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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Play Diary; Don’t Starve, Part 1


This being the account of my adventures within the strange, gothic world of Don’t Starve; an excellent indie survival simulation, with elements of Minecraft, FTL and Farm Simulator 2012. 

My name is Wilson Percival Higgsbury, and I am a Gentleman Scientist. I also don’t look too good, and need some food. Or so I’ve been informed by the mysterious, suited gentleman that has just appeared and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. How dare he make inferences on my thin build and pale skin? It’s all the rage nowadays; these Otherworldly Dimension types clearly have no eye for fashion.

Ah yes, that reminds me; this otherworld dimension. Guess I’m trapped, then. Not to worry, Wilson the Gentleman Scientist is more resourceful than MacGyver and Bear Grylls at some sort of resourceful-ness based contest. Possibly with cake. Onwards!!


Day 1


I appear to be in some form of plain; there are plenty of trees around, as well as grass and flowers. I idly run around picking them up, before realising I’m wasting precious time. I need to find some food! I continue exploring and come across something orange in the ground. Carrots! What a great start. I resolve to create a roast dinner tonight with what I’ve found. So next on the shopping list; meat! There are plenty of birds around; however I can’t catch a bird. I’m a scholar, not a feline. I continue onwards. I find a couple of berry bushes I quickly harvest. Perhaps one can make a fruit pudding for afters! Finally, I stumble on a grassy field, dotted with rabbit holes. Which means rabbits. Told you; SCIENTIST. Cue spending 10 minutes running around trying to catch a rabbit with my bare hands. I really don’t think I’ve thought this through.

 All of a sudden, the sky turns an ominous orange. That reminds me! I should probably make a fire, I completely forgot about night!  Temporarily abandoning my Glorious Quest to Catch A Bunny Rabbit; I use my scientific knowledge (as well as the toolbar) and discov..ahem…*remember* that I can create an axe to chop down some of these trees. Luckily, I’m a hoarder by nature, and having already found a few twigs from saplings and a scrap of flint; I piece together a rudimentary axe. Night is drawing in, however, and I only have time to harvest the bare minimum of wood to make a fire. I use some of my spare grass shoots as tinder and just in time we get up and running. I AM THE GOD OF FIRE! PRAISE ME, PUNY MOR….what was that? I’m sure I just heard a noise outside the radius of firelight….


Speaking of which, it’s not very substantial, is it? No, the fire’s already dying out! This is bad, I’ve already used all my wood and I can’t see any more trees to chop within the firelight’s meagre radius. I desperately throw a couple of pine cones I found onto the fire; anxiously watching the fire consumes the soul of the tree inside. I can still hear the terrifying sounds out in the dark. They’re waiting from me. Frantically, I throw some grass on there, but it barely makes a difference. Looking back, I probably should have held on to those flowers, too. “I haven’t even eaten yet!” I realise, as the last flame slowly dies out. As the monsters close in around me; everything is pitch black. I run desperately trying to find anything that would help but it’s futile. What a waste, I think. I’ve enough carrots and berries to feed a vegan for life, but my Quest For Bunny Rabbits has been my downfall at last.


Day 1 (Again)


Aah! What’s this? I’m back! Mysterious suited man, you’re here again, too? Are you my creator? WAIT! No time to ponder why God would bring me back here, famished and “ill-looking”, instead of back in my moustache and pipe-decorated laboratory, I have work to do. You caught Wilson out last time, evil monsters of the night; you shall not do so again!

 Ok, twigs from saplings, grass for tinder, flint, I spend 10 minutes just looking for flint. Why is it so hard to find all of a sudden? WHERE’S ALL THE BLOODY FL…. Ah, found some. Right, good, axe made, let’s go caveman style on these trees. Chopping away, I harvest so much wood my axe breaks. Ah well, at least I have plenty. Ok, need some food before it gets dark. Carrots, got some of them, not many berries thou…wait, what’s this? Ooh, a bee hive! Honey Glazed Carrots, now THERE’s a dish fit for a gentleman. Now, let’s just stick my hand in here….AAAAH, BEES! GIANT MUTATED DEMON BEES!! I run in the opposite direction as fast as my gangling legs will carry me, but it’s too little too late. With no axe to defend myself, and a disproportionately large head to aim for, the demon bees quickly overcome me. And I didn’t even get any honey. Speaking of which, I haven’t even eaten at all, yet! This game is supposed to be called Don’t Starve; they should’ve called it Everything Wants to Eat You; Literally Everything.


Day 1 (Yet Again)


Suited man, twigs, flint, AXE! Chop, wood, pine cone, berries, carrots, dodge the pigmen, make a…wait a minute. I seem to have accidentally stumbled into a village of pig people! Look at their funny little houses and everything, they seem far too tall and thin to accommodate such beasts, but who am I to question the architectural preferences of Pig People. More importantly, maybe this is a safe place! I go to greet one, taking care to put away my axe, but I can barely get any intelligible words out of any of them, and the ones I do get are extremely intimidating. Time to back away, I think. I don’t go far, however. I’ve noticed the large farm they have in the town centre of Piggleton (I suppose you have to start naming things sooner or later), and it’s piqued my curiosity. I choose a location slightly north of Piggleton with a sea view, and set up camp, dreaming of bacon…I mean vegetables. With the fire roaring almost out of control, that night I settle down as close as I can to it, and eat my roasted carrots, perusing my toolbar and thinking on what to do tomorrow. As night comes in, I can hear the monster’s wails, but for once I’m happy and content, and patiently wait until morning.

What will happen next in this strange new world? Will our dashing academic be able to make peace with Piggleton? What will he do now he’s survived his first night? What other surprises await him in this mysterious land? Find out in Volume II of the Diary of Wilson P. Higgsbury, Gentleman Scientist!

Don’t Starve is out now for PC on Steam, £11.99.

Matt, 24 last time he checked, was born and raised in Manchester. A self-styled geek; when he isn't annoying his other half by fitting in as much gaming time as he possibly can, he can be found getting his fix of Fantasy and Sci-Fi elsewhere by reading, writing, or watching TV Series and Films. He is also a Michelin 3-Starred Chef in his spare time, and can be found experimenting in the kitchen, and generally poisoning his friends with obscure and mysterious dishes.

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