From the makers of the well-received brawlers Shank and Shank 2 comes a game of survival that is both eerie and kind of charming. The initial premise of Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve is that you, a Gentlemen Scientist named Wilson, have been trapped by a demon in some unknown wilderness. From the get-go, you quickly learn that there is but one objective: don’t die. You have a heart and a stomach on the right side of the screen, both of which you need to appease. How you go about doing that is up to you, but food and fire are of immediate importance.
Much of the game consists of collecting items to craft more items, making sure you have enough that qualifies as food in your inventory, and nervously testing your limits around potential enemies. I admit it is difficult to resist whacking that spider nest with your axe or attacking a colony of pigs; however, once you die, you’ve got to start over, so it’s best to tread carefully. By using the resources at your disposal and with the proper application of science, you can survive long enough to watch Wilson grow a magnificent beard!
As ever, I just have to mention the artwork. The graphics in this game have a hand-drawn, paper cutout feel to them. Just cutesy enough for me to find them absolutely lovable. However, the colors are earthy and autumn-like, with a touch of darkness that keeps the game on the sweet side of unsettling.
Presently, Don’t Starve is still in beta and is set to release in early 2013. The early-release beta is still currently available to those who wish to pre-order, and there is also a free demo available through the Klei Entertainment website. Pre-orders come at a discount, with an extra copy of the game to put in a friend’s digital stocking. You can order through Steam or download directly to Chrome, and make sure to keep an eye out for updates in items and features.