Imagine yourself lost in the wilderness. You have no food, shelter or company. It’s just you and the growl of your stomach. This is the basic premise of Don’t Starve. There’s not much I can say about the plot because frankly, I keep starving; if I can even survive that long. I’ve been eaten by a pack of wolves and chased down by monsters that I’m pretty sure are from someone’s nightmares. You have to scrape together whatever supplies you can from the environment in order to survive. Collecting twigs and stones to make tools that allow you to make better items that make survival easier. Gathering grass will grant access to a bonfire that will keep the darkness at bay as long as you feed it logs throughout the night. You’ll slowly start finding more and more resources that allow you to create new and better tools that will make survival easier.
However, starving isn’t the only problem you face. You also have to worry about your health and sanity. I’m still not sure what exactly drains the sanity meter, but I know that wearing flowers on my head slowed it down a bit. I found great solace in that little discovery, as ghostly monsters started to appear around me as I slowly lost my mind. Then I made the mistake of eating some mushrooms that, unbeknownst to me, severely drained my sanity meter while filling up my stomach. It was not worth it in the least, as the ghostly figures started attacking me when I finally lost it. It’s a learning experience that shows no mercy. That’s for certain.
Learning from your own death is a trend that’s been growing in the gaming industry as of late. Games like Dark Souls and Super Meat Boy forced players to try over and over again to achieve victory and immense satisfaction. Don’t Starve does the same thing in a much more subtle way. Each bonfire and new invention is a victory in itself that makes me jump for joy. You need to learn to prioritize the items you gather and create, discover what’s edible, meet the odd creatures that may or may not want to murder you; the list goes on and I’ve only scratched the surface. Maybe when I’ve actually survived for more than a week in-game I can actually review it, but for now Don’t Starve remains a mystery; waiting in the darkness for me to make a mistake so that it can strike.