The game was developed by Robinson Technologies, released in 1997 with a shareware version online. In 1999, Seth released the game as freeware, and can be downloaded here. Even later, Dink became open source (using a variant of the license of zlib) in hopes of making it available on more systems. (If your operating system isn't supported by official freeware version, there may be a version of GNU FreeDink, which replaces all components not covered by the zlib-like license, available.)
The game also includes tools for creating new adventures for Dink called "D-Mods". One D-Mod by the developer, Mystery Island, is included with the official release of the game (GNU FreeDink users will need to install it separately using the included DFArc utility). Other D-Mods, along with the bulk of the Dink community, can be found at The Dink Network.
Examples of tropes from Dink Smallwood:
- Asshole Victim: You uncle, Jack, is consistently rude to you and abuses his wife Maria. If you decide to beat him to death, he stays dead for the rest of the game without any effect to the plot. In fact, your aunt gets over it in a minute.
- Author Avatar: As a Final Boss, nonetheless!
- Big "NO!": When Dink sees his burning house and his mother in it.
- Bottomless Magazines: You never run out of arrows in the game.
- Chivalrous Pervert: The degree of chivalry is partly for the player to decide, but Dink is always a pervert.
- Die, Chair, Die!: A running gag, both on the main game and some D-MODS. A quarter of the fun is in finding what inanimate things answer to your violence.
- Domestic Abuse: Dink sees his aunt Maria being beaten by her husband, which he apparently does a lot.
- Easing into the Adventure: "Dink, would you go feed the pigs?"
- Game Mod: Fan-made adventures ("D-MODS") are still produced to this day.
- Infant Immortality: Averted. The Dead Dragon Carcass Cult is made of what appear to be young girls, though they turn out to be demonic shapeshifters, transforming into Boncas after you reveal yourself. A more straightforward example is that Mary, the young girl being held hostage, can be caught in the crossfire, costing you the quest (and your life) if she dies. You can off your gossipy neighbor with no consequence, though.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Ethel. Maybe.
- Limited Animation: The design and animation of the in-game models are very basic. Characters have a tendency to walk around sideways even when they're moving in a cardinal direction. It suits the game's lo-fi charm and absurdist atmosphere.
- Hellfire: The spell that bears its name.
- Incest Subtext: After killing her abusive husband, you suggest to your aunt Maria sharing a bed with her because yours is too small. She refuses for obvious reasons, with Dink only responding with "And?"
- Jerk Jock: Milder Flatstomp. While Dink is questing, Milder wins a jousting tournament and becomes a knight.
- Law of Cartographical Elegance: Inverted. The countryside is a blobby landmass surrounded by question-marked land.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Blood splatter happens a lot in this game. Decapitating or exploding livestock deserves special mention.
- The Lost Woods: Murkwood Forest, home of the Dead Dragon Carcass cult.
- Monster Town: The Goblin Sanctuary.
- Parental Abandonment: Dink's father is notably absent.
- Playing with Fire: The first spell Dink learns is a fireball spell, and some trees are flammable, hiding underground treasure troves.
- Port Town: A city called PortTown is mentioned several times, but is otherwise never seen in-game.
- Religion of Evil: The Dead Dragon Carcass Cult.
- Science Is Bad: In Mystery Island.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: During the boss fight with the demonized Bishop Nelson's Dead Dragon Carcass Cult, your fight for your life is accented by... Blue Danube.
- Surreal Humor: The game presents itself as a boilerplate fantasy game but then it's full of bizarre non-sequiturs and unexpected stabs of black comedy. This is first seen when Dink chastises his neighbor's pet duck to return home after running off, whereupon the duck says "Bite me." Dink can also do and say some decidedly unheroic things that are played for absurd comedy.
- Swiss Cheese Security: Lampshaded in a house in KernSin.Man: What the hell are you doing?
Dink: What do you mean?
Man: I mean you just barging in here, no knocking, nothing! What's with that?
Dink: (pause) And there's like... something WRONG with that?
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Your various attacks can be used on NPCs as well as monsters. Effects vary from crying for mercy to outright murder. And that's not counting the harm you can do with words alone...