Desert Island Risks: Wayward

Survival and crafting are strongly linked concepts in gaming. Here in the real world, I survive by writing about toys (and the occasional art-toy), an onerous duty that is deemed worthy of financial reward. I use the dosh to buy chips and fizzy pop, and somehow that seems to be enough to keep my tiny engine running. Truth is, I’ve never crafted anything in my life – I had to phone a friend to help me out last time I bought a piece of furniture from Ikea. If I found myself on a desert island, like the player character in turn-based survival sim Wayward, I’d walk around looking for a Wifi hotspot until the landcrabs ate me. The game is free, in beta and a damn fine example of the type.

You know the type, I presume. Collect things, build things, make a home, hunt some critters, turn a seagull into pants*. I thought it was going to be fairly realistic but less than twenty turns in, I was chasing a rabbit into the ocean and punching it to death while a trout nibbled at my guts. That’s better than reality, which would involve seeing a rabbit for a split second, attempting to follow its tracks, resorting to picking through the grass for traces of its droppings, and then dying as a trout nibbled your guts. That’s just the way it is.

The giant spider was even less realistic than the hunt. I’m not sure how big desert island spiders are but this was almost definitely bigger than the largest real life spider in existence. It measured a 15.4 on the Arachno-Richter scale. Wayward is way weird.

It’s already very impressive though, with plenty to see and do. Whether it’ll ever be as fine as the finest wilderness survival game ever made, I cannot yet say, but it’s certainly worth the time it takes to download (you can also play online) and bookmark for future reference.


  1. WrenBoy says:

    Mondays are for being terrified of your unwashed, uncouth audience and the forbidden things they might say.

    • CedaVelja says:

      Literally came here to make the same comment, bravo sir.
      I am just glad i discovered the wonders of addblock so i can still read rps without actually contributing to what they are doing.

      • Oozo says:

        So, do I understand that correctly? What you are saying is:

        “I’ll show you, you corrupt writers! I’ll be putting on AdBlock while I continue to read your texts! (Which are corrupt and not worth my time and money, you censoring, good-for-nothing shills!)”

        …is that about right?
        Just asking.

        • CedaVelja says:

          It means that their opinions are not worth patronage any more, if they would stifle constructive criticism and public discourse.

          • Martel says:

            Then why are you here at all? In the words of the famous RPS staff, please leave and don’t come back.

          • CedaVelja says:

            I like them i like what they do i want them to do it better, only thing they want from me is add revenue if we all stop giving it to them they are forced to talk with us actually work with us to make gaming culture better for everyone.

            You can leave if you dont like it is a terrible answer and it helps no one.

          • Gap Gen says:

            I think based on past precedent, there’s a large body of nonconstructive criticism that Graham doesn’t have time to moderate as he’s on holiday.

            Also I’m sure there are enlightened debates to be had but much of what has been posted about gaming culture in the past weeks has made Question Time look like a panel at a political science conference.

          • CedaVelja says:

            I remember rps taking on Call Of Duty in an amazing article, so i know they don’t fear repercussions
            the fact that their attitude toward this is ignore it is just so disheartening.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Again, the issue is that Graham doesn’t want to take time off his holiday to moderate a comments thread, which is completely understandable. Also: link to

            EDIT: Worth pointing out that the first rule of commenting is that the site hosts owe you nothing, and a site host deleting a comment or selectively not supporting commenting does not constitute a violation of the First Amendment as this only covers the federal government, not private website owners, RPS being a UK and not a US site notwithstanding.

          • eggy toast says:

            Sorry but “Graham is on vacay” assumes no other human being could possibly moderate this space, which is a silly thing to assume.

          • Gap Gen says:

            a) I think every RPS writer moderates their own posts or something.
            b) Nobody owes you a comment section, either legally or morally.
            c) link to

          • CedaVelja says:

            I’m not planing on suing them so legally…. yea you are right.
            But morally, well there we would have to disagree.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Yeah, “constructive” criticism, that’s certainly what’s been happening lately, uh huh!

          • WrenBoy says:

            @ Gap Gen

            If you really think his holiday is the main reason you’re either extraordinarily naive or are returning from a well earned break from the internet.

            John has explicitly stated he won’t allow discussion on the ongoing fiasco, from what I can tell Jim had been requesting forum mods to nuke threads on the subject in the forums and Cara’s recent s.exe column was similarly locked down for what I can only imagine was because she very vaguely hinted at the ongoing scandal.

          • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

            Cara said on Twitter that the comments on her last piece were closed because it’s Alice’s job to moderate them and she was unavailable. Clearly I am but a naïve sheeple to believe such lies!

          • mandrill says:

            I’m just going to leave this here: link to

          • Oozo says:


            Let me give you some thoughts on that strategy: as I see it, at best, it won’t work. At worst, you are shooting yourself in your own foot.

            First of all, you are still generating clicks. Even though you decided to punish them by using AdBlock, which does indeed diminish their income to a degree, you still are a unique IP that counts among those that they can show to advertisers. If you really want to send a clear signal, you should leave.

            Maybe you are not simply talking for yourself, though, but leading by example. That might be the second aspect of your strategy that might backfire, though: Because if everybody switched on AdBlock, the effect would simply be that the RPS people will not be able to pay their rent, and, ultimately, the servers.

            I guess in these heated days the word “corruption” is used so freely and often that it becomes all but unimaginable that the power of money (which, in your case, is not even real, but only potential, since you switched on AdBlock) might not buy the power to force the RPS writers into a discussion according to rules that are not up for debate.

            The thing is: RPS is not a site like, say Kotaku, which is backed by a larger enterprise, one where the “money people” must, according to a certain worldview, ultimately decide that yes, your personal freedom is less important than what our investors think, so screw that and get to work.
            RPS is a blog, written by a few select people who do not answer to anybody. See, RPS was started by a quartet of high-profile game writers who wanted to get away from the routine of magazine writing, and do something different, something that was truer to their vision of what game writing could and should be. I can’t speak for them, but, honestly, it’s pretty damn unlikely that they will prefer doing what a subset of readers want them to do (readers who show no sign of will to discuss things, but prefer cutting off ad revenue) instead of just pack up their stuff and go.

            The best you could achieve by this form of protest, then, is bringing RPS down. If that’s what you want, I really don’t get why you still hang around these parts.

            If this is not what it’s about, though, if I completely misread your intentions, I apologize. But you should probably find way that is more adequate to bringing forth your ideas than declaring proudly that you are just boycotting them in their own comment section.

            (Seriously, if you have, for example some convincing ideas of how a site like RPS can be sustained without ad revenue — which, according to some, leads to corruption — nor crowdfunding — which, according to some, is another sure sign of corruption, and far from sustainable so far — , I’m sure that people would love to hear them.)

        • puzzlepiece87 says:

          Thank you very much to Oozo, Martel, Gap Gen and everyone else who is making the RPS comments an affirmative place to be today. Also, LionsPhil, I feel your pain, but I’m going to e-mail Graham to thank him for the Friday Night Lights article. Which ones did you like this week?

      • Jeremy says:

        It took me a second to figure out what was going on, and what everyone was complaining about. When I found out it was because our “precious liberties” were being taken away by the current corrupt regime, I was incredibly underwhelmed.

        A lot of melodramatic divas, who probably weren’t going to even post anyway until they found out comments were closed, had their delicate egos fractured. How will we ever go on from this?

    • MkMax says:

      thinking the same thing

    • guygodbois00 says:

      Amen to that. And also, gamers are dead?

      • Gap Gen says:

        We can but live in hope.

        • JFS says:

          I believe we died when PC died. Or was it consoles? Did F2P mobile die already, maybe that was it? Ah, I always get confused with all them deaths all the time.

          • WrenBoy says:

            I believe we died after the death of adventure games but before the death of turn based games.

          • InnerPartisan says:

            Are RTS still considere to be “alive”?

      • Harlander says:

        Gamers are dead?

        I know I am.

    • Wisq says:

      Mondays are for getting your comments deleted because you don’t understand that “comments off” doesn’t mean “please leave comments about this article in the next article we post instead”.

      If you’ve got a problem with how they run their site, take it up via email. I can guarantee you it’ll get more consideration than just ignoring their wishes and posting comments they asked you not to post.

      • WrenBoy says:

        Historically of course that is precisely what it means. Depends whether you value intention or outcome I guess.

    • DrollRemark says:

      I was going to come on here and say that it was a shame that comments were off on the last article, because the discussion after every ‘Papers post is usually my favourite thing about it.

      But of course, I clearly should have just been a bit of a dick about it instead.

      • WrenBoy says:

        Always a pleasure to see people applying freshly learned knowledge.

    • Jumpyshark says:

      There is a thread for the Monday Papers on the RPS Forums, a link to which you can find at both the top and bottom of the page.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Rock Paper Shotgun is for enjoying and geeking out over video games, not enabling whiny, self-absorbed children to spew bile.

      Telling people not to talk shit in your living room is not censorship, and this article will be much improved once you’ve been deleted from it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        So what about the rest of us who want to discuss the papers without spelunking into forums?

        If we’re all “whiny, self-absorbed children”, they should just remove the comment system entirely.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          I don’t think everyone is that bad, no, and it sucks that dealing with the assholes also inconveniences legitimate commenters. I wish there was a better way to do it, but after weeks of recent awfulness on top of the usual background level of awfulness, I can’t fault RPS for making this choice right now.

          In the meantime, going to the forums is no great burden, and it weeds out a lot of the knee-jerk dipshits.

        • Wisq says:

          I think a lot of commenters are sensible and well-meaning. But experience has shown that even sensible, well-meaning people often get drawn into silly flamewars by professional trolls. The outcome is the same, regardless of the intent.

          Sometimes articles just attract the wrong sort of people and need a somewhat higher barrier to discussion to ensure that discussion is reasonable and not just toxic.

          • MkMax says:

            let me propose this exercise for you, apply that concept of “acceptable cluster-bomb censorship” you just supported to anything other than the internet and consider how acceptable or even legal it would be in that situation

          • InnerPartisan says:

            Completely legal. Because in this equation, RPS isn’t the street – it’s John Walker’s living room.

          • Wisq says:

            Wow, so not providing a comments section is “cluster-bomb censorship” now. Now I understand the plight of my parents and grandparents, who had to spend most of their lives being ruthlessly censored by newspapers that didn’t offer a comments section (or, at best, had a highly-moderated “letters to the editor” section where posts spent days before getting approved).

          • Phasma Felis says:

            I think you’ll find that citizens in just about every country have the right to tell you to shut up or get out if you’re in their home or their business. Freedom of speech applies to censorship of public forums by governments, and is described as such in U.S. law, at the least.

            Which hasn’t stopped people who don’t actually know what it means crying “censorship” for at least as long at the internet has existed.

  2. The Army of None says:

    Wonderful, you included a link to UnRealWorld. Was going to post it here in the comments if you hadn’t, because it is superb.

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I want to make a flock of seagulls joke involving pants, but my kidney stone meds have kicked in and I’m finding it hard to concentrate.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Are seagull pants what you wear when you plan to shag someone?


        Only in the eighties, which incidentally are also the only time when one would refer to it as ‘shagging’.

        • Geebs says:

          I’m pretty sure the term was used in other decades, but I’m not going to get worked up about it lest this post be cormorant.

      • Geebs says:

        I think there are intentionally only one pair of seagull pants in the game; if more than one person wants to go out on the pull, you have to take terns.

  4. harley9699 says:

    So, you ran?

  5. Eagle0600 says:

    I find it interesting that it labels itself “a true roguelike experience”, when it isn’t even remotely a dungeon crawler (being a survival/crafting game in the foremost). “With permadeath” shouldn’t mean “roguelike” any more than “with stats” should mean “RPG”. Permadeath isn’t a genre, its a feature.

    • Vaughn says:

      I don’t usually reply to defenders of the roguelike definition, but seeing how others may read this, I may as well explain. Dungeons are a low deterministic factor according to the most “official” roguelike definition we have, the Berlin Interpretation: link to

      Wayward follows 12-13/15 out of the “rules” presented. Can you say the same for many games touting their roguelikeishness? If you go with the alternate, Rogue Temple definition, it follows 7/7.

      With all that said, labels are labels. It’s an easy way to describe something, while seemingly making everybody else angry :)

  6. Vaughn says:

    Made my day to see this show up at the top of Rock Paper Shotgun on my daily visit. Thanks Adam!

  7. ChiefOfBeef says:

    I came in, did a little chuckle-fart, turned 360 degrees and went home.

    • frightlever says:

      If you turned 360 degrees you did a complete pirouette. Is your home a ballet academy?

  8. rexx.sabotage says:

    Shut-up and UnReal World already.

  9. frightlever says:

    ” I’m not sure how big desert island spiders are but this was almost definitely bigger than the largest real life spider in existence.”

    link to

  10. Alien426 says:

    Unveil is prettier and I like the update videos a lot.