“I haven’t starved and therein lies a mighty victory for pedantry”
Making waves in DON’T STARVE
Ihaven’t starved. That’s what I cling onto every time I try to get somewhere with Klei’s rock-hard survival game, Don’t Starve. I’ve died a gazillion other ways, but I haven’t starved, and therein lies a mighty victory for pedantry. There were the shadow monsters, which is how I remembered about sanity. There was that encounter with those snakes, which taught me that poison doesn’t wear off. There was the decision to avoid disturbing the bees, which saw me channel my thwarted desire to poke something with a spear into disturbing three spiders instead… but I haven’t starved, and am therefore still winning.
The thing which lured me into this hellscape was a screenshot of the Shipwrecked DLC. I’m a sucker for anything oceanic and the thrill of coral reefs, curling waves, and sea monstrosities was too much to resist.
I think that’s why I’ve stuck with Don’t Starve this time. I just like how the sea looks. It soothes my twitching eyelid as I pulverize the latest batch of grass patches or chop at trees to slog my way towards my umpteenth science machine. Instead of traversing fields, I surf my way to gold nugget-yielding boulders, and that seems to make all the difference.
But it’s not smooth sailing. The developers and I have some disagreements when it comes to object interactions and craft materials. They feel butterfly wings are an emergency foodstuff. I’m of the opinion that if I collect enough butterfly wings, I should be able to craft an iridescent cape worthy of being worn by Titus Andromedon.
This was a race to find something else to kill me before I could starve
Klei also seems to think my spear—a tool made from flint, rope, and twigs—should be allowed to conduct electricity. My idea of using one to stab a jellyfish was only bright in the sense that it delivered me an electric shock while the jellyfish bobbed away unscathed. I was so cross with this that I tried it several times in protest. You can see why I am not well suited to survival games.
I was pondering how to spend my time in the game, and remembered I’d found a treasure map marker to investigate. Unfortunately, my larder management skills seemed to have deserted me. As I landed on the island, I was starting to starve.
A quick recce told me there was no food in the vicinity. The race was on! Not to survive. No, that’d be absurd. This was a race to find something else to kill me before I could starve.
No evil creatures were available for prodding, and the game doesn’t seem to let you set yourself on fire. But my sanity meter was hovering perilously close to empty! I set sail and crashed into waves, seeking out sea monsters and other terrors. As my sanity started to drain, shadowy creatures faded into view.
Standing still in the center of the screen, I waited for the monsters to chomp down. Possessions spilled from my dead body.
But I hadn’t starved, and thus I am still winning.
Tidy camp, tidy mind.
A brief moment of peace.
The start of my short-lived bottle-of-bees business.