Don’t Starve Preview – Learn, Adapt, or Die


Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve is an unapologetic game that revels in it’s old-school sensibilities. It doesn’t hold your hand with tutorials and how-to’s; it instead drops you in a randomly generated map and leaves you to figure out how to survive on your own in this harsh new world.

In the world of Don’t Starve, you’ll have to face spiders, pigs, giant walking tree people, and a number of other crazy, imaginative creatures in your fight for survival. Since the game doesn’t offer tutorials of any kind, the open-ended nature of the game may be a turn-off for gamers used to being told what to do in their games. Those of us who enjoy problem-solving and who like a bit of challenge in our games are sure to find enjoyment in Don’t Starve.

Read our full Don’t Starve preview after the break.


In Don’t Starve, it’s up to you to learn how to survive the wilderness. If you don’t adapt quickly, then it’s a dirt nap for you.

In Don’t Starve, you play as an intrepid scientist named Wilson (or one of the other characters) who has been transported to a mysterious wilderness world. It’s a similar set-up to other recent games like Dark Souls and DayZ. Each player writes his or her own story, simply by playing the game. You’ll die a lot, but each death comes with its own rewards in that you learn something new about the world that will help you in your next adventure.

Most players will start their journey doing activities like collecting pieces of flint, grass, carrots and whatever else they can scavenge without tools. Then you’ll learn how to build an axe, a pick axe, maybe even fashion a bacpack to store all your loot and some food. When it gets dark you’re going to build a fire to stay warm and survive the night; otherwise you’ll get eaten by dangerous creatures hidden in the dark. And that’s just one of the many ways you can die in Don’t Starve.


Better have some kind of light when night comes. Or else those creatures in the dark will swallow you whole.

Basic survival instincts and common sense are a must in order to stay alive in this game. For example, one time my character was getting hungry; I had a backpack full of monster meat yet didn’t want to waste precious materials to start a fire. So I ate the meat raw; I figured how bad could it be? Lo and behold, Wilson dropped dead and I had to start from square one. Yet again, because of this, I learned another thing to avoid in my next playthrough.

Things get more interesting when you earn enough resources after the first day. From there, you’ll have to make decisions that are going to create your tale of survival in the woods. Do you stay in the same area harvesting all of the resources for food and research? Do you go exploring, looking for new resources to build more advanced structures and tools to increase your odds of survival? Hell, maybe you’ll even split your time between building torches by day and exploring at night. You have to watch where you step, what you eat, when you attack, and what you don’t attack. You can and will die a lot in this game while you learn the ins-and-outs of surviving in the woods.


Will you harvest, explore, or fight? It’s all up to you to create your own survival story.

Technically, Don’t Starve’s art style is very drab and dreary; and it fits the setting perfectly since it’s a game where death can be found everywhere. You’ll feel that you are truly alone in a very dangerous and depressing place. That’s not to say there’s no humour in the game. Your character and even some of the enemies shoot out little quips here and there, saying stuff like “take that nature” while chopping a tree or “here piggy piggy piggy” when trying to get their hands on some pork. I’m even confident to say that even the master filmmaker Tim Burton would approve of the Don’t Starve’s art style and comedic aspects.

Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve caught me off guard. I knew nothing about the game other then seeing a couple of screenshots of a depressing forest and a wonky scientist before playing it. After giving it a try, it managed to pull me into its universe with a surprisingly deep set of crafting and loot mechanics. Learning something new after every death motivated me to give it just one more shot. I’m not sure if there’s an end game yet because I know I’m going to die a lot, but I’m planning on finding out if it’s the last thing I do.

If you’re one of those players that’s looking for a challenge and a game that doesn’t hand-hold you the whole way through, then you should give Don’t Starve a try. I can guarantee that you’ll die a lot, but you’ll love every minute of it.

If you pick up Don’t Starve’s early access beta ($11.99), you’ll get 2 copies of the game, the full experience when it releases and help out with the game’s evolution and development.

Once the full game is released, it will cost approximately $15.00.

Anyway, you can check out Don’t Starve here:


About thedude250

Started gaming as soon as i had the strength to hold the Nes controller. Since then i have had the pleasure of spending time with everything from the Snes right up to today's current batch of consoles and P.C titles. If you got the Itch to game....ill scratch it with you anytime!!

Posted on December 13, 2012, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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