|Post Date: 09:43 26-01-2014
Comment: The modern game developer wants to give you everything. Preferably on the same time. Single-player, multiplayer, campaigns, happiness, sadness, adrenaline, romance, explosions, the sharpest graphics and the best online support. Don’t Starve is a nice, quirky and original remedy for those who need to clear their head and just focus on one thing, because here it is really just to not starve to death.
It is in itself a truth with modifications, because in Don’t Starve you can actually also be eaten, chopped to death, eat something poisonous, burn up or die of stupidity, so we can agree here and now that the goal of the game is to not to die.
I pretty quickly see the irony of spending money on the game, to prevent myself from starving in a game, when I just as easily could have been giving away the money so that someone actually had escaped starvation in reality, but if you start thinking too much in those courses, in the end you can just keep spending your money on anything at all. So I leave morality aside for a moment and enter into the role of an anonymous scientist.
I’ve just woken up on a small patch of grass in a deserted, sparse forest. Soon it begins to rumble in my stomach as I collect sticks and stones to build an axe. In the game I pick berries from a bush and seeds from the ground. It’s soon evening in the game, and I decide that a small peninsula right next to the water becomes as good a camp as any.
The night goes as I wait at a small fire that I made up of wood and flint stone, which I collected on me during the day. From the forest sounds I hear alarming sounds and I do not dare to go out into the darkness and uncertainty. If I die, my character remains dead. Game Over, only to start over. So I patiently wait instead. The next day I build a trap that to catch some rabbits. I don’t have much more time to do much else before it gets dark again and when I go back to the camp to make up a new fire and cook my catch it isn’t really enough to calm the hunger of my character.
It continues ilke that for a couple of days. My character is becoming more and more hungry and I also happen to run into an gravesite which makes my character gets scared and mentally tempted, so I decide to leave everything and to go out exploring. Somewhere must be something that can help me, I think, but the only thing that greets me is deadly monsters, and my journey thus becomes short. I die and start over.
The nect time I’m a bit more careful. This time I am looking a whole day to find a good place and discovers a pair of pigs who seem sympathetic. I do not disturb them and they do not bother me. Right next door lives a few nasty spiders, but the pigs are taking care of them. Slowly I build a laboratory, a farmhouse, straw clothes, a couple of important tools and a spear. I also find a cap not too far away from my camp. “This is good when winter comes,” says my character.
As I build up a bond between me, my character, the world and everything I accomplished I become increasingly cautious and afraid of losing everything. There lies the beauty of Don’t Starve for me. The concept is simple – the fundamentals are based on Minecraft principles where new basic materials brings new inventions and tools – but when everything feels so perishable, it suddenly becomes interesting to hear what other players have accomplished, and I want to tell my friends how long I have survived and what I have discovered.
Everything is framed with charming aesthetic that makes Don’t Starve to look like a doll game built of cardboard boxes and cardboard. Lakes consists of cut-and-painted cardboard whose waves undulate excessively regardless of size, the trees look flat and two-dimensional, while the characters shows absolutely no emotions. Klei Entertainment makes no attempt to compete with the graphic giants but choose instead to go a completely separate way. The end result is amazing, unique, effective and scary.
I play Don’t Starve with a controller on my PC, and unfortunately it’s not free from problems. Sometimes I had to search between the game folders to change the graphics settings manually to get the right resolution. Even though this might be quickly done by those who knows how to do this, it’s definitely something that you should be able to do by simply going into the settings via the game’s menu. Particularly annoying is of course when the option is there but doesn’t work. Who knows, maybe I just had bad luck and maybe the problem is rare.
Otherwise I dont have much to complain about Don’t Starve. It’s mysterious, eerie, addictive and will probably last long for those who like survival-subgenre. Sure, it can be a little repetitive to start again after a couple of games but do not let that stop you. Don’t Starve is an amazing experience.