Cheap Game Tuesday: ‘Don’t Starve’
I wasn’t planning on including this title in this new series because if you were going to play it, you’d have planned it by now. But with it currently being on sale over on Steam, and the new Reign of Giants DLC being available, this is the a great time to check it out if you haven’t already.
Don’t Starve is one of many titles in the growing ‘survival’ genre of gaming. You find yourself in a new and inhospitable landscape and your job is to survive. In the beginning your goals are straight forward enough – find food and not starve. Pick some berries off a bush, pull up some carrots and so forth. Just make sure you’ve found a way to build a campfire before nightfall because there is something in the dark…
Obviously there’s more to it than wandering the landscape and picking up fruit. The game features a seasonal progression in addition to day/night cycle, meaning that winter is indeed coming. You must turn from forager to a producer of food with a decent store before that happens, otherwise you will starve within days. Build traps to catch animals, store foods to prevent spoiling and develop the tools for farming to become a self-sufficient character. You’ll also need to harvest the materials for building weapons and creating clothes, followed by upgrading to crafting and alchemy. More menaces spread throughout the land, and many mysteries lie in wait as you try and make sense of this inhospitable world. Health and hunger are joined by a sanity metre that diminishes based on how scared the hero becomes, requiring various approaches to regaining your mind.
The art style makes it very unique. Everything plays out in ‘2.5’ graphics – the world in three dimensional but the characters are depicted in a flat two dimensions. The gothic tone is enhanced by the distorted cartoon style of the characters, evoking the style of Tim Burton’s films. The dark, oppressive feeling that settles on the player feels more like a story by Edgar Allen Poe. A world that is simple on the surface but the madness lurking below will eventually affect the characters mind.
If you’re looking for someone more goal orientated or better presented than Minecraft then this is a great title to check out. It lacks the freedom of the others, but it makes for it in it’s unique style and clever design.