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Ever had a game that starts off confusing and slow but once you understand how to play it runs your life?  Don’t Starve is that game.  Akin to MineCraft, you are set in a world with nothing but your fists, and it is your job to build everything from scratch to ensure you…Don’t Starve.  Unlike MineCraft everything in the game is out to kill you or drive you insane.

At its brass tacks Don’t Starve is a survival puzzle game as there isn’t any real explanation as to what you should be doing or how to build anything.  Sure the game will tell you when you can build something but where to find items or how to survive is completely up to you.   After you first few days in game you may find it easy or not think there is much to it, however the complexity of the game has only started.  With day and night cycles and even seasons Don’t Starve is constantly changing to ensure you never get “too” comfortable.

(15 minuets or so of me playing, fight some tough enemies and build the shrine)

The world of Don’t Starve feels like something right out of Tim Burton’s wet dreams, everything has an overly “cutesy-sinister” vibe to it and really just wants to kill you (yes even the trees). This is all the more evident when spiky tentacles start popping out of the ground or Deerclops (the cyclops deer) starts attacking you.  Or even when you find Chester, your living storage chest that follows you everywhere because you are holding the EyeBone….see weird stuff.

Basic easy camp
Basic camp at day 55, with my fancy hat.

After surviving for a multitude of days or making it through a winter or two you may want to actually try you luck at playing the “adventure mode”  That’s right, when you first start Don’t Starve you aren’t even playing the actual game yet, you are just..Surviving.  To start Adventure mode you must find the Door, the door can only be found by exploring the randomly generated world, in my last play through I got to almost day 90 before I found the door haha but on others I had found it by day 10, its all luck.

Don’t Starve is roughly about 15-20 hours to “feel like” you have done everything, but it can be played indefinitely and you will always feel like you have just a little bit more to do.  You can even play for 100+ in game days and never even scratch the massive world of Caves and Ruins, and don’t get me started on traveling through to another Dimension…yeah there is a lot to this “simple” game.

(Yes that is all that happens, Klei’s way to say they don’t like trophies haha)

Gripes:

My biggest complaint is the risk to reward factor, higher levels require you to explore more, namely the caves or ruins but dying on a day 50+ game for a silly reason is demoralizing and hard to remain motivated to play again. “Damnit I have to find all that shit again!”

There isn’t much to motivate you other than your own curiosity, you could literally bunker down in a great area, arm yourself to the teeth (with Tooth Traps, yes Tooth traps) and live forever.  This makes for a very boring experience but it is possible.

There isn’t really any kind of story other than you have been sent to this world by an evil guy, the adventure mode does add a little story but not much more than just the extra difficulty

Not for the weak of heart, your first few play-throughs will result in very frustrating deaths, but with each death I found myself getting better and better.

Unlockable characters are fun, but are only unlocked after you die.  This is a gripe because my main character is well past 100 days (enough to unlock almost everybody) but I dont want to die just to unlock the other characters and start from scratch…yes first world problem.

 

In the end my time with Don’t Starve is an extremely memorable one, its been a long time since a game had gotten under my skin so well to where I was thinking about it non-stop, shoot I even had a dream about it last night.  Get past the initial few days and build yourself a base camp and I promise you will find a very rewarding game.

I Beat It First.

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