Home Scratch the Grounded itch with Smalland: Survive the Wilds

Scratch the Grounded itch with Smalland: Survive the Wilds

Grounded has been in the news a lot in the last week or so because of its leap from Xbox/PC exclusive to Nintendo’s Switch. Grounded was, and still is a great survival game of 18 months ago and Obsidian did a really good job taking it through early access and on to a full release.

Similarly here, and with a not dissimilar premise comes Smalland: Survive the Wilds which has been in EA for a while but recently got a full release on Steam.

The whys and how we end up as a small person in a big garden landscape are different of course, in Grounded we were shrunk by accident like in all the best 80s movies. In Smalland the story is a bit more of a fairytale, but the dangers are as real as you encounter bugs, which, as small as you are as as big as lions and bears.

I have played and enjoyed Grounded through to completion and feel as though I am going to have a similar amount of fun with Smalland. Some of the animations could be smoother and the character is not quite as cute but exploring the vast wilderness (in reality a small patch of land) works as well as it ever did in Grounded.

Resources such as the resin even look similar. The game starts with a basic text-based tutorial, which while not flashy does serve to teach you the basic mechanics of Smallland. Pretty soon you will be building your first campfire and performing basic crafting to get your first tools. It is worth fashioning some form of weapon early on as it won’t be long before you come across soldier ants that will attack you – the plus side being you can harvest the body parts and cook them on your fire in order to feed yourself.

Yep, like all survival games managing your hunger as well as your health needs to be a priority.

If you are just looking for a more peaceful existence you can turn off the aggression of the beasties from the menu and spend your time meandering around, crafting, and base-building.

At the moment I have only scratched the surface of Smallands: Survive the Wilds but has got me interested in playing a lot more, which I will be doing this weekend and will be bringing you a full review shortly.

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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