If Tim Burton decided to make a survival/adventure point and click, this would probably be it. The whole the game are pretty amazing to be honest, it’s made by a very small studio and can be picked up for around £10 or less. Guess what the aim of the game is? One of my favourite parts of this and one of the most influential things about it is that you get dropped into the game with absolutely no idea what you’re supposed to do, how to get there, what to do to get there or anything. Maybe that’s where the title comes from, the first thing I did was try not to starve…or get mauled, or go insane. It’s kept me coming back for more, even though I still don’t understand what I’m doing…
It’s like any other point and click game, right/left click on somewhere on the screen and the character will move where you click or interact with whatever it was. There are are seven different characters and they all have different traits.You only start with one character, though; Wilson. I’m not even sure if there is an end game goal even though I’ve clocked up a good 5 or so hours on this so far (with many more to come) I’m just trying to survive and explore! There are many different biomes similar to Minecraft and it doesn’t really make sense, in one place there could be an endless swamp with a plot of savanna, meadow and forest right next to it.
A nice little feature is the insanity bar, which creeps down slowly while you’re in darkness or consume certain foods. A lack of sanity makes your view go very warped and makes nasty shadow creatures reach out and follow you, eventually trying to attack you. It’s pretty creepy but you get used to it eventually. I’m not sure whether the lack of information is good or bad; I understand that it is to make a very challenging experience for the player and to teach them as they play but certain things you need to know. For example about the need to eat, the insanity gauge and the fact that if you don’t have a light source at night an unseen horror comes up and makes sure you never see light of day again. I actually find this game pretty chilling and unnerving – the limited view means that you never know what’s about the appear and when it gets to dusk (there is a clock so you know how close night time is) and I’m gonna have to get back to camp quickly I have to say I panic a bit.
Something I haven’t encountered yet is the Adventure Mode, accessed by hunting down ‘Maxwell’s Door’ somewhere in the wilderness. In sandbox mode, you must survive against various monsters, random dog attacks and a weird man-demon-thing named Krampus while in Adventure mode Wilson is pitted against a character named Maxwell. Adventure mode has 5 chapters, and upon entering it you lose all of your recipes and can only take a certain amount of items; some extra challenge if there isn’t already enough of it. Lose in Adventure Mode and get spat straight back out into Sandbox – pretty unforgiving. Not as unforgiving as the fact that unless you’ve found a Touch Stone or constructed a Meat Effigy or an Amulet when you die you die for good. Luckily you get XP and are on your way to unlocking a new character so at least you’re rewarded instead of being told to just start again.
If you’re after a very pretty and well-made game I’d give it a shot. If you’re not really experienced with these sort of games and expect to see a ‘click to pick this item which does x’ or ‘combine x with y to get z’ I’d stay away from it.