iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac •
I’m a huge fan of Klei Entertainment, who have managed to port several of their very polished PC titles into very polished mobile apps. Their latest was the turn-based spy thriller Invisible Inc., which I really need to spend some quality time with, one of these days. I really, really enjoyed it when it was released but…well, it seems I never have the chance to sink that much time into one single game these days. Back when I could sink a lot of time into one game, I did just that with Klei’s other fantastic mobile port, Don’t Starve. If there was one complaint I had about this survival gem, however, it would be about just how damn hard it is. I mean, I get that a steep difficulty is kind of the point of surviving in a hostile world with nothing buy your brains to get by, but playing for hours and getting killed by a spider because you weren’t paying attention and having to start over was a huge pain in the ass. For those of you who felt the same way, Klei has just updated the app with a new mode promising a simpler adventure for the simple among us (me…I’m really talking about me).
If you’re not familiar with Don’t Starve, the premise is quite simple. You’re dropped into a strange world with nothing and are tasked to survive for as long as you can. There are other goals you’ll encounter along the way, and you can ignore them to your heart’s content if you prefer to focus on the survival part. It’s up to you.
Surviving isn’t easy. You need to collect resources and use them to build things to help you live, starting with something to protect yourself and getting some food so you can fulfill the titular command and not starve. You start not knowing any recipes, but will learn them as you go along eventually building farms where you can grow food or herd cattle. Sounds easy, but the world you’re in is a rough place and, especially at night, there are a lot of things out there that want to kill you.
The latest update to Don’t Starve adds something called “No Sweat” mode which is targeted toward “people who want a less demanding experience”, but they also mention that it’s great for kids. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to make me happy that my kids can play it, or if they’re trying to shame me for playing the kid version. Whatever, sticks and stones and all that, right?
If you were one of those who liked the premise and wonderful artwork of Don’t Starve, but gave up after being killed by bees for the 100th time, now might be the time to check the game out again and see if it’s a bit more to your liking. Be aware that the No Sweat mode doesn’t appear to have landed on the Android or PC/Mac version yet, nor has it made it’s way to the other Klei app set in this world Shipwrecked. We’ll keep an eye out for it.