Don't Starve Review
Don't Starve Box Art
System: PS4
Dev: Klei Entertainment
Pub: Klei Entertainment
Release: January 7, 2014
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Follow the Instructions in the Title
by Joshua Bruce

The title of this game gives you one simple instruction – Don’t Starve. However, this is something that’s easier said than done. Not that this is a bad thing, it’s kind of the point of the game – hence its name. The game gives you this advice for a reason: if you die, it’s kind of permanent. You’ll have to start over from day one of survival, which influences your actions and decisions throughout your survival experience in the interest of self-preservation.

As you can imagine, the longer you survive, the more difficult it will become to do so. You will be fighting against monsters, the elements, your own madness and your biggest enemy of all – hunger. Don’t Starve doesn’t give you much to go on from the beginning, and the learning curve in the beginning is sure to get you killed several times. You are dropped in the middle of a strange world, told you should find something to eat before it gets dark and that’s it. It’s part of the games charm, forcing you to figure out the best way to survive, and thrive, in this foreign land.

Wilson, the main character you start with, is a gentleman scientist that can grow a bitchin’ beard. His inherent smarts give him an edge in this world, the ability to create tools and weapons out of items found in the environment. This is pure resource gathering and management, but in the midst of this dangerous world, this can be quite a challenge. Gathering materials for basic tools is your first challenge, then using those tools to build yourself a fire for nighttime is imperative. You WILL NOT survive the night without light, just a heads up. Also, don’t think you’re safe just because you gathered enough to start a fire; you will need some sort of fuel to keep that fire going through the night. You can burn all sorts of materials, the most common being logs, but you can even burn Beefalo manure if that’s all you’ve got. Survival is rough. Do what you gotta do.

Don't Starve Screenshot

Now that you’ve picked up on the basics of survival, you will continue on until the inevitable happens – you will die. It’s nothing personal and it’s not a reflection of your gaming prowess in any way. This is supposed to happen. The way Don’t Starve gets away with this seemingly frustrating eventuality is simple, but genius. The longer you survive, the more experience you gain, which unlocks new characters and game content. In essence, your death progresses the game. So don’t get down because you got desperate and tried to slay that Beefalo and it handed you your arse, it’s just the way things are and there isn’t much you can about it. I won’t lie, it is still a little frustrating to make it several weeks or even months into your precarious situation, only to meet your demise at the hands of swarm of bees, but the rewards that you earn by dying after surviving for a long period of time do soften the blow considerably.

Don't Starve Screenshot

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