Don't Starve Review

Game information

Genres Survival, adventure, sandbox
Devices PC, PS4
Co-op Singleplayer & multiplayer
Price $14.99

Overview

Don’t Starve is a sandbox-style game with a simple goal in mind - see how long you can stay alive. It’s pleasant to watch and it’s addicting to play. The sudden panic nightfall creates when you’ve been focusing on crafting, fighting, and scavanging will keep you wanting more.

Starting as a character named Wilson - stranded in the middle of nowhere with nothing to your name, you’re expected to survive and explore the area. From pigs to walking eyeballs, there are many different creatures you can kill for resources in order to craft tools, clothes, structures, and more. You’ll need to craft many of these things if you expect to survive the cold, winter nights that will eventually sneak up on you.

It’s a sandbox game, meaning the worlds are randomly generated and you’re free to roam wherever you wish. Don’t Starve is also very much a survival game, something Minecraft has popularized, which means that the overarching theme is simply to stay alive. You can achieve survival by maintaining three stats that are constantly deteriorating: Health, Hunger, and Sanity.

Health will go down when monsters attack you, you eat something nasty, and a few more ways.

Your hunger slowly lowers over time and you can maintain it by eating different foods you can gather or hunt: berries, vegetables, or animal meat.

Your sanity is what keeps the shadow monsters at bay. When your sanity is low enough, the shadow monsters can actually hurt you. There are many ways to raise your sanity, but an easy way is to minimize the time spent in swamps and other scary areas while maximizing the time spent picking flowers.

The best way to learn about the game is to jump in and play. You won’t survive many days on your first try, but you’ll learn how things work and what you should build on your next go.

While you start out as Wilson, each death will reward you in experience that will unlock new characters (up to the top two characters – who can only be unlocked by playing the objective. The different characters have unique abilities that can be used to your advantage or disadvantage, depending on your preference and gameplay style.

Game mechanics

It’s always nice to find a game that performs just as well as it looks. Don’t Starve works as expected and doesn’t take much time at all to learn the controls. The controls are pretty intuitive – you can use a mouse or keyboard to control the movements and actions or even a PS4/Xbox One/Gamepad controler (on the computer or PS4). The learning curve is low, making it more accessible to more people.

Aesthetics

One of the main attractionsto this game is its unique, hand-drawn, children pop-up book style. It’s visually pleasant for spectators and has a great color scheme and overall style. The fitting music is also easy on the ears and catchy. It will keep you drawn to the game almost as much as the visuals. Don’t Starve is put into a nice package that portrays a unique art style with engaging gameplay. I highly recommend getting this game for $15 and trying it out for yourself!