Don’t Starve: Put it on your play list

Don't Starve: Put it on your play list

A charmingly Tim-Burton-esque indie game with amazing replay value.

I’m a greedy bastard when it comes to cheap anything. So indie games really whet my appetite, (and are never too steep on my student budget).
Don’t starve popped up on steam and I needed something to burn a few minutes, so I bought it.
Minutes have turned to hours and days on this game, and it’s infuriatingly elitist nature drives me back for more.

Don’t starve is a relatively simple survival game, you have to keep your character’s sanity, health and hunger bars full and stay out of the dark in order to survive. Great, sounds like a simple trek through the woods. But nothing fun is ever easy, and in this game, death is a certainty.

Shit, you light one tree on fire and now you’ve got a forest wide BBQ on your hands? Better leg it before you’re charcoal.

This game will not hold your hand. There is no tutorial. There is no book. They burnt it to save their sanity meter at night. Plonked in the middle of a randomly generated terrain you go about gathering resources and building a shelter, fighting off enemies and fending off assaults against your little slice of civilisation. You will learn when to pick fights and when to run away from the angry nest of bees that you shouldn’t have hit with your pickaxe.

I found this game a bit of trial and error, with each death you gain new information on how to survive in the world. The longer you survive with your character, the more points you gain in regards to unlocking the next playable character.

You can be assaulted by a variety of creatures, bees, dogs, spiders and even a woolly elephant! So many ways in which to painfully kick the bucket.

An average day in Australia.

Other than unlocking new characters to play with, death in this game is just that. Death. You lose everything. You start out with a clean slate, which can get a bit tedious, living out the same starting five days, however, the sense of accomplishment each time you hit a milestone in this game is a reward in itself. There are no gamerpoints, no rewards, no trophies. Pack up your medal case because there are no shinies here Mr. Magpie.

Its soundtrack consists of one, well made, creepy circus-like instrumental. And whilst it is a well-made , creepy circus-like instrumental, it is only one track. Play this game for long enough you’ll be searching for something different to play in the background.

Don’t starve has a quaint, cut out kid’s storybook kind of look to it. If your child is Wednesday Addams that is. Cute, gothic and bold. Everything has a sinister edge to it, and the aesthetics puts you on edge, you expect the turkey jumping out of that bush to be an axe wielding megalomaniac about to cut your two day survival spree short.

This game is for those who love a challenge and who aren’t put off by a bit of grinding, (this is a survival game, there will be an element of repetitive tasks, everyone needs to eat to live y’know). It’s beautifully presented with great opportunities to explore. If you liked The Binding of Isaac, or dungeons of dredmor you’ll probably like this game too.


4 responses to “Don’t Starve: Put it on your play list

    • It is incredibly talented at eating away time! I used to play to unlock characters but now I’ve found willow to be my favourite, I’m stuck competing with myself with how long I can tough it out. This game is such a gem 🙂

      • I don’t know if you’re a fan of Minecraft-esque games, but if you are, check out Factorio. It’s a top-down resource gathering automation geared survival-esque game that has become time consuming for me! I think in the last 3 days I have spent, I’m ashamed to say, 75% of the time I am awake, playing it, and I have barely scratched the surface of the game.

        Also, on a side note, thanks to OMFGCata (Jesse Cox) on youtube, I am really looking forward to Rays the Dead. Check that out too if you like (and OMFGCata too, he’s cool!)

        I look forward to future posts!

      • Ooh! I shall have a peruse of those games on the weekend. I do love a bit of minecraft so I’ll check them out 🙂 thank you for pointing them out to me, I shall see if they tickle my writing funny-bone into review mode 🙂
        Hope you’re having as much sunshine as I have at the moment.

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