[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n My Own looks like the kind of game that folks are really into these days. It’s pixelated and all about surviving as a lone bearded fellow in a vast landscape. Despite the fact that folks can play it through a Android/iOS preview or an actual Early Access build, Beach Interactive’s Kickstarter has just barely made it way to their $2,500 funding goal. At the time of this writing they just hit $2,500, so hopefully things go smoothly and they remain successfully funded! I say this as someone who has played the Early Access release and believe On My Own is on track to be a cool, new survival game given enough continued attention.
As it stands right now, On My Own is a very simplistic survival simulator, but that’s not a bad thing. As our aforementioned bearded protagonist we are for whatever reason forced to survive in the middle of a forest. Luckily, there’s a great little log cabin for us to sleep in as well as tons of natural resources to forage. At the start you’re given an immensely necessary ax and tons of trees to chop down. Gather up enough logs and twigs and you can start building fires which keep our character warm through the night, leaving them energized the next day. The game is already full of these tiny strategies which can make each new day a breeze or challenging.
The main progression of any day is as follows: You meander around a bit (collecting wood, berries, or hunting animals) and then become tired. There are two meters in play: energy and hunger. The energy meter depletes surprisingly fast – sometimes annoying so – and forces players to sleep once it runs out. Luckily, no matter how far you’ve wandered off, you’ll always wake up in front of the cabin again. On My Own also enforces a need to eat something every so often, which is sometimes easier said than done. After a while, you’ll have completely exhausted the local berries and need to venture further out just for a snack. Or, you could jump into the challenging world of hunting.
There are multiple ways to catch live prey (bunnies, squirrels, foxes). One is by using traps which must be crafted. They’re a bit iffy to get right as first they must be crafted and then armed with a berry. In any case, waiting for creatures to meander underneath can take quite a while. The better bet is to use a bow and arrow. These objects spontaneously appear on your first winter which is a big help. It seems aiming requires a bit of luck, but cooking some meat on your fire provides a huge boost to health. Foxes, the rarest animals, provide even more.
On My Own is headed in the right direction but still requires a bit of guidance. Apparently it is a mobile game at heart because the PC controls are iffy. For example, you might click on berries you’re standing next to only to open up the inventory menu instead. At other times items simply won’t enter the inventory themselves, like big rocks, although everything else does. A lack of crafting recipe guide is unfortunate as well, since every craftable item isn’t obvious in regards to its creation. Finally, there’s so much more that could be explored in this survival experience. More animals, craftable items, tasks, and the like would all be welcome. Given On My Own currently resides in Steam Early Access, it has lots of time for self improvement.