I’ve just started playing a single player computer game called “Don’t Starve.” The concept is rather twisted – your character is unceremoniously dropped into a strange wilderness, left to survive however many days you can.
The animation looks rough, but also creepy, though a bit juvenile. Actually, I think the juvenileness (spell check says that isn’t a real word, but dictionary.com says it is!) makes it even more creepy. The animation style rather reminds me of Edward Gorey.
The game begins, as I mentioned before, in a strange wilderness. You’re left alone, with no supplies, told by the person who left you there that you better find food before you starve to death.
The goal is to survive for as many days as you can. According to the game’s FAQ, the goal is to try to find a way back home, but I have no idea how to do that.
Depending on the randomly-generated world you are left in, food supplies will be scarce or plentiful. You also gather things like grass, twigs, and flint, to help you build tools, like an ax, and other supplies. You can develop from a subsistence level hunter-gatherer to a sophisticated farmer and scientist, innovating new tools to help you survive.
Or you die on day one.
That’s what happened to my dad when he tried playing for the first time. On my first attempt, I died on day 3, but that was because my husband killed me by attacking a beehive. I would have survived much longer without his “help”! Another time I died on day 7 or so when I attacked a buffalo looking creature and it killed me. The longest I’ve made it so far was when I was hanging out by my firepit at night when some wild pigs came out of nowhere and killed me. (My husband said they were wolves, but they looked like boars to me.)
This game has a lot of ways you can die.
Part of the fun is finding them all.
This game comes with no instructions or tutorial. You have to figure everything out as you go, kind of like in real life. The game controls are pretty user-friendly, so it’s not too hard to get the hang of it. The game is simple, yet oddly compelling.
The only downside, to my point of view, is that, once you die, you have to start all over. From day one. Which kind of sucks.
All in all, though, it’s a fun game. If you like computer games, try it out.
Don’t Starve, created by Klei Entertainment (yeah, I’d never heard of them before either), is in Beta testing right now, and you can find it here. You can buy it for $11.99 and download it to your computer.