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.