Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Don't Starve

Don't Starve is set to be released in a week.  This is strange because you've been able to buy it and play it for some time now.  I guess it's good of them, though, to call the initial release a beta.  It would have been nice if the recent Sim City release was called a beta considering that it didn't work.

For those of you who were Glitch fans, Don't Starve hits some similar notes.  The biggest difference is that there are bees and you get honey from their nests.  Well, I guess the biggest difference is that the game is unforgiving and intensely lethal.  And when you die instead of going to purgatory and returning you are simply dead.  You can start another game, that one is over.

The similarity is that Don't Starve is very much a game of exploration.  You click things to see what will happen and combine items to have interesting effects.  It's just that sometimes what happens is that you go to a screen that says, "You survived 0 days."

I think that death really helps the exploration part of the game, though.  When you explore it is exciting.  Finding out new things has a real cost.  The better you get at the game the less there is to find out but the most costly it is to try since you get to a point where you generally spend the first part of the game doing the same thing as last time.

I unlocked three characters, each of which has their own advantage.  One of them is immune to fire, one grows a beard, and one is visited by the ghost of her dead twin sister at night sometimes.  It is a game where these three advantages are relatively equal - though very different.

I haven't played in a week or two now, I think ultimately it may have been a passing phase.  But I did put in more than 50 hours of play and I think I'll go back to it in a while to see what has been added to the game in the release version.

I don't like to give advice about this sort of thing because I don't have any reason to think that you enjoy the same things about games as I do.  So instead of making a suggestion, I'll just say that I enjoyed playing the game without doing any external reading about it, just discovering everything on my own.  This is a game about a journey, not about a goal.  In the end, you are just going to die, might as well get the most out of the experiment.

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