Don’t Starve tries its best to be a haunting challenge, with a Tim Burton art style. It does a good job.
The core gameplay is simply trying to survive. gathering materials and food during the day, and huddling by a fire, trying to craft useful tools at night. As the day to night cycle progresses, so does the seasonal cycle. After a couple days, winter comes, making it harder to collect food, and hunt. The nights become longer and the days become shorter as you huddle by your fire, trying not to freeze to death. During winter, your homemade farms stop becoming useful. Huntable animals disappear and other more dangerous animals come in swarms.
As far as the story goes, there is an oddly rich story, which can only be experienced by skilled players. Whenever a new game is started, Maxwell, the games antagonist, warns him to get food. The real story mode cannot be achieved unless the player has found the four pieces, and then moves to the next level. After beating a few levels, they reach the epilogue, where maxwell is unlocked as a playable character and the game is complete.
Don't starve’s graphics and art style is very Tim Burton. The monsters, alone have a scary but yet cute feel to them. The sound of the game is very creepy yet welcoming. depending on what the player is doing at the time. The music changes whenever the player is in combat or not, making the combat feel even more immersive.
Don’t stare also has a large amount of options. Not only can you pick your character but you can also modify the world and its many resources. Players can make the world a food rich wonderland, or a barren wasteland, randomized each time. Each playable character has its own stats, and buffs/debuffs, tailoring to each possible playstyle.
The in game crafting provides a large variety of machines, tools, farms and structures. The player can craft anything from carpets, campfires, spears, drying racks, walls, bee-based mines and a large variety of clothing, all with special perks. Winter coats to keep you warm, mining hats to provide light, feather hats to increase how many birds there are, armour to reduce damage, and a flower garland to keep sanity up.
Don't starve does lots of things right.
The art style and sound design is amazing for this game
The crafting feels organic and worth the effort.
The clothes in the game change not only how the player looks, but also has bonuses.
The Monsters in the game are interesting and fun to hunt.
The many varieties of food make the game more interesting
The story is enjoyable, even if you don't play through it.
The antagonist is one of the best “bad guys” i've seen in games for a while
The different playable characters are fantastic
The game has a customizable world setting.
The game has playing cards
Don't starve does a few thing wrong.
The cave mechanic is hardly explored until late game
The game has a few bugs still needing to be fixed
The follower mechanic should be touched up
The vanilla game can be a tad boring
The player may rage-quit after dieing on a long time world.
The game lacks achievements
The game lacks vanilla co-op
Don’t Starve isn't only a magnificent survival game, but it is also a well told story, for those who care to play it. I believe that there is a large market for this game, and that market keeps on growing. If you don't already own this game, pick it up on sale. Its on sale almost every winter and summer sale. I payed full price for it and i think its worth it.