Following its original desktop launch in 2013, people began wondering if the survival crafting game Don’t Starve would make its way to mobile, as it seemed like it would be a good fit for the touchscreen. Developer Klei Entertainment even teased the idea on several occasions, and at about this time back in 2015 they made those dreams a reality with the release of Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition ($4.99) on the App Store. Of course it was the butt of more than a few jokes as that “Pocket Edition" originally released as iPad only, and there weren’t a whole lot of people around at that time rocking pants with pockets big enough for an iPad. However, that fact didn’t prevent us from giving Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition 5 stars in our review and picking it as our Game of the Week, and a couple of months after the fact Klei did end up updating the game with Universal iPhone support, so the Pocket Edition misnomer was no more.
As expected, Don’t Starve worked quite well as a mobile game, and about a year and a half after the original made its way to the App Store, one of its major expansions did as well in the form of a new standalone game called Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked ($4.99). It lacked the story campaign of the original game and instead was a strictly survival affair, but it did feature a whole bunch of new content and a cool island-hopping ability making it a different enough experience from the first game to warrant owning both. It also introduced a very welcome virtual control stick option which thankfully was added into the original Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition. Unsurprisingly, we really enjoyed Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked in our review and also chose it as our Game of the Week when it released. So basically the point I’m trying to drive home here is that the Don’t Starve formula works extremely well as a mobile game experience, so it makes sense that a new entry in the series announced today called Don’t Starve: Newhome would be releasing exclusively on mobile. Check out the teaser trailer.
Don’t Starve: Newhome isn’t being made by Klei directly, and instead is being developed by Shengqu Games and published by Tencent. It will still be built around the core survival, exploration, and crafting that the series is known for, but will introduce new social and multiplayer aspects that “expand gameplay in exciting new ways." Players will be able to build their own persistent homes in the game and will maintain their own personal progression system. You’ll also able to “discover new creatures, builds and crafting options and team up with friends online to delve even deeper into the world of Don’t Starve: Newhome" which will include a brand new story mode. All in all it sounds like it will be a blend of the previous Don’t Starve desktop expansion Don’t Starve Together, which introduced multiplayer to the series, and a totally brand new Don’t Starve game built specifically for mobile.
The developers of Don’t Starve: Newhome are looking for beta testers to help shape this new mobile experience, so if you reside in the US or Canada and are over 13 years of age, then head on over to the game’s official website to sign up. The closed beta will be for both iOS and Android players and kicks off in July, and those who successfully take part in the testing will earn an exclusive in-game item that will carry over to the full game once it’s live. As a big Don’t Starve fan I’m quite interested in seeing where this new mobile entry goes, and if you are as well then be sure to sign up for next month’s beta test.