I have a weird relationship with the survival rogue-like game Don’t Starve. Rachael and I became interested in the game a few years ago as our Minecraft phase was winding down by way of some Let’s Plays on Youtube. It looked like a fun, if frustrating, game, so we bought copies to play on our laptops.
This was back when the game was still in beta and you had delightful quirks like the biomes being generated as circular islands that were connected by long thin landbridges and the world needing to be manually wiped in order to get a new map (I actually really enjoyed having the same map every time I started over at first, and I’m kind of sad the game’s never had a feature introduced to retain worlds after a character dies in them). Things like the periodic hound attacks hadn’t been implemented, and there were no story objectives yet to provide players with a set of goals beyond surviving for as long as possible, but I simply wasn’t very good at the game so I never lasted terribly long (I think my record back then was around twenty-something days). I got bored with it after a little while and moved on to other things; Rachael reached a point where she preferred to watch Let’s Plays over playing Don’t Starve herself (she’s always enjoyed watching video games more than playing them in most cases). I’m usually not super into Let’s Plays myself, so I haven’t spent nearly as many hours as Rachael has learning about this game.
Because of that, Rachael’s incredibly good at Don’t Starve even though she only occasionally plays it herself. Whenever I play, I usually end up asking her how to do things because she just knows off the top of her head.
Anyway, after giving up Don’t Starve on the computer, I eventually bought it for my PS3 and PS Vita when it was on sale. I played it on and off for a couple of months, and then put it aside again (I’ve never felt confident enough to attempt the adventure mode, though I have had a couple of games where I managed to survive a whole in-game year). It’s become something of a fallback game for me; whenever I’m between games, there’s a strong chance I might pick up Don’t Starve to fill the gap until I find something I really want to play. It’s always been vanilla (Reign of Giants introduces so many new challenges that I don’t even want to mess with), which I find comfortable, though somewhat repetitive at this point.
It’s no secret that Rachael really likes pirates, so she was taken with Shipwrecked from the first Let’s Plays that came out about it. I watched a few with her to see what kind of changes this expansion made to the game, but like with most serialized Let’s Plays, I eventually lost interest. Once again, Rachael is the expert here.
Anyway, I was browsing through the online store to see if there was anything interesting on sale, and I noticed that Shipwrecked had finally been ported to PS4. It was a five dollar expansion, so I decided to buy it on a whim; it’s fun to have the option to be piratical every once in a while.
I’ve only played for a couple hours so far, and the experience is turning out to be about what I expected. Everything is out to kill you, and because there are some mechanics introduced that were only present in Reign of Giants before, I’m struggling a little bit with how things work in this new expansion. Rachael’s been really helpful, offering me some advice on things I should prioritize as I go about trying to establish my base; I suspect I’m not going to last very long at first, and I might lose interest before I get into a good rhythm with it, but it’s a fun distraction.
Now if only I could write up a log of my misadventures in the vast ocean wasteland.