In Don’t Starve you play as Wilson, a Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious forest world that hates you and wants you to die. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment to its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home.
Don’t Starve plays as a point-and-click, top-down-view “survival” title featuring a world randomly generated based on parameters you select (like Age of Empires) and changes with every new game. You must explore, gather raw materials, and fight weird creatures in order to manage hunger, health and “sanity” levels.
As you will die a lot in Don’t Starve, you have to plan your actions very carefully. When you get to night for the first time and instantly die when you don’t make a fire, you imediattely understand that it’s going to need research or trial and error to survive. As well as the lighting a fire as night falls you also need to take care of your sanity, keep well fed and also stay away from terrifying wolves and unusual eye creatures.
The game features a day-night cycle (as well as a summer/winter/rainstorm mechanic) that influences how the world and the player behave. Rabbits are playful during the day, creepy/crawly things come out at dusk, and straying from a light source for even a few seconds at night causes an unseen horror to straight-up murder you. As the days go on, you can construct equipment and establish base structures of increasing complexity, which are all needed to take on the increasingly difficult monsters and environmental challenges the game throws at you.
Speaking of monsters there is also a good variety that come in the shape of spiders, the occasional wolf, the beefalo and some weirder like the clockwork creatures, which you can take their guts in order to make your own refrigerator, and creepy hands that lower the flame in your fire at night. Killing these monsters is fairly simple, just click and kill. You do need to watch you distance from the larger enemies, because they don’t become stunned when attacking and they hit for massive damage, but for the most part they are all killable with a range of effort. There are a few ranged weapons, but they really don’t warrant much mentioning.
When you become experienced enough in Don’t Starve you’ll be very proud for your progression in the game. You go from foraging for berries and mushrooms to harvesting corn from farm plots to make tasty fish tacos. You go from a measly campfire to a roaring fire pit, surrounded by stone walls and chests of loot. And while you begin the game running from spiders and fending them off with a pointy stick, you can come back for vengeance later with a shadow sword and an army of friendly pig-men.
Late in the game there a useful mechanic you can use that lets you make an effigy of yourself out of meat, wood, and hair (not making that up) that will revive you after a particularly unlucky encounter with an unfortunate event.
Chances are that you will never get bored of Don’t Starve as even when you have fully-explored the game’s map and built a campsite bursting with supplies and gadgets and there is nothing left to do there’s always the option of stuffing a few things in a sack and jumping through the Teleportato to generate a whole new, unmapped, dangerous world.
Don’t Starve is a special game waiting to be played by patient gamers who can stand playing for hours and have an unlucky event ruin everything they created. This game is tricky. Besides its cute world lies a tough survival game with roguelike influences and regular deaths. It is well made and highly addictive only to those that will find the ridiculousness of their death quite funny rather than get frustrated.
Overall we would say that Don’t starve is well worth the amount that you pay for if not more. It is the ultimate survival experience and brings loads of fun along with its unique art style and sinister game play.
Gameconnect Rating: 8.2