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starvin

Good Game! But lacking in depth\scope- my review.

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starvin    14

*UPDATED thoughts and responses to comments from me on page-3 and 6 where heated arguments rage uncontrollably RAWR!!! oh noes!*IN THE BEGINNING-So there I was... waking in the woods... a strange shadowy figure seemingly mocking me after presumably trapping me his strange twisted, and perverse version of hell. What do I do? There was no help? No directions? No cutscenes spelling out how to do everything? No flashing button icons to say how to do things? As a jaded gamer, who's sick of AAA games, I adored it for this lack of hand holding. Just put me in a sandbox and watch me play! I set out with this feeling of incredible freedom, with the only oppression coming from the bleak existence in a dangerous world where seemingly all kinds of things can go wrong, where everything wants me to suffer... and eventually kill me. I died on my first night in fact, fumbling around trying to build a campfire, thinking I couldn't because while trying to place it the icon was grey at night instead of green *I didn't know this meant I could still place it*.My virgin days were this game's strong point. Where should I build my base? How do I find or make good food? How do I heal myself? How can I more effectively kill off them spiders and hounds? It was in these early days of play that I found myself absolutely obsessed with this game, unable to do or play anything else as though I really was trapped by Maxwell's spell, locked away in his wonderful and mysterious world of madness.Fast forward 50 hours of play later...I have beehives, crockpots, dark swords, I have a pig army, I have so much gold I don't even care about it anymore and just left a huge pile of gold in front of the pig king.This is where the game dies.You can start a new game at this point but why? You know every world will have the 4 "things", and the adventure portal. Each map will have the swamp, the grasslands, the mining fields, the walrus camps. This game doesn't have a lot of loot, monsters, dungeons, spells, abilities like a game like Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has. No, this isn't a game about delving into to dungeons to find epic swords of +15 slaying. This game's heart and soul is in the "how do I survive" category, so once you figure out how to survive and thrive the game is over. It's really that simple and unfortunate a truth.HARDER MODES ARE ONLY A BAND AIDE> You could survive on very few things if you wanted, perhaps just bunnies, grass, twigs, and spider silk, there is some fun in the strategy, sure. The thought that goes into what you will do and why is a big part of the experience, but nothing will happen to drastically alter how or why you do the things you do to survive nor is there anything special to look forward to once you find a way to sustain your 3 stats. That was the game... trying to survive.. so if you've found a way to survive, I guess the game's over then? What an unthrilling and uninspired endgame!THE WORLD DOES NOT CHANGE>I was soo thrilled when random attacking hounds would raid me and my base, or full moons would catch me off guard as my pig army began to mutate then maul me to death. It filled me with a sense of expectation that this game was going to be wild and unpredictable. Sadly there isn't much of this random wild side to the game though.There won't be random Merm raid parties trying to eradicate the Pigs, there won't be migrations of monsters claiming areas of land for themselves at random, nor changing biomes, nor volcano's making new landmass and earthquakes destroying old land, or growing threats in the world. Find a way to sustain hunger, sanity, and health- great check! done that! now what? Every time you play, the game world and how you'll set out to survive is pretty much the exact same thing. Random world generation hardly matters in this game. It feels like it should be an ever changing world, but it's very static.ADVENTURE MODE WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING.If you died on adventure level 1, no biggy, jump back into the portal and try again...If you fail on the darkness level *level 5*, you have to do all the worlds over again? yeah, forget that, I totally cheated... not because I am afraid of a challenge, no, but because I am deathly afraid of the monotony involved in doing this. I am afraid of having to do the first 4 worlds again, having to gather twigs, flint, and grass again, having to relearn all my recipes and refining resources, doing pretty much the exact same thing and strategy with little actual challenge until the last few levels, spending hours of my time running around looking for the 4 things every single map, all just to get another chance at that last super hard level. It wasn't really fun in my opinion, and this mode just seems like an afterthought that wasn't well thought out to begin with.OTHER COMPLAINTS--I really did not like the backpack sharing the armor slot. As other players have pointed out, it just becomes a massive inconvenience to the player without really adding anything to the survival difficulty as you can just click drag the pack with you, or wear the pack and have armor in your inventory ready for a quick swap when needed.It was annoying, especially as a new player who doesn't know what he'll need and when, trying to craft and gather resources with so little carry space. I feel like refining materials is kinda pointless, and seems only to exist to annoy the player further with yet more junk he's gota manage and haul around. For example, while crafting I would drop my grass so I could carry the silk I needed, only to realize I need rope too which turns up is made from the grass, so I'd drop something else, which also turns up to be something I need to hold to do this craft!.... grrrr!!! All while precious hours tick away as my sanity *in game and real life* is going, and my hunger is soo bad I could eat a whole beefalo!Items degrade too quickly. I find it annoying to have to build a new log suit, or spear constantly. Some people like the the game being hard for micro managing and planning, I get that. Some of us like our games to be difficult more in the combat sense. Hard to please em all I suppose. What kind of game is Don't Starve trying to be? As is right now, the game is quite lacking in both areas, once you learn to survive there isn't much point to all these menial things, it just becomes tedium. And you did it all for what? Is there some great battle or dungeon delving to look forward to? Nope, just the same old static world of nothingness. *I suppose I should edit this review and talk about the graphics and sound!*VISUALS The art stuff yo!>This game looks great, and it's all about the ART! It's a simplistic sketchy Tim Burton style full of haunting yet delightful overtones. The gesture of these lines is charming, wicked, devious, and always ending in a deadly point it would seem. Even Wilson's hair looks like demonic spires reaching out to impale your very soul, as these writhing claws of black doom grasp to keep you trapped in its' mysterious and wonderful horror... yes... trapped... Trapped in this strange and twisted take on a personal insane hell. The visuals strike at at my inner child with teasings of innocence and comfort, yet also haunt me with the sheer look of insanity written upon every line. This isn't Disney style construction drawing with nice soft rounded forms that invites you to feel safe and warm. It's a more flat look, making the game feel like a popup story book, and it's just as adorable as it is devious.In other words... This is different yet good artwork that instantly separates it from just about any other game. I give the visuals of Don't Starve two thumbs up! SOUND>It ticks me off that a game with such great visuals and an opening musical score has so little music. However, this game has wonderful ambiance, and more music may hurt the feelings that are inspired from that well done ambiance. The best part is how well this ambiance blends in with the artwork, as there is this wonderful synergy betwixt the 2. As I hack away at trees into the late hours, I hear my axe smacking away with a satisfying pop, while the tree has this fun animation to go with it. Then as the sinister darkness slowly encroaches upon me it is accompanied by the howling winds of an angry winter. Even doing menial tasks manages to be an immersive and engaging experience, especially for beginners. I didn't just see, no I also FELT the isolation, the desperation. Especially when this horrible and terrible sound of barking was off in the distance and all my pig friends went inside for the night! SOMEBODY COME OUT AND HELP ME! HELP!!!! DON'T LEAVE ME HERE ALONE!I really gota hand it to the sound and art department, this game is something else. The game delivers the feelings the artists intended.SCORE!- and the TL DR quick version of my thoughts on this game.I give this game a 8.0. I really enjoyed it, and by my jaded standards that is a very good score. Don't Starve is a delightful little indy game that can be a riveting and awesome experience but it does NOT have much lasting appeal once you've figured everything out. I got about 50 hours of play, it was a great time which is why I can give it an 8... but this game really does leave you with an unsatisfying ending. No, not in the way of how the story ends in adventure mode, no I mean the fact that I could start up a new game but why? Every game would play out pretty much the same. I could make it harder but for the most part I'd be doing the same things, for an all to predictable experience that doesn't lead up to anything epic nor interesting. It doesn't have to have end game content, but then the initial survival part better be a lot more varied, random, ever-changing and interesting then it currently is.As far as roguelikes go *probably my favorite genre of gaming*, this game is just not deep or broad enough. I could always load up Dungeon Crawl, and try one of hundreds of race\class combinations for an ever interesting and challenging game. I could always play binding of Isaac and be delighted to see what wonderful or terrible item is waiting for me in the treasure room, and in what interesting ways will it combine to work with my other items I've found. But I know exactly what I'll find in Don't Starve, and it isn't much sadly.final thoughts-WAS DON'T STARVE RELEASED TOO SOON?Now you could ask the same question about minecraft or terraria *and yes they did release too soon as well*, certainly these guys can release whenever they darn well feel like, but here's my take and reasoning on this.I honestly feel sad, and as though I cheated myself that I didn't wait another 6 months until all that extra content they plan to do is in and done, so I could have had an even more amazing virgin experience. Instead I slowly realized after a week of play that every world is pretty much the same thing with nothing exotic, new, or exciting to find.While Don't Starve is still a better game then 95% of the AAA garbage the industry chucks out every year, I feel that this meal needed a bit more time to cook in the crock pot to be something truly amazing for the first play, and for hundreds of hours more after. It doesn't feel right that game that commanded my interest and attention so strongly my first 30 hours, didn't last for hundreds. The potential is certainly here to pull that off, and I hope Klei has big plans for this game, not small ones.BUY NOW? I strongly recommend people to WAIT! Don't buy this game yet, or buy it but don't play it yet... Wait until it's actually done... As awesome as the game can be now, it'll be far more awesome in 6 months when they are done updating and have tons of more content in game. I may have to do something similar with Starbound, it's so hard to resist but playing these kinds of games early is selling the experience short of what could have been.And finally I just want to say thank you Klei Entertainment, for making this great game, it was one hell of a ride. I rejoice in the death of major AAA studios, as artists and programmers learn they can make a lot more money by cutting out the corporate grease-balls *pig kings* and making their own indy games. Thanks to these indy heroes we get these different and fascinating games that teach the world just how little inspiration and passion the big studios have for what they do *just pump out another generic shooter and call it a day*.Though Don't Starve left me starving indeed, for more, you guys deserve to get filthy stinking rich for making this game that dares to be something a little different then the norm. Here's to hoping for some epic updates that bring me back for more starvin in the future!

Edited by starvin
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Green    14

Played it for 50 hours and writing a review... ? Mh, I guess I don't even need to say this review is pretty disappointing. To not be rude. And I could.

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isk    10

i somewhat agree with the review and a score of 8.0 is totally accpetable. i think the expecations of the reviewer may just be a little too high. this is the type of game where the journey is the goal. and the journey in this case is figuring out the best strategy to survive. ive sunk in around 30 hours and i still find this extremely satisfying. i am well aware that once i figure out my own personal, 'optimal' strategy, there is not much left to do. but thats ok, because in my mind, i will have 'beat' the game. its a little like a tower defence game. figuring out the most effective build order is very satisfying but when youve found it, there is nothing left to do. dont starve even fares a little better in that sense.

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Velcraft    30

It's great to read these kinds of reviews as well, a good amount of critique will go a long way, I was actually surprised that this wasn't one of those rants about one or two things which are OP or not good enough, but a well-rounded, thought-out review. I still urge you to try out the customizing features, set yourself some goals, have a go at mods or something. The community has helped bring this game so far, and I think these kinds of reviews help it even more.And I agree, the thrill of the game is very much in the early days, just when you don't know what to. But I don't think that we need some dungeoncrawl aspect to it (at least not in the manner of ├╝bergear and random drop loot). But hey, looking on the bright side, the game WILL have caves in it, and hey presto! Another injection of "what will I do"!As of whether to buy now or not, I'd suggest you get it now of all times! It's nicely fleshed out, and every now and then you'll get something new and nice! Least of all things I'd recommend sitting around the forums reading tips and spoilers until the very end, only to find that you now already know everything about the game...~Velcraft

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sirflimflam    15

I agree with you for much of what you said, but the bit about playing for 50 hours and still not recommending people buy the game is kind of silly. If you managed to get 50 hours of it before you decided that the game is unfinished, I dunno...

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tehMugwump    447

I agree 100% with your comments about Adventure Mode. No way will I replay those levels again when I die part way through them. I hope Klei, or some modder way smarter than me, will create saves after each adventure map completed.Tools and food not lasting and backpack slots, etc. can all be fixed with mods.Personally, I'd like to see more buildable structures in the game. Would help keep your interest up once you've commanded the basics. And not something that will be pounded to smithereens come the first winter Deerclops - it would be built to withstand such attacks.Pretty much all the other complaints can also be said about Minecraft and we know how well that did.

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Well I am about to enter my third winter, and I have to say...The game gets pretty boring after you are dug in, but I plan to go through the teleportato when the new update comes out...

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skelooth    10

I don't understand how people keep "flying through" adventure mode and completing all there is to see in 50 hours. I've got about 80 hours logged in (oh lord), and I still:Can't beat the first chapter of adventure modeHaven't killed a mactusk or made a walking caneHaven't seen deerclopsHaven't seen KrampusHaven't seen the next 6 months of updatesI like the comparison to terreria and minecraft. I made a topic about an "unlimited lives" trick I've been using, and while I was away apparently it spawned a flamewar where people insisted that this is a rogue-like game. I don't see it that way at all. This is very much a terreria/minecraft style adventure and exploit game. In fact I'd really like to see building and terraforming become more sustainable (it is a huge time sync to lay floors and paths in this game, and walls are very 'meh'.) This game, at least for me, is about searching for and exploiting resources and hoarding them at a base of operations that grows into a magnificent HQ over time. As far as I'm concerned this is a top down terraria with the emphasis put on the cool starvation/sanity mechanic and a lot less craftables. I think 8/10 is a fair score, but the copy of your review sounded much more negative! Seriously, fantastic game. A diamond.

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rrgg    10

[MENTION=10028]tehMugwump[/MENTION]Minecraft as a game really isn't all that good. What makes it work is that no one plays minecraft to just to fight creepers, you give yourself a goal of building an awesome castle or whatever while fighting mobs is just one of the things you have to do to get there. Don't Starve, however, is first and foremost a survival game so once you start to realize that you have more food than you could possibly eat, that the difficulty is pretty superficial in a lot of places, and that a lot of mechanics lack much depth or are completely useless in the first place then there isn't really a whole lot left.

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Streetboat    11

Basically what I read was "So I got this cake at the bakery for way cheaper than the other cakes, and it was great! It was better than the other cakes! It had multiple layers, and it had been lovingly glazed with a new layer of icing added every few weeks. But I'm disappointed that it wasn't even better! And that I couldn't have two cakes! It needs to be a triple- decker! And have sparklers coming out the top!"

Okay I let that get away from me, it's nearly lunch time. But anyways, my point is, you seem to be demanding a bit of the gift horse. They give you this game that you praise for being unique in a market saturated with AAA-titles, and then you get 50 hours of enjoyment out of it. Then you start to complain because it no longer interests you after you've essentially played the entire game, and no matter what features it does have, you'll never be happy with it because you now see what it doesn't have.

Essentially, you shouldn't be chastising Klei for not making Don't Starve in the perfect image you have. They made a very involved, fleshed-out game. Your thread title even says it lacks depth, when Don't Starve is easily the only game I can even think of that has half this depth. Minecraft, maybe, but Minecraft is only a sandbox with an emphasis on taking blocks from one naturally-generated part of the world and re-placing them somewhere else in a man-made formation. Very fine game, very addicting, but I don't think it's got as much depth to it as Don't Starve. :)

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tehMugwump    447

[MENTION=10028]tehMugwump[/MENTION]Minecraft as a game really isn't all that good. What makes it work is that no one plays minecraft to just to fight creepers, you give yourself a goal of building an awesome castle or whatever while fighting mobs is just one of the things you have to do to get there. Don't Starve, however, is first and foremost a survival game so once you start to realize that you have more food than you could possibly eat, that the difficulty is pretty superficial in a lot of places, and that a lot of mechanics lack much depth or are completely useless in the first place then there isn't really a whole lot left.

No argument here (except for nightmare mode in Minecraft which would be a viable comparison). Having more things to do once you've mastered keeping you gut full is kind of what this thread is about.Maybe that is all Don't Starve has to offer as a 'rogue' game. Maybe it's more than a simplified rogue-throw-away-game (I certainly think so). Maybe with the next (and hopefully subsequent) updates, we'll get more to do and maybe it will pick up a huge expansion-pack-community of modders to keep the game alive for many, many months.It's been very interesting, though, reading these forums with two extremes where one camp wants the game so hard you are killed on game launch and the other wants a more Minecraft (*ducks) type experience.I think Klei has done a damn good job trying to satisfy both camps (and the game will appeal to more people because of it - and isn't that what we all want?). If DS grows strong and rakes in the serious bucks for them, I'm sure we'll see even greater things added in in the coming months.

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Nickboom    46

Now at the risk of being mauled by everyone im just going to say that I disagree with your ideas of adventure mode. I mean first you complain that survival is too easy and lacks depth but then criticize adventure mode for being too unforgiving. Adventure mode is suppose to be really hard, the whole reason you die then have to do it all over is intended. The point is that death is big, no silly "oh im dead let me just go back 5 seconds until I win". The fear of losing all of what you did increases your will to not die. I dont know why you think adventure mode was rushed in, before it was just some random effect then after a few worlds you just got like "I guess you win pal" or something like that. Now its got maps that have a certain and unique twist on them, the one you keep dieing is of course the hardest map its designed that you have to scrape by and make due with very little supplies.However on everything else I do agree with you. (Why didnt you mention the art style I feel thats a big plus for dont starve along with the character quotes and voices (aka sounds))

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rrgg    10

Now at the risk of being mauled by everyone im just going to say that I disagree with your ideas of adventure mode. I mean first you complain that survival is too easy and lacks depth but then criticize adventure mode for being too unforgiving. Adventure mode is suppose to be really hard, the whole reason you die then have to do it all over is intended. The point is that death is big, no silly "oh im dead let me just go back 5 seconds until I win". The fear of losing all of what you did increases your will to not die. I dont know why you think adventure mode was rushed in, before it was just some random effect then after a few worlds you just got like "I guess you win pal" or something like that. Now its got maps that have a certain and unique twist on them, the one you keep dieing is of course the hardest map its designed that you have to scrape by and make due with very little supplies.However on everything else I do agree with you. (Why didnt you mention the art style I feel thats a big plus for dont starve along with the character quotes and voices (aka sounds))

Being able to go back 5 seconds every time you die would be pretty cheap. But adventure mode is going to take around 10 hours to complete assuming a prudent average of around 2 weeks per world. That is a pretty massive time investment to lose with a single mistake.Ideally you don't want the game to simply be "hard," you want it to find the right mix of difficulty and fun.

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Velcraft    30

I think most people are guilty of demanding for something better. They don't know what they want (I don't), but they want it. It's like that story of an old lady who, after tasting "the perfect butter sandwich" when she was young spent her whole life trying to repeat the exact experience, yet never succeeded. I'm really happy that I got what I got, money well spent. I'm also glad that I was even able to gift a very close one the same experience at the same cost, and she's been loving it as well! All in all, let's sit back, look at the things we have, and be happy with them. Not intended as hate for the OP, and, as I said earlier, it's a very thought-out review and shows us some of the things that could be better.But I'm an easy to please kind of guy anyways..~Velcraft

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joey4track    10

I love that death has real consequences and I'm even more thrilled that a genre of games I've loved for many years, roguelikes, are influencing the difficulty of games today for they have all become hand holding spoonfed experiences. Don't starve is the complete opposite and I hope it stays that way. If you think the game is too hard maybe you should try some mods

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the reviewer make a great point about the fall off after learning how to not starve. i totally agree with that but the rest i dunno i'll have to read slower i was mostly scanning. the first 3 weeks of gameplay were hard, now? the beginning game seems a useless repetition.

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