Action Game of the Year 2015 Runner-Up: Don't Starve

By Dave Neumann 18 Dec 2015 0

I can hear your eyes rolling already. Don't Starve? An action game? We had this discussion behind the scenes as well and, where do you put a game like Don't Starve? It's not an RPG, but maybe strategy? It's not interactive fiction, but maybe adventure? The truth is, Don't Starve can fit into several categories or, maybe only fit into it's own category. During my last play I found myself tapping furiously while being chased by spiders and then setting fire to an entire forest while my character was killed by pig men. That was enough for me to justify dropping it in the action bucket.

Don't Starve is a survival game in which you're dropped into a randomly generated world with nothing but your wits and propensity for growing a really stellar beard. The game consists of collecting resources and using those resources to build tools, shelter, and clothing to keep you alive. Unfortunately, it's harder than it sounds because everything in the world wants you dead, oh, and you need to eat or you'll starve.

The real joy of Don't Starve is its depth. Play ten games and you'll still see stuff you've never seen before. Play another ten and you'll still stop to wonder just what the hell something is, or what to do about it. It seems like there's always something new to find or a tool that you unlock that you've never built before. There's even a full story beyond simply surviving that isn't immediately obvious. You need to stumble onto it and decide if you're going to take that route. Or not, and just continue doing what you're doing.



Adding to the replayability are new characters to unlock, each one with a power that will change the way you play the game. You can also change every aspect of world generation to create a completely new experience, tailored to your whims. Don't want to deal with spiders? Turn the spider slider all the way down. Thus, you can make the game as easy or hard as you want.

Don't Stave is an App Store gem and is one of those games that has earned a permanent spot on my iPad. This is one I'll be playing for years to come.

To see all of the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2015 Awards, visit the 2015 Awards Index page.

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