Klei Entertainment has a history of making new and innovative games. From its side-scrolling beat-em-up, Shank, to its ninja stealth game, Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment has succeeded in creating unique games that make the most of the conventions of their genre. In 2013, Klei Entertainment outdid itself when it created Don't Starve, a survival adventure game.
In Don't Starve, the player must survive in a procedurally generated world, by gathering resources needed to craft weapons and tools. Without very many instructions, the player must learn how to best handle the elements while managing the character's sanity and hunger. With subsequent DLC, Don't Starve added even more challenges, with an additional season, new mechanics, and creatures.
Every game in Don't Starve is different from others thanks to the vast amount of challenges presented to the player in the game. Starvation, loss of sanity, darkness, freezing, and overheating are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things the player must prepare for in order to survive. Thanks to the number of challenges and lack of information, death is so commonplace in Don't Starve that even the smallest accomplishments provide the sweetest taste of victory. Of course, none of that matters if the player dies, as death is permanent and the player is forced to start the game over in a new challenging world.
Here are 6 games that provide the same survival and crafting challenge as Don't Starve.
1. 7 Ways to Die
- System: Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Publisher: The Fun Pimps Entertainment LLC, Telltale Publishing
- Developer: The Fun Pimps
- Release Dates: December 14, 2013
The world outside is overrun with zombies; inside your makeshift shelter, you are running out of supplies. What do you do? The only thing you can do: survive. That's the name of the game in 7 Ways to Die, the horror survival game that sees the player attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse for as long as possible. Every night the zombies come for you, with the horde being bigger and more aggressive on the 7th day. If the player manages to survive the nights and week, then the game continues with another week of survival.
To survive, the player must scavenge the world to find food, water, and materials to craft into tools. In the game, almost everything is destructible and can provide crafting materials. Everything degrades over time as well, forcing the player to seek out new places to scavenge material from, as well as constantly repair and improve their shelter.
7 Ways to Die has a different approach its combat from Don't Starve, making it a strong focus of the gameplay. Fans of Don’t Starve's survival will definitely enjoy 7 Ways to Die for its different take on the survival crafting genre.
2. The Forest
- System: PlayStation 4, Window
- Publisher: Endnight Games
- Developer: Endnight Games
- Release Dates: May 30, 2014 (Alpha)
When Eric Leblanc's airplane crashes on a mysterious island and his son is dragged away by a group of cannibals, he's left to fend for himself. As Eric, the player must uncover the mystery of the island, while surviving the threat of the cannibals that took his son away
Though The Forest has a story that the player can play through, should they choose to do so, its lack of missions and quests give the player the power to choose how they survive. The Forest provides the same general survival options as Don't Starve. The Forest features a day/night cycle. During the day, the player can build a shelter, set traps, hunt and collect supplies.
Like in Don't Starve, the day/night cycle plays a huge part in the player's interactions with the game's enemy. While the cannibals that threaten Eric are a threat throughout the day, they become more aggressive at night. Their fear of fire, however, ensures that a campfire or torch plays a more significant role than providing the player with light and heat.
Combining the challenge of survival with horror films like The Descent and Cannibal Holocaust, The Forest takes Don't Starve into the realm of the dark and creepy.
- System: Android, iOS, Linux, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Publisher: Re-Logic
- Developer: Re-Logic
- Release Dates: May 17, 2011
Terraria is a 2D action-adventure sandbox game with a focus on exploring instead of survival. To successfully explore the world and overcome the different creatures that the world has to offer, the player must collect resources from the game's environment. Different resources can be collected from different areas of the map, each offering their own unique challenge to the player.
The resources found throughout the world can be used to craft new tools and weapons, from their respective workstations. Like in Don't Starve, some of the tools and items created at one workstation is necessary to create items from a different workstation. The crafting in Terraria is essential to finding success because as the player explores the world, the new creatures and enemies are encountered. By crafting certain items, the player's health and magic can be increased, improving the player's chance to survive against the new enemies faced.
Unlike Don't Starve, Terraria's building system isn't used to directly increase the player's ability to survive. Through building and complete certain quests, the player is able to attract NPC which provide goods and services that can be purchased by the player. Still, Terraria's community building system that's tied along to its building gives the player incentive to build bigger and better.
Any Game Like Don't Starve?
- System: Android, iOS, OSX, Windows
- Publisher: Butterscotch Shenanigans
- Developer: Butterscotch Shenanigans
- Release Dates: January 21, 2016
Crashlands places the player in control of Flux Dabes, a galactic trucker who becomes stranded on planet Woanope after being attacked by Hewgoodoko. Stuck on this mysterious planet, Flux and her robot companion Juicebox must travel Woanope to find the tools and materials necessary to send a message to the Bureau of Shipping.
Crashlands has a similar crafting system to Don't Starve, where everything collected in the world can be used to create structures, equipment, and tools necessary for exploring Woanope. Crashlands simplifies the process for crafting with its infinite and self-sorting inventory. This allows the player to focus on the exploration and crafting. Mainly a crafting game, Crashlands has some serious RPG elements which set it apart from other crafting games. By crafting items, the player can create stronger and more powerful armor and weapons to aid Flux in her journey.
Don't Starve's main draw is its relentless survival mode; there is a story mode, but its hidden somewhere on the map and features the same survival challenge as the standard sandbox mode. Crashlands, on the other hand, is story driven, with the story's quests and characters being the main way to learn new crafting recipes, acquire rare materials and equipment, and access other biomes of the world. Despite this different focus on story and adventure, if you enjoyed Don't Starve's crafting, humor and limitless exploration, then Crashlands is sure to impress.
5. The Long Dark
- System: Linux, OSX, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Publisher: Hinterland Studio Inc.
- Developer: Hinterland Studio Inc.
- Release Dates: August 1, 2017
People who enjoyed Don't Starve's gameplay, but was turned off by its art style, which, honestly, we're not sure how anyone could be, will be glad to know that The Long Dark is essentially a first-person Don't Starve. The Long Dark is a survival game with two game modes, sandbox and story mode. Like Don't Starve, the main goal of sandbox mode is to survive as long as possible.
To achieve this, the player must scavenge for resources like food, water, and tools. Like in Don't Starve, tools that the player uses degrades over time, resulting in a constant need to continually search for new, more reliable tools to use. One of the most important things needed to be scavenged is wood and fuel to create fire which is necessary for warmth and cooking the assortment of wildlife that can be hunted for food while also posing a threat to the player. Food, however, can also pose the threat of going bad and causing food poisoning. Like in Don't Starve and real survival, the same thing necessary for survival can turn and cause your death at any moment.
Sanity doesn't play a part in The Long Dark like it does in Don't Starve. Instead, there's a greater focus on surviving the elements. In Don't Starve, certain foods return a set amount of health points while certain items of clothing add different forms of protection against the elements. The Long Dark takes on a more serious simulation aspect, with calories, body temperature and other aspects of the in-game environment having an effect on the character. With a full day/night cycle and changing weather conditions, the player is forced to plan ahead and pay attention to the elements to avoid death.
And like Don't Starve, death in The Long Dark is permanent, deleting the save leaving the player with no option but to start a new game. When it comes to survival, expect the unexpected. Each new game the player starts off in one of the game's six maps, with the items and wildlife being randomly spawned to ensure a unique experience each game. Fans of Don't Starve can expect the same challenging survival experience from The Long Dark.
6. Oxygen Not Included
- System: Linux, macOS, Windows
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Release Dates: May 19, 2017 (Early Access)
Oxygen Not Included is a space colonization game from Klei Entertainment, the same company that made Don't Starve. In Oxygen Not Included, the player starts off with three Duplicants –characters to control –, a rations box, and a limited amount of oxygen. The player's dupes can survive in this area for a while, but it's best to explore the asteroid, as oxygen and rations will run out eventually. By digging, the dupes can find resources, that will help them to establish a colony. As the base expands, however, the Duplicants will find and create things like polluted oxygen and water, unbreathable gases, exposure to diseases, and extreme temperature that will make life a bit harder for them.
Almost as if managing resources isn't challenging enough, one of Oxygen Not Included's biggest challenges is managing the Duplicants themselves. As the base gets bigger, and the dupes' become exposed to the dangers of the asteroid, their stress increases. High stress equals unhappy dupes. As their stress level increases, they lose their efficiency in the colony. If a dupe reaches max stress, they begin disregarding their duties and doing things that are detrimental to the well-being of the colony, risking the stress of the other dupes. Over the course of the game, the player has a chance to accept more Duplicants, making building and exploring easier, but also adding to the strain of resources and chances to experience a stress-induced breakdown.
Players of Oxygen Not Included, like Don't Starve, should expect to fail more times than they succeed. With each failure, however, knowledge into creating a prosperous colony is gained. Although still in Early Access, Oxygen Not Included proves itself to be a worthy follow-up to Don't Starve. More than just a survival game, Oxygen Not Included's in-depth colony management provides an entertaining and challenging experience for players looking for more out of their survival game.
Don't Starve found great success among gamers thanks to its mix of survival, crafting, and adventure. Its brutally challenging character management system worked well with its intuitive, yet extensive crafting system. Few games have managed to create the same balance between their crafting and survival gameplay and enjoyability.
Let us know what you loved most about Don't Starve as well as your favorite survival crafting games in the comments below!