July 20th, 2018


Reviews: Snowdrift; Don't Starve!

Life's a bit crazy right now for me--uncertainty at work, drama with my extended family (though nothing personal), very slow-going renovations at home, and an extended series of small domestic crises at my sister's place. So instead of writing fiction, like I want to want to do (duplication intentional there), I've been reading comfortable literature and playing survival games.

Snowdrift and other stories is a nice little showcase of Georgette Heyer's talents for presenting her readers with interesting characters and scenarios, all with different nuances despite similarities in genre and setting. For the most part they're simply charming, with an enjoyable amount of wit and banter, though a few of them have a slightly harder edge underneath--one of which even has the whiff of Sweeny Todd about it. There's nothing ground-breaking here, but there's also nothing to disappoint or distract the reader. High-quality comfort food in written form, which is exactly what I need right now.

Don't Starve, on the other hand, looks kind of cute but definitely has hard edges all over the place, even if you nerf the world settings a bit at the beginning, as I did because it's annoying to get randomly attacked by wolves when you're just trying to collect supplies and build an enormous vegetable farm so you can survive the winter. And that's probably part of what makes the game so engaging--you can tailor it to fit what you feel like doing. You have control over almost every setting in the game, at the offset, so if you want to spend all your time in combat, that's totally an option. But I tend to play it more as a planner, locating where resources and threats are and then trying to be very strategic about the whole thing. Of course, I also do stupid stuff, like accidentally set a bird free instead of feeding it, or poisoning my character with 'monster lasagna' because I didn't pay close enough attention to the food stats. However, I've survived my first winter, though I must confess it was set to "brief"--still felt pretty long to me.

(So many bunnies sacrificed to the alter of keeping my character fed and sane.)

All that to say, if you like survival games and don't mind a stylized, pen-and-ink aesthetic, this is a pretty good one.

(They're both good ones, which is always a nice thing to have happen through the magic of synchronicity.)