Game Website: http://www.dontstarvegame.com
Available through the game website, Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux) and on PS4.
Let me begin with a bit of a warning: Don’t Starve is a game that is extremely contingent on the player knowing very little about what is going on, and the review I’m about to share with you will spoil some aspects of the game. But if you want to know if the game is worth the $15, or if you’ve already played it and want a good story, read on.
This game is about a man-beaver.
Pause for a few seconds.
Let that resonate.
Say it out loud.
This is a game.
Now that we’ve got that really clear in your head let’s move on. You must collect poop. We’re not going to pause here because using the gimmick I just used twice would make it less funny, but you may want to take a minute to reflect on the two details you now know. Poop. Man-beaver.
If I were you I probably would have already bought the game.
Moving on: the game starts and you’re dropped in the woods. There’s all sorts of weird critters around you (like walking eyeballs and pigmen) and you have 3 meters: Sanity, Hunger and Health. Your goal is to keep all these all from going down. To do so: you murder bunnies, cook them in a crockpot and keep a source of light on you at all times. If you don’t something in the dark will kill you. You never find out what that something is.
Also winter is coming. Life is hard as a man-beaver.
Not only does your axe Lucy talk to you all the time, but you also might freeze to death.
A bit of actual, practical review material:
The game is really just a time-sink. It has almost no story. But it’s not boring. You will waste a lot of time trying to survive because the game is fun. It has no value outside of that, but it’s fun.
The only gripe I have: it takes 20 days for winter to come and that’s a long time in real life. It translates to about 3 hours of gameplay and it’s very easy to die in the winter if you don’t know what your doing (which you won’t when your starting). So it can get pretty tedious setting up for winter because you do basically the same thing every time to prepare for your first winter.
Upsides: the game is highly modable and many people have done interesting things for it (Solaire from Dark Souls, Zim, and Shaggy are all playable characters through mods). There’s also a bunch of playable characters that you unlock based on how long you’ve survived including a mime and a librarian. But you’ll still have to collect poop no matter who you are so you might as well just stick with the man-beaver.
So am I.
Play the game anyway.