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Don't Starve


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#1
alterheld

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"Don't Starve"
(That's not just a suggestion, its really the name of the game.)


Let me tell you a story. A friend of mine gave me a copy of this game, via Steam, this past Friday, after having played similar type games with him. I was actually surprised he bought it for me, since I only know him online and for only a few months - but I wasn't complaining. Anyways, I had just gotten home from work, and was too tired to actually play the game. Instead, I researched it on Steam to see what I was in store for. "An uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic," I read in the game's description. It looked liked games I had played in the past, and so I looked forward to getting into it.

After waking up on Saturday to a phone call from a friend around 9am, I decided to download and install "Don't Starve". The plan for the day was to play it until 1pm, at which time I would go out and meet that friend who called, along with others for lunch and gaming. While I let the game install, I showered and ate breakfast - thinking about the game the whole morning. 10:30 rolls around, and I'm just finishing my fourth bowl of cereal while watching TV. I decide that I've put it off for long enough, and I start up the game.

I play for a while, starting new game of course. The game doesn't really teach you anything - as far as how to play and such; because it is a survival game. I knew that going in. I get to about the 15th day in game, when I realize I've made a lot of mistakes and think of things that I should've done different. I click on the menu, and 'Save and Quit' is the only option for leaving. I liked that, reminded me of the good ole' Diablo days - very role-play-esk.

So I restart. Back to day one. I do things differently, find different challenges, and because of it I am better off on day 5 than I was on day 15 in the other game. I'm thinking to myself, good. I explore some more, find new resources, etc. and I make it to the night time on day 25.

With a mental block of what to do next, I pause the game, walk to the kitchen, and get me something to eat - all the while thinking (and talking to myself outloud) of what I am going to do next in "Don't Starve". I get back to the computer, still eating whatever it was I found. I look around the room, and happen to look outside the window and notice that the streetlight on the corner wasn't working again that night. I look back at the computer screen; un-pause the game, then immediately pause it again and look back outside. "NIGHT?" I yell at myself, "Where'd day go?!" I run to the kitchen to look at the time - 8pm.

I sat back down at the computer, gave out a long sigh and picked up my phone. I text my friend a short apology and then went strait back into the world of "Don't Starve".

 
The moral of the story is, don't play this game for the first time if you have anywhere to be or anything to do that day. The game may be "Don't Starve", but it will eat your day up quickly. This game's fun is all about discovery and exploration, and as mentioned, there is no guide or even any hints on how to get started. You are plopped right into the world with no guidance. And even though you may think this is easier to to, from a game development stand-point, you'd be wrong. It's so fun and easy to get started, and as soon as you do - you just want to find more things you can build and more things that will help you survive. So the developers must have experimented with many different ways to make this game as self-engaging as they could, since they planned on not making any tutorial system. Let me tell you that they found the right balance.

"Don't Starve" is done brilliantly, both visually and otherwise. The game looks amazing - It is a subtle, 3-dimensional world that looks hand-drawn and 2-dimensional. It does lack a direct story, even though you can look on youtube or the developer's website to find intro videos for the characters - they should have been included in the game.

To be honest, It's hard to describe the game in detail without giving too much of how the game works away - and that is most of the fun when you start off. Later on, once you figure everything out - the game still retains its fun, both with constant content updates and trying to beat your longest survival-days record. As mentioned, it is a save and quit system. Meaning the only way to save, is to quit also. Making it so that when you die, you die. It immediately deletes your character and world - giving you meta-game experience that is used to unlock more characters to play with and such. I haven't made it far into the experience system yet and where I'm at it seems like it was a last-minute addition - but so far it's working out just fine.

If you're thinking about getting the game, and are up in the air - I vote you get it. Its a very fun game if you like Survival games or even if you are a fan of RPGs. It costs $14.99 US, and is available now on the Steam store. It is only single player, and it doesn't seem like the creators are going to add multi-player. I will give anyone who tries this game out one very big, general and vague suggestion: There are two seasons - Summer and Winter. You start in the summer, but make sure you're thinking about surviving the winter.


Hope you survive.
-Alter
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#2
DynamiteTiger

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Sounds intriguing.

#3
DreamingSheep

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Yeah, I got it back when it was still in Beta. It's interesting for a few hours but then became a bit boring. Very repetitive after a while, then you die and it's the same all over again.

Think I played for 8 or 9 hours.

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#4
alterheld

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They've added a lot more since Beta, and are still adding more every few weeks - Caves/dungeons (among other items) are in a future update. http://www.twitch.tv...depow/c/2265953 to learn about the caves.


I personally love survival games, and love being forced to start over after you die - it makes death actually worth fearing; lol/>.
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