I recently picked up a Playstation 4 as an early birthday present to myself, and yesterday I started playing Don’t Starve: Console Edition. It’s great, but it’s brutal.
Don’t Starve presents you with a new procedurally generated world on each playthrough, with permanent death when you finally succumb to starvation, injury or insanity. I love it. You start out with nothing, and it’s up to you to collect the natural resources of the landscape to try to survive.
So far, the best I’ve managed is around day 15. After a couple of days I’ve gathered together enough resources to arm and defend myself, and have a small camp set up. I’ve been trying to get enough farms and replanted berry bushes to keep me in food, while trapping rabbits and curing them — after the initial summer, winter will come, and I’ll need a stockpile of rabbit jerky and meat to keep me going once the farm produce and berries stop growing. The thing is, it’s just so very hard.
Last playthrough, I got a bunch of berry bushes together, a couple of farms, and some drying racks and trapped rabbit holes, but it wasn’t enough. Every day I ended half-starved. All of a sudden, I was struggling for resources, and a couple of times I had to dip into my winter rabbit supplies just to stop myself from starving overnight.
I’d placed my camp in a forest biome next to some savannah that was home to a lot of rabbit holes and a herd of beefalo. That’s handy — not because I could kill them for meat (though come winter that might be very tempting — but because they produce prodigious amounts of manure, which I use for farming. They were a little trek away from the camp, and I’d ventured out there to collect trapped rabbits and stock up on beefalo poo. When I got there, though, the beefalo were in heat, which makes them aggressive. I scooped up a bunch of manure, but they were getting annoyed at my presence.
I’d literally just said I’m not dying for a pile of cow shit, when I died collecting some cow shit, trampled and gored by an amorous beefalo.
It’s brutal. This game hates you. There are spiders and killer bees and pig-men and hideously deformed mermen. The constant threat of starvation and insanity. And the looming threat that eventually, I’m going to make it through to winter and then, in all likelihood, I’ll starve or freeze to death. Is it obvious yet how much I like it?