I’ve always enjoyed “survival” games, as they give me a chance to explore a side of me I rarely get to see. Sure, games like “Don’t Starve” can’t take the place of white water rafting, but they allow us to experiment without breaking bones and braving the elements. “Don’t Starve” tasks the player with doing exactly that. You’ll pick a character and dive head first into a world with nothing but the clothes on your back.
The main menu allows you to start a new game, continue an existing one, adjust game options, and visit the official website. The options menu contains settings for bloom, distortion, fullscreen, screen resolution, refresh rate, audio, and HUD size. Nothing fancy, but it covers all of the basics. Hitting the play button brings you to four save slots, where you’ll be able to continue where you left off on a saved game or start a new one. Starting a new game lets you choose a character and customize your world. The customization options are pretty meaty, including things like world size and the frequency of particular resources.
The interface is fairly easy to navigate. Along the left side of the screen is your crafting menu, where you’ll be able to make various objects assuming that you have the resources to do so. I really like the fact that the game tells you what resources you’ll need to craft something, as I hate having to alt-tab to wiki pages for that information. Your health, hunger, sanity, and the time of day is displayed along the top right, with your inventory laid out along the bottom. You’ll be able to hold more stuff once you create backpacks and the like.
In terms of difficulty, the game doesn’t hand-hold. As I mentioned above, I do like the fact that recipes are laid out for you. However, figuring out why you’d need to use certain objects depends on your imagination and ingenuity. You’ll be able to create the basic of tools from the start, requiring you to make use of a research machine to create prototypes. After a while, your crafting menu will include a wide range of things that will help you survive your experience. You’ll be able to access a map with the tab key, which is great for keeping track of where you are when you decide to explore.
There will come a point where you’ll run into something you’ve never seen before and more than likely, said thing will kill you. The longer you survive, the more XP you’ll earn, which in turn unlocks new characters for you to play around with. There are tallbirds, mean looking pigs, evil flowers…even darkness to contend with. There are a plethora of resources to collect and I enjoyed discovering them in the oddest places. Trees, bees, grass, rabbits, birds, seeds, berries…the list goes on. Some of these things are lethal and others aren’t, but I’ll let you figure which is which.
Overall, “Don’t Starve” is an incredible experience, one that will leave you satisfied one minute and feeling like you want to flip a table the next. It’s best played going into it with no knowledge of what’s what, which is why I kept the review short and sweet. I highly recommend this game, plain and simple. At $14.99, it’s definitely worth the investment…just be sure to have a stress ball or punching bag handy.
Final Verdict: 9/10
You can learn more about and purchase the game by visiting the following websites:
You can watch video play sessions here: