Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Starve Impressions (three hours)

Don't Starve is entirely wonderful.

It is whimsical and darkly humored, an unhinged sandbox, and it's full of weird, deeply enchanting moments. I would say the visuals are inspired by Tim Burton, and maybe vaguely they are, but it would be a disservice to Klei Entertainment, because this is a unique, fantastical world that owes no debt to anyone. It stands on its own.

I'm purposely not going to tell you too much about this game, because it's so much better when you know as little as possible starting out, but here's a description from the game's website:
AN UNCOMPROMISING WILDERNESS SURVIVAL GAME FULL OF SCIENCE AND MAGIC. Play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home. Enter a strange and unexplored world full of strange creatures, dangers, and surprises. Gather resources to craft items and structures that match your survival style. Play your way as you unravel the mysteries of this strange land.

I tend to favor games that have deeply designed, intricate worlds, and Don't Starve certainly qualifies in this regard, but it's also designed in such a way that your actions are easy to manage. You might starve (or get eaten), but it won't be the fault of the interface, which is clear and well-designed.

It's easy to play, but it's not necessarily easy to succeed. I like that.

Don't Starve is also funny, darkly so, and it serves as the perfect compliment to the distinct visuals.

That's all I'm going to tell you, besides that you have to play this game. Immediately. Here's the website: Don't Starve. It's also available on Steam.

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