Don’t Starve Together: Console Edition is the Console release for the 2013 original title Don’t Starve, a top-down survival game where you have to take on absurd world filled with things trying to kill to drive you – or drive you into insanity (literally). Suit up with a host of different characters and try not to, well, starve.
With very little knowledge of what this game was even about, I booted up and jumped straight in…
… and died in the first 5 minutes. Donnnn’t make the same dumb mistake I did, by trying to solo a couple beehives and then eat a mushroom (don’t eat the mushrooms!). After my first run in with death and the following 3, I finally grasped the basics mechanics for this survival title.
How Don’t Starve generally works is: you are faced with surviving a day-night cycle, during the day you scavenge, mine, trap animals, craft items, build weapons all while maintaining your hunger levels, ‘sanity’ and HP. At night you have to make sure you have some form of light to defend you from a night creature (who is apparently called charlie, fantastic name for a creature threatening impending doom).
Apart from the basic elements in a survival game mention above, I really liked the whole ‘sanity’ meter, see a ghost? A giant freaking wasp? Pack your bags and get the hell away unless you want to descend into madness – although this mechanic has been done before in horror games like Amnesia, I found it pretty rad in Don’t Starve because in this weird and wacky world the player is in, it depicts how unprepared and meniscal you are for the challenge of survival.
When it comes to the art style I’m a sucker for the hand drawn aesthetic, personally, it makes the game as a whole feel a little more valuable as an art piece. The sort of late 1800’s design adds a nice archaic touch to this puppet-themed game, It does the game great justice and makes each character appear menacing yet cute.
Touching on crafting which makes up a huge deal of the game, there is a host of items and tools that can be crafted for usage – and certain items require certain engines to create more scientific items like a transistor, cannon or ‘coconade’. if you want a more in-depth idea into what you actually craft check out this guide
Gameplay is obviously repetitive (be ready to chop trees for days) but it’s damn enjoyable. The map is always filled with new challenges and items to build. And using a controller as a pose to a mouse and keyboard works really well and fluidly even when avoiding and returning attack quick attacks.
The player also gets to select from a whole variety of different characters with special abilities to help them on their journey.
Now what makes Don’t Starve Together different to the original release, is that It supports multiplayer, and my personal favorite: Split screen!
What’s up with games nowadays and no split screen support?? There is nothing better than sitting next to a friend and cooperatively figuring something out with the convenience of their screen being right next to yours, it’s like we couch coop players are a forgotten breed, there is a reason they sell extra controllers ya know!
Luckily they realized this and added split screen support (bless).
Although I didn’t get to play much online, there are 4 types of lobbies you can find yourself in: Social, PVP, A hardened survival mode, and the general survival mode. Lobbies at the moment are plentiful so depending on your location you will pretty likely find a game.
Honestly apart from there being no handholding tutorial teaching you what’s going on, this game is an absolute winner. I’ve experience zero glitches or bugs, I’ve felt a sense of reward through every cycle and absolutely terrified traversing through new untouched terrain, only to experience giant creatures getting ready to predator skin you alive.
Grab some friends, a handful of berries and torch, and prepare to sell a part of your soul to Klei Entertainment because this is one you will be replaying for quite some time…
Disclosure: Review code for the game was provided by the publisher.