First Impressions: Wayward

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Wayward is a rogue-like survival game, set in a procedurally generated world. You start out as a shipwrecked sailor on the coast of an island and you’re basically on your own to figure out how to survive and thrive, in this world.

I played Wayward for a couple of hours last night and had a blast. It combines a lot of my favorite elements of recent games. Stuck on a desert island? Check. Need to forage for food and supplies? Check. Permadeath? Check. Neat pixelated aesthetic? Check.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 6.31.47 AMDon’t let the cutesy graphics fool you, this game is challenging. I’ve already died four or five times and have barely created anything at all. You start out with a few items in your inventory – usually a sharp rock of some sort, a bedroll and then a few other things. From there you’ve got to forage the wilderness for food, materials, etc.

The “stranded somewhere now go survive” game is pretty popular right now and, honestly, I’m a huge fan. I love Don’t Starve, Minecraft and Lost in Blue II. And while they may not be exactly the same genre, I also love the farming/town simulation games – Harvest Moon, Shepherd’s Crossing II, Towns, etc. Basically anything where I need to grow stuff in order to not die makes me pretty happy. This game is no exception. I wouldn’t say I’m anĀ expert necessarily, but I’m definitely an enthusiast.

Wayward is currently in beta so stuff can change but there are definitely some unique elements that I really found interesting for this game. As in Minecraft, you can basically run into trees/stones/etc until you knock them down – however, if you do this without a tool equipped, there’s a chance you’re going to hurt yourself. There’s a logic to how items are made which is pretty refreshing. Also, the materials are sorted into types of categories like “rope-like” or “stone-like” and each recipe uses a certain amount of these types of categories, rather than absolutely needing 3 of a certain type of rope, as long as you have 3 “rope-like” materials, you can make the item.

I also played the game blind. Rather than get frustrated because all the recipes weren’t “unlocked” I just played and tried to figure stuff out. As I said before, there’s definitely an intuition to figuring out what you need to make certain items. Eventually, I went ahead and hopped on the wiki but up until that point, just guessing and figuring it out was great. A good tidbit to know is that recipes unlock as you gather the materials you need to make that item. Also good to know, when you die all the recipes you’ve unlocked remain unlocked for your next playthrough.

Right now the game is free while it’s in beta. I had a good time playing it and was getting enjoyably frustrated as I kept dying. If survival games like this are something you enjoy, definitely check it out. You can either download it from the website or you can play it in a web browser. Also, if you enjoy the game, be sure to help it get greenlit on Steam!

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