Don’t Starve is a sandbox wilderness survival game “full of science and magic” and is developed by Klei Entertainment. The object of the game is simple in theory; don’t starve. As easy as it sounds it can be extremely difficult trying to survive. You play as Wilson the scientist who was transported to a mysterious world by the demon named Maxwell which brainwashed you into making a portal that would release him from his imprisonment.
When you wake up in Maxwells’ world, he briefly appears and tells you to go find some food before dark. There are no instructions in this game at all, after he disappears you are on your own. Your best bet is to start chopping trees and to find a nice place to camp out for the night if you want to make it past the first night. I personally like the fact that you have to figure it all out, it makes the game much more rewarding.The first couple times I died to everything you could think of; starving, wolves, and even giant tree people. After about an hour though, you get the hang of it and only really die if you do something stupid or if you’re not ready for winter and all the misgivings it brings along with it.
The gameplay is simple enough and even has a Minecraft feel to it at times. You run around foraging items to build a sustainable camp while trying to survive for as long as you can. The longer you live the more xp you get which unlocks other playable characters, each with their own unique perk. My personal favorite is Wendy because sometimes her dead sister, Abigail, will appear at night and help you attack enemies. When the hounds spawn she comes in real handy!
While you’re off exploring the lands looking for food and materials you come across these “things”. Things are pieces used to build a portal to the next world and are scattered across the map, sometimes having chess pieces guarding them. Once you collect them all you bring them to the “Wooden Thing” and it will build the Teleportato device. In sandbox mode it will completely erase your map and start you over. However, in Adventure mode it takes to to the next level, up to level 6. You are allowed to keep 4 items of your choice and will retain any knowledge of recipes you have unlocked. During the transition you are allowed to switch characters if you prefer.
Adventure mode is quite honestly the same as the sandbox mode however, there is one twist. Each level has its own theme, ranging from constant bad weather to islands and to almost always night. Each level becomes progressively harder until you reach the final level. Once you beat level 6, you will learn the ultimate secret to Don’t Starve, Maxwell’s secret. It is believed that after you learn the secret, it’s The End. Don’t worry though, if you happen to forget to eat during winter or to place a fire at night there is some good news. If you die you will respawn where you left off in Sandbox mode with all the items you had before you went inside the portal. You can always restart from the beginning of Adventure mode if you wanted to or carry on with your Beefalo hunting.
You can pick up Don’t Starve in Steam or the Google Chrome Store for $14.99. Klei Entertainment promises at least 6 months of free updates, so you won’t have to buy any of the content updates they promise for a good while. If you decide to purchase it early you will receive beta access and a couple items for Team Fortress 2; the Ham Shank and the Wilson Weave. Don’t Starve is set to officially release April 23rd for Windows, Mac and Linux. Are you up to the challenge?
Everyone enjoys a TL;DR
- Score: 8.5/10
- Pros: Don’t starve takes survival games to a new and challenging perspective
- Cons: The Game sometimes runs at a fast pace; giving you less time to learn it
- Rage Factor: You will die almost instantly if your not ready for winter.