Don’t Starve is my jam. It’s like someone went into my brain and pulled out everything I’ve wanted from a game, and got Tim Burton to make it into a real thing. Persistent but randomly generated island? Check. Rogue-like gameplay and survival elements? Double check. Grim but iconic pen-and-ink style art direction? You bet your sweet roasted berries that’s a check!
The game works like this: you wake up on an unexplored island, and you have to collect and craft to keep yourself alive. Simple, right? Well, yes, if you can survive the roaming spiders, sentient death trees, poisonous swamps, pigmen and, of course, an empty stomach. It all plays out in an easily accessible manner that belies it’s true difficulty.
It’s perfect for producing those water-cooler moments – where two people can talk about the same game and have wildly different and exciting stories to tell. I myself have spent a cold winter night running in circles around a campfire, trying to escape an angry tree who had wandered through my farm and set himself on fire. The ensuing firestorm burnt down the surrounding forest, causing flaming spiders to come screaming at me. I died a horribly comical death and caused an embarrassing amount of destruction. But I didn’t starve!
Now, Don’t Starve has left beta and is available to all as an honest to goodness official product. The creators promise that the rapid-fire updates won’t be stopping, though, but they’ll be taking a well-deserved break for a while.
I’ve had my copy for a number of months now, and I have loved every second (even the ones spent cowering by the dying fireside while the wolves howl in the shadows.) I will definitely being doing a diary on Don’t Starve in the coming days/weeks, so look out for that!