Don’t Starve Together: Surviving, Starving and Salvaging Stylishly


By Ramzi Maducdoc
          Don’t Starve Together by Klei Entertainment is the standalone multiplayer expansion of the hit sandbox survival game Don’t Starve.
Released in 2012, Don’t Starve was praised for its Tim Burton-esque atmosphere and uncompromising gameplay, leading to the game becoming one of the biggest indie titles of the year.
          Fellow staff member Aaron Facundo and I played the game with absolutely no background knowledge on the game to see what it would be like for new players with no experience playing the prior game.
          After a couple of minutes of getting into the same lobby and setting up the game, we begun our journey on a flat grassland plain, surrounded by trees, bushes and saplings.
          We started off by picking saplings, grass and any interesting items we could find on the ground. Then we began discovering crafting recipes on the left column on the screen, making tools and basic survival necessities.
The first day went by quickly, and when nighttime came and we had to set up a campfire and stay close to it in order to avoid the monsters hiding within the pitch black darkness. The complete darkness of the night does not last very long. In order to survive the night, the players just have to stick close to their fire.
          The next few days consisted of gathering resources and tinkering with the crafting menu, not really having any goal in particular except getting as many traps as possible, as we presumed that food was going to be a necessity.
Unfortunately, our traps were not getting us any food whatsoever, and  the days we spent gathering resources for those traps were going to waste. Soon enough, the inevitable starvation happened. We could no longer regenerate health, and we realized that we were not going to survive for much longer.
          Our journey officially ended after seven ingame days, after the both of us had died. Our initial experience of this game as complete newcomers was one of great confusion and disorientation throughout.
The ruthless and unforgiving nature of the game makes it difficult for new players to keep coming back to the game unless they look up tips and tricks online, which Aaron and I vowed not to do in an attempt to discover everything by ourselves.
         As we kept on playing, the relentless nature of Don’t Starve Together was a struggle to keep returning to. Our progression remained limited, as with each run we gained little knowledge. In order to truly enjoy this game, great patience is needed, which neither of us wanted to give.
         To quote Aaron himself:  “Don’t starve together is a game where I see it’s potential but to reach it is a bore. After purchasing the game, I was not prompted with any tutorial or guide about the fundamentals of the game.
         Ramzi and I had to figure out the controls and mechanics by ourselves. Not only that, but the main game mode served no purpose aside from surviving as long as possible, with no limit.
         “Overall, my experience with Don’t Starve Together was a good get together with a friend, but nothing more” Aaron says.
And to a great extent I agree with him. It was a good experience to play with a friend, but at times the game felt more of a struggle for the both of us rather than a memorable experience. The game has potential, but it requires great patience and determination to achieve.