Don't Starve is a beautiful take on Minecraft's formula that ultimately left me feeling a bit too empty.
An interesting stew of ideas and great presentation can't make up for a game that goes out of its way to frustrate and discourage its players.
This brutal survival and crafting adventure delivers fun and punishment in equal measure.
We expected big things from the studio behind Mark of the Ninja and Shank, and in Don't Starve, we got them. It's a wonderfully dark survival-craft game with great scope for emergent, unique experiences, even if it will make you rage occasionally. The UI betrays the PC roots and can be a little hard to use on a smaller TV, and there are those who will find Don't Starve just too mean-spirited to fully appreciate, but as an intentionally unforgiving survival sim with a sinister twist, it absolutely excels.
Don't Starve is a gorgeous, terrifying, often funny game, albeit one that can chew away at the player's morale with its constant demands and willingness to undo hard work. Provided you go in willing to work hard and take punches on the nose, there's plenty of reward to be had.
Don't Starve may make your stomach rumble in frustration if you're not willing to invest the required time to master its complex systems, but triumph over its crushing difficulty, and you may find a satisfactory dish here. The beautiful art style, entertaining music, and solid gameplay mean that you owe it to yourself to at least give the title a try – but know that not everyone will want to stick around for seconds.
No doubt, Don't Starve will split opinion squarely down the middle, but for those willing to put the man hours in it there's undoubtedly a proverbial treasure throve of depth at hand. Either way, Klei Entertainment's offering is a refreshingly robust and intriguing title which sets the wheels of Sony's PS4 indie proclamation firmly in motion.
With an amazing amount of possibilities open to you, most of which I have not mentioned here, no two play throughs are the same. Yes you will get frustrated and yes, your road will be a long and bizarre one, but ultimately it will be a journey of exploration, wonder and the more than occasional scare.
"Don't Starve's" gameplay is unique, but it's very much a throwback to trial-and-error gaming. It's reminiscent of games that employed a baptism-by-fire approach. In turn, these aspects make the game a social experience despite being strictly single player. Half of its fun is talking to other people who have played the game to share ideas.
Don't Starve's overwhelming difficulty and complex crafting make for a stressful and gruelling experience. Embrace its charms, and you'll be rewarded with the joys of exploration and discovery.
From what our top men have been able to glean from the materials included within, there is another world out there that is ever changing. The dangers are vast, but the prospect of being the first people to explore this new frontier is too great to turn away. It seems no matter how you left our world, you always ended up in this strange place with nothing but the clothes on your back. The learning curve was a bit much for the first few to be sent there it seems, but as more went, things grew easier over time.
When Don't Starve is not rage-inducing, it's an absolute charmer. Its wonderful, Tim Burton-esque art style lends tons of adorable quirkiness to the proceedings as does the pleasantly gothic soundtrack. It's not a game for everyone, but those who revel in micromanagement and hoarding tons of supplies to take on the dangerous wild with will eat this one up.
Uncovering the secrets of Don't Starve's oppressive world is gratifying, but the basics of gameplay get too mindlessly repetitive once you've figured out what you're doing.
Don't Starve won't appeal to everyone, but fans of unique titles with punishing survival games and enormous game worlds will find a lot to like here, even if things do get a little repetitive later on.
Although it can take some time for players to immerse themselves in, Don't Starve is definitely worth taking the time to do so. Players will feel satisfied learning how to effectively play this title, and it will make for hours of fun and challenging gameplay. I can't recommend this game enough.
My best advice is to just try it for yourself, because Don't Starve is such a polarizing game. What I can say with certainty, however, is that you should at least give it a chance.
When it comes to longevity, that old chestnut of "you get out of it what you put in" applies. Don't Starve has some pretty cool things to discover, from useful to useless, such as protective suits, darts, a dapper vest, gunpowder, a bird cage and heaps more. Everything you gain may not be permanent, but if you're savvy enough there are ways to insure that your delicate time in each world is backed up.
Don't Starve is a fantastic, huge, deadly ball of entertainingly gothic survival. It requires a self-motivated player to get the most from it, but once you start to learn its systems, each game lasts a bit longer than the previous one, and the ability to experience more of the world reveals more secrets and avenues of exploration.
Don't Starve is wonderfully unforgiving, proudly unhelpful and sometimes ("How bad could something called the Deerclops be...?") just downright mean. And it's all the better for it. From the first rabbit you trap through to the last reeds run you need to make, it's an exhilarating journey of risk versus reward - even the later game appearance of various methods of resurrection don't take away the feeling of panic as you realise, once again too late, that you have bitten off more than you can chew. It's always far too easy to give yourself one more little goal, to promise yourself that you'll make it through just one more night before bed, and then before you know it you're coming up to Day 100 and you have a stash of items to rival the Pig King. Oh, and one last thing. A top tip, if you will. The game is amazingly hands off, and as said all the better for it, but trust me on this one, this is one pointer you'll love - hit the DS4 touchpad to bring up the in-game map. You can thank me later.
Don't Starve isn't perfect, but it brings something to the PS4 that is sorely needed. Its addictive qualities keep you playing, forcing you to lose hours of your life to dodging Pig Men, hunting rabbits, and gathering supplies to see how long you can last. This game will keep you playing that shiny new PS4, which is exactly what the PS4 needs right now. Now, time to jump in this rabbit hole and go to the Kingdom of the Bunnymen…hopefully.