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Steam Series - Don't Starve & Together

Updated on July 22, 2015
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Say pal, you don't look so good

Welcome to Don't Starve, a survival oriented game. You'll be sent into a world I can only describe as a mixture of Tim Burton's work and Edger Allan Poe's.

You'll fight off many of the elements, winter, hunger, insanity, and the scary monsters that inhabit the world,

Welcome to Don't Starve

Comparison to other games with survival elements

The game play for Don't Starve is very unlike any game I've ever played that has offered survival.

Minecraft - Survival is only hunger and fighting the mobs of its world. It's very basic and easily overcome, down to the point its just something to revolve your game around.

Starbound - Starbound's no longer a survival oriented game as of the big Winter Update and currently when writing this in June 2015, but when it was around, you dealt with hunger and you dealt with temperature. Bit of an upgrade for survival then what Minecraft does, but temperature was the harder things to overcome, using certain clothing you can keep warm and sticking near light sources. As long as you kept food on you from many of the plants and animals you could hunt and farm, you were all right.

Collection of Steam games - As of now there are many MMO - survival games, a few I know of to mention are Dayz, H1Z1, Rust. and Ark. In these games they allow you to craft shelters, hunt for food, and survive against the animals/creatures and players of the game. (Note: Many of these games are not even close to being completed, many are in Steam's Early Access in alpha, some have as well just entered Beta)

Don't starve does not do any of this thankfully. Don't Starve is a complete game, its solely survival and its elements are all related to survival.

When I play Don't Starve, I could almost compare it to being forced into a survival situation after being lost out in the woods after a camping trip, the game almost sets the tone of being isolated from other humans and in a nightmarish world


Gameplay elements

Crafting - Crafting in Don't Starve is pretty similar to many other games that use crafting, this helps you be familiar when walking into it and understanding it quickly. You need certain stations to craft certain things. Such as science machine to craft new weapons such as spears, armor, refining items like grass into rope, wood into boards. Most of the stations cannot be picked back up again, you need a hammer to smash them to their ingredients and you can gather it back up and rebuild them, should you need to relocate your base. You can also create helpful creations like a lightning rod to reduce the risk of being struck by lightning, or a thermometer to know when the temperature is dropping and nearing Winter.

Night/Darkness - When night arrives its best to be next to a light source or fire. The night is dangerous, spooky, and unspeakable things will be out in the black void that is the nighttime. If you're stuck out in the night without a light source, you are not guaranteed to survive.

Environment - The world is randomly generated, a term you might be familiar with if you play Minecraft, Starbound, and Terraria, etc. If you aren't familiar with this term, it means the world will never be the same should you re-create one. The landscape size can be chosen. There are also weather effects. You might see meteor showers (be aware, meteor showers are not appropriate areas to play around in, I was instantly killed by one!). You'll also experience rain, winter, and thunder storms with dangerous lighting strikes (that can start forest fires, or strike you). Rain will also drain sanity, so be cautious and wear the right clothing.

Fire - Fire, like in a normal survive situation, is heavily needed! You use fire to cook, and to create light to protect you at night. You can craft basic campfires first off, once you get a science machine you can make a fire pit. While it has the same use of creating and holding a flame, unlike a campfire that'll burn out, fire pit's stone will remain and allow you easy reconstruction of a fire. Be careful with torch use, much like in the trailer, you can easily set a forest of useful resources and wood on fire. Killing and burning anything that gets stuck in it. The fire will spread as long as there are berry bushes, grass, saplings, and trees are close by. Make sure to keep a handy supply of wood laying nearby to re-stock your fire and keep it burning bright, overstocking it can cause normal campfire to burn and cause a forest fire, fire pits do not have this effect.

Spoilage - Food and other certain items will slowly degrade over time and eventually become inedible rot. This is a unique mechanic, most crafting oriented games will only have tools break down over time of use. You can cook any type of food to make it into its cooked variant, this will allow it to be stored longer. You can also create drying racks to dry meat. Refrigerators also work well, they slow down the time of spoilage dramatically, adding dried meat to a refrigerator is a very good ploy to stock up for the Winter time

Sanity - Sanity drains during the night time, once your sanity reaches a point you'll see your character reacting oddly, if it gets low enough, you'll begin to see and hear spooky whispers. These entities are known as Shadow Creatures. These creatures will whirl around your screen and there are several forms. They will become hostile and attack as a living thing once your sanity reaches 0. You can restore sanity by picking flowers strewn through out the land and creating a flower hat. At a certain level of sanity, a music box will play (This chilled me enough to stop playing and close the game down once) this music box symbolizes the arrival of a shadow creature known as The Shadow hands, they will slurk through the light of your campfire and attempt to put it out. You can defeat them by stepping on their hand and keeping it away or running to its source and stomping it from existence.

Food/Hunger - There are many food types in the games. You can create farms, use traps to hunt rabbits and other smaller animals, and you can upgrade your tools to hunt larger game. Such as a boomerang for turkeys. You can forage for food like berries and carrots. Some plants will spawn animals that you can encounter. It's best to learn what food gathering methods works great for you, your hunger is forever declining. You can create certain food stations like a crock pot to create more filling meals.

Animals/Creatures - Many of the animals you'll encounter in Don't Starve will make excellent food sources or can be sources for other things, such as fur. There will be somewhat neutral animals, prey animals that run at first look, hostile creatures that'll seek you out or attack if you get close enough. There's tons of different types and they all do different things. Some might even spawn from doing such actions in the world. They also 'evolve' in a way over time, Beefalo will become hostile as they rut and they will breed and create baby Beefalo who will grow up. Spider's will grow their nests that eventually become their own living queen spider that'll make a nest elsewhere and start the process over.

Shelters - While you can't outright create a house with a roof and live in it comfortably, you can however upgrade a simple camp into a huge fort. You can build walls of different materials and durability. You can build farms and grow your own food and make it a good and safe area to live in.

Recipes - With each added crafting station, you'll find more recipes to create, this includes food recipes. There are tons of filling food that keeps hunger off you for a longer period of time, these foods can take a lot of energy to create though, so choose wisely!


Art and Sound Design

The art style of Don't Starve is very unique, it looks to be hand drawn and it uses an array of colors, from darker shades to bright shades.The game uses an almost a storybook pop-up design for the game. The game appears flat, but are in fact 3D renders when you change the angle of the camera to alternate around directions on your keyboard.

The sound design is something that is very fun to experience. The environment feels alive, birds will chirp, animals will make calls and announce their presence, they will also make sounds when reacting to/ or near the player. The Music is something that reminds me of something you could expect from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The characters are all voiced with instruments, but don't worry! You can understand what they're saying due to subtitles being put up.

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Don't Starve Together

Now, you could be very similar to me. Don't Starve looks like an amazing game and sound very fun, but without the company of other players, it could be boring or lonely feeling.

Klei Entertainment has brought good news for me and other people like myself. They've introduced Don't Starve together. You can now create servers public or private, bring in your friends, and have your own co-operative or PVP based survival server. Together is currently in Early Access, but its nearly a complete game, it's essentially just the complete game with Multiplayer added into it. They'll be adding other multiplayer only additions while they are in Early Access. One such item that's been created is a way to revive yourself or your friends with a Tell-Tale heart.

Testing it out with my friend, the game worked well for me. The game is very well optimized, there was no server lag at all. Unfortunately, my friend lost interest with the game due to Don't Starve feeling almost rogue-like, even when we played the server mode that was essentially the original game's, where you survive and death does not mean the end of the game, you can happily revive yourself at the Jury Rigged Portal (note your health with be decreased. It's locked to 25% loss, you can gain this back with several healing items)

You can also type certain commands to make your character emote like: /Bonesaw (reference to the Spider man Movie scene,) /Facepalm, /wave, and many more!

Don't Starve Together!

That's all folks!

Thank you very much for reading about this unique survival game!

I highly recommend this game for anyone interested in survival game genres.

If you have a copy of Don't Starve already, you will get Don't Starve Together for free.

If you don't have it, you can easily purchase both games on Steam

Don't Starve also comes with a free copy to give to a friend!

There is DLC for the original Don't Starve game, Reign of Giants. It adds a few more creatures, it also gives more seasons like autumn and spring. The original game is only Summer to Winter and back to Summer again.

I also highly recommend using the Don't Starve Wiki, it's an interesting read and can give you some helpful tips to make your experience better.

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