Review: Don’t Starve Together makes dying in the wilderness fun

Wake up in the wilderness, wander around stuffing anything remotely useful in your pockets, subsist on berries for a week, then get eaten by wolves. Welcome to the world of Don’t Starve. Dying horribly in the wilderness has never been so much fun, and now you can do it with your friends.

Don’t Starve Together is the standalone multiplayer version of the popular survival game Don’t Starve by Klei Entertainment. The game entered early access in December 2014 and was fully released last Thursday. Players can pick any character from the unlockable cast of the original game. If you and your friends ever wanted to reenact Lord of the Flies, this game is exactly what you’re looking for.

As the name suggests, you’ll spend most of your time trying to not starve to death. You manage three resources: your hunger, health, and sanity. If you run out of sanity, you start hallucinating monsters that can kill you. If you run out of hunger, you will start losing health. If you run out of health you will, of course, die. Different characters have different amounts of each resource, as well as their own special abilities. Wolfgang, the strongman, gets stronger the more he eats; Wilson, the gentleman scientist, grows a magnificent beard.

Once you manage to eke out a modest subsistence, you can start exploring the world of the game and gather the resources to craft all kinds of zany inventions. The game is basically the hard mode from the original Don’t Starve – except now you have to compete with other players for resources. When a player dies, they become a ghost, which can haunt items and drain the sanity of anyone nearby. Certain items can be crafted to resurrect players, though they will take a heavy toll on the crafter’s sanity.

Most of the characters have been rebalanced to work better in a multiplayer environment. This ranges from reducing health to drastically changing how their special abilities work. For example, Willow the pyromaniac has limited use of her fire lighting abilities and Woodie the cursed lumberjack can tell when he will be transformed.

As you play Don’t Starve Together, you will occasionally receive item drops for clothes to dress up your characters. Some items are only for specific characters; you can dress dapper occultist Maxwell in survivalist rags or overzealous method actor Wigfrid in golden valkyrie armor. Don’t Starve Together also incorporates content from the Caves and Reign of Giants DLC, with the Shipwrecked content coming soon.

You can pick up Don’t Starve Together for $14.99 or the entire Don’t Starve franchise for $23.96.

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