I’ve been looking for an immersive sandbox adventure for a while. My search took me to Wayward, a top-down survival sandbox with procedurally generated pixel words. With an extensively complex crafting system, harsh survival mechanics and multiplayer component, I was hooked in no time.
Size: 350 MB.
Genre: Survival Sandbox
Developed by: Unlok
Reviewed on PC.
Download link: Steam.
Wayward has a very simple storyline. You start each game waking up on the beach, stranded. With a faint memory of your ship, and the treasure. Then it’s all about you, surviving Wayward is no easy task. If you manage to live long enough, you’ll start finding clues to get your search for treasure back on track.
Wayward’s gameplay is highly customizable, you can decide if you’d like your world to be turn-based, or in real time; If you’d like to play alone or with friends; And if you want permadeath on or off.
Crafting and basic controls are comfortable, but inventory management is a bit awkward for my taste. You can also play with the automatic behaviors of your character.
Learning to attack was a little tricky. Once I found out that all you have to do is keep moving towards the target I felt a little silly, but it’s something worth adding to the tutorial.
Wayward Survival Guide
Surviving Wayward is a tremendous challenge. The game focuses strongly on discovery, so the beginning is extremely unforgiving. I have a few tips to help you get started.
1. Finding Shelter
After you craft the basic tools, it’s a good idea to find shelter from the hazards. You’ll realize that you need a lot of sleep to keep your character healthy, it’s never nice to wake up with a giant rat nibbling at your feet so a door comes in handy. If you’re creative and find a good spot you won’t need a lot more than that.
2. Gearing Up
With a place to rest it’s time to get a few toys to help you fight off the monsters. A wooden sword or a stone spear with help you started, all you need is a pole, some string, maybe a sharp rock. Then it’s time to think about defense, start with a tree bark shield, and some armor.
Once you kill a few rats, rabbits, or goats and carve out their pelts you’ll be able to start crafting leather. All you need is a mortar and come bark to tan it.
Farming is a key skill for surviving Wayward. It’s pretty easy to get food from hunting, but it will also drive the game’s difficulty up faster. Once you get some fruits or vegetables remember to save the seeds.
It’s as easy as tilling the ground, planting the seeds, and waiting. I know that if you plant them indoor it will take longer for them to grow and ripe. I also tried watering them, but that didn’t seem to make any difference.
4. Healing Status Alignments
Wayward’s survival mechanics are quite realistic. If you get a deep cut you’ll need to saw it with a suture (1 String and 1 Needle). If you catch fire, you should pour water on yourself.
One of the most annoying statuses is poison. Mostly from snakes or zombies, you can spend a long time to nurse a poison naturally. Medical water will take care of it, all you need is a water-filled container and two medical grouped items. Medical items can be a little hard to find, the fastest way I found is carving the roots out of young trees or bushes.
That should give you a head start. There are many other secrets that will help you have a better time with your explorations. Remeber to look for clues about sand casting and other advanced crafting techniques.
Wayward has awesome pixel art graphics. They use “Fog of War” mechanics with complex lighting that make exploring in the dark extra challenging, it also helps when running away from monsters, so that’s nice. The complexity of the world makes for pretty cool aesthetics, you can really appreciate the effects of any actions.
The sound is the only weak part of the Wayward experience. The music is nice but not immersive, and the sound effects are underplayed.
Wayward is an immersive survival sandbox with a complex crafting system. The game strongly focuses on discovery so exploration is key. The beginning is very challenging. I would like to tell you that it gets better, but difficulty escalates with most actions, so… Explore pixel islands procedurally filled with adventure on Wayward.