Very fun and engaging, but be prepared to start over, all the time, and never finish.

User Rating: 7.5 | Don't Starve PC
It has been reported that this game is excessively difficult. It is, but really only for one reason: It's hard to stay alive.

Once you figure out how everything works (you'll need to visit the Wiki page frequently, since none of this info is in the game itself), staying alive is a challenge, but a rewarding one. You have to balance your Hunger, Sanity and Health stats. My strategy is to start building farms as soon as I can, which means running around and gathering materials, as well as some food to keep you alive until your farming operation is in full swing.

But even there, you have a couple of challenges. The first major challenge you will have is surviving in winter, when all of the natural food supplies stop growing and you need a stockpile of them to stay alive (and not starve). This requires farms. You need to start near a supply of manure to build your farms, and that means you have to find Beefalo and build near them. On some maps the Beefalo herds may be so far away that it takes you days to find them, and in that case, you might as well start over, because if you don't get your camp up and running in a couple of days you will be hopelessly behind when winter arrives, about 20 days in.

You also need gold to build some buildings and tools, but again, there may be no gold anywhere near you, and if you don't find any within a couple of days, you will have no chance of surviving the winter.

And you haven't even been attacked by dogs yet, which show up every ten days or so. You'll need armor and a weapon to survive this, but since you've been desperately trying to build farms, you may not have made them yet, and anyway you never knew you needed them because nothing in the game is explained.

All of this is a challenge, but I like challenges. These things are what makes the game great. the big problem, though, is that if you die, you have to start all over again. Trust me, if you haven't starved to death by the time the dogs show up, they will almost certainly kill you. Also you can be killed quite at random just from trying to cross a swamp, when you are attacked by tentacles. You can usually outrun them, but sometimes for whatever reason they still manage to kill you, which means starting all over again. And if you should find yourself when night arrives with no wood or material to make a torch or a campfire, you die. You cannot survive the night without fire, and once it is completely dark, you can't even build a fire or use your torch if you have it, because the whole interface goes dark.

There are a couple of ways to get new lives though, including finding places on the map that you can use as save/respawn points, but I've only ever found two on any map. Also, since you drop all your items when killed, if the respawn point are some distance from your camp, they are useless in winter time, since you'll freeze to death before you get back to camp.

Which is all to say that the game is fun, but it is just too easy to die, and dying usually means starting over. If you really wanted to play this game without cheating, it would be nearly impossible to actually make good progress. There are just too many ways to die.

I understand, and respect their decision to make the game like this, to put some challenge into it, but the penalty for even minor mistakes is just too harsh.

I found a way to get around this death penalty, which I won't share here, but you can find it online if you look. This makes it possible to save the game and restart from that save point if you die. Without that cheat, this game would not be worth playing. It would just be too frustrating and time consuming to try to get anywhere in the game. If they had more ways to reload after death, this game would be a lot better. The way it is now, you'll probably quit in frustration before you've survived a single winter.

Discussion

0 comments