jörg Friedrich of Paintbucket Games. “Fritz Bauer and his team did immensely important work during this difficult time by pressing charges against numerous criminals and publicly trying them for their crimes. Through their work, they made a lasting impact on how Germans understand the National Socialist period and the Holocaust and helped create the social consensus of: “Never again!” We want to give our players a view into this difficult and fascinating work with The Darkest Files.”
Some features of The Darkest Files:

  • Players search investigative files from the Nazi era for clues, and interrogate relatives, witnesses, and suspects to find out the truth.
  • Players draw conclusions, evaluate evidence, and reconstruct the crime in real time.
  • Players interview witnesses and suspects, diving into the statements in immersive-mode to better understand the actions of the perpetrators and uncover any clues and contradictions.
  • Then, players discuss their findings with their team of investigative experts in order to build an air-tight case.
  • Players must determine and press the correct charges and have the criminals arrested.
  • Finally, they need to convince the judiciary to reveal the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Historical Background
With a team of young prosecutors without ties to the old regime, Frankfurt Attorney General Fritz Bauer founded a taskforce to investigate Nazi-era crimes and to prosecute the perpetrators. He became known, among other things, for being instrumental in the search for Adolf Eichmann, one of the central organizers of the Holocaust, and for prosecuting the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials in the 1960s.
“Nothing belongs to the past, everything is still present and can become the future again.” – Fritz Bauer
In “Through the Darkest of Times,” the spiritual predecessor of “The Darkest Files,” players lead a small anti-Nazi resistance group in Berlin. The game was nominated for numerous awards, including in the “Game for Impact” category at “The Games Awards,” as well as winning the German
Developer Award 2020 for “Best Indie Game” and “Best Serious Game,” among others.
Paintbucket Games will also show The Darkest Files at this year’s gamescom from August 24 – 28. In the Indie Arena in hall 10.2.
The Darkest Files can already be wishlisted on Steam here:
More Information about The Darkest Files is available here