That’s good advice. Do you like chopping wood all day? How about breaking rocks? How about being attacked by unknown creatures in the dead of the night? Me too! Then you’ll love the indie survival game Don’t Starve.
This is a story about… um… chopping wood all day and breaking rocks. And getting attacked by unknown creatures in the night. And trying not to starve.
This is Don’t Starve!
I’m a scientist lost in a mysterious land for mysterious reasons. The game never really explains why I’m here, and I’m not so sure it matters. All that matters now is survival. I start out with nothing. I build an axe and chop some wood. Haha! This game isn’t very hard! I build a pickax and break some rocks. No problem! I gather some wild berries for the all important not starving objective. So far so good!
Then the sun begins to set and, well, shit hits the fan.
The game suggests I build a fire for the night. I ignore this advice and continue to explore. So far I haven’t had any trouble, and I’m mistaking this for an easy game. The sun completely sets and it gets dark. Really dark. Surprisingly dark. It’s so dark I can’t see my character anymore. My character mentions how dark it is. Then he says that something bit him as half his HP disappears. Then that mysterious something of the night bites him again. He dies.
Death 1, Days Survived: 1, Lesson Learned: Stay out of the dark
I start a new game and chop some trees and break some rocks and THIS TIME BUILD A FIRE AT NIGHT, as the game suggests. The fire nicely illuminates the area and keeps me safe from the baddies all around. This time I’m sure to stay within the fire’s light. Until I stop.
A big spider walks on screen and attacks me. I attempt to whack it with my axe until I’m almost dead. Then I lead the spider on a high speed chase in a clockwise jog around my fire. As the spider chases me around in circles the fire runs out of wood and burns out.
Something bites me in the dark.
Death 2, Days Survived: 1, Lesson Learned: Seriously, stay out of the dark
This time things will be different. I chop my trees and break my rocks and gather my berries and build a fire as the sun sets. This time, against all odds, I actually survive for a whole day and night cycle. The sunrise never looked so good.
Food is still a priority, but I find a nice location to set up permanent camp. There are several holes with rodents running about. Setting up several traps around these holes allows me to catch prey while I do science! For example, that night I realize that if you put food in fire it cooks! Brilliant! I can now prepare more meals in the game (3) than I can in real life (uh, does popcorn in the microwave count?).
I build a new science thingy that allows me to conduct research on my surroundings. You put items into the thingy and you get research points that unlocks new objects to craft. It’s all very technical. I commence shoving every little thing I can find into the machine for every bit of research I can get. Just like a real scientist.
Researching allows me to build a spear. We’ll see if one of those spiders wants to push me around now! I notice a few crafting recipes involve silk, which I’d bet anything the spiders drop when killed. I go on my very first spider hunt.
I find what appears to be a spider nest and stab it with my spear. Three spiders come out, and the hunter quickly becomes the hunted. Here’s me running away.
Eventually the spiders give up and quit chasing me. Phew! That was close. I’m finally safe, except that I’m now surrounded by the spider nests and the sun just set and spiders crawl out of every one of the nests and I’M RUNNING FOR MY LIFE AND THIS HAS BECOME JUST A HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE AND THE SPIDERS CATCH UP WITH ME AND SURROUND ME AND BEGIN TO EAT ME ALIVE AND…
Death 3, Days Survived: 11, Lesson Learned: STAY OUT OF THE FREAKIN’ DARK!!!!!
In the last game I survived long enough to unlock the next character. It’s a girl known as the fire starter. Gee, I wonder why.
When in total darkness she creates fire from nothing. This means she can walk around in the dark without fear of getting shredded to pieces by the bad things. It also means she is hilariously good at burning entire forests to the ground. The good news is I find out burnt trees give charcoal, which can be used as fuel for camp fires. I have a feeling the fire starter is going to collect a lot of charcoal.
I meet some of the local natives. They’re pigs who have a disturbing obsession with eating meat. I too have an obsession with eating meat. This cannot end well.
Like all great explorers, I suddenly get an irresistible urge to attack the locals. I’m hoping to eat a very large portion of ham tonight with bacon on the side. I’ll just whack one of these guys with my pickax real quick and get him to chase me into the woods by himself.
They’re pigs, and everyone knows pigs aren’t very good at fighting. Unless of course they swarm around me and punch me and bite me and tell me how much they look forward to eating me AND THERE’S SO MANY OF THEM AND THERE’S NOWHERE FOR ME TO RUN AND IT’S LIKE THE SPIDERS ALL OVER AGAIN BUT EVEN MORE OF A NIGHTMARE BECAUSE THEY’RE MAN EATING PIGS!
Death 4, Days Survived: 3, Lesson Learned: Beware the wrath of the pigs