On My Own
Game review on Mac
David Hull / Mon 28th Mar 2016
534 views / 7 bites
OVERVIEW On My Own is a survival-adventure game that allows players to survive in the wilderness. A leisurely game to occupy the in-between times in life; simple gameplay and a relaxed nature grant On My Own a very Zen feeling.
STORYLINE Choose your gender and off you go. On My Own is about living day to day on your own amongst nature. Over the course of the seasons you and your character will learn to use the land to your advantage, living apart from society. There is no narrative but what you make for yourself. Wandering around you may find Letters that detail how to make special items, but with a flair of a tiny story or quirky description. Item descriptors in your Journal are lighthearted; in fact, everything has a very calm overtone. Instead of applying pressure to progress, you could simply stay at the cabin forever more.
GAMEPLAY Starting fresh, players will be loaded into a randomly generated landscape that is teeming with flora and fauna. You have some equipment to get going, but you'll need to begin working on things like fire and food fairly quickly. A Hunger and Energy Bar slowly deplete as the day wears on till you must sleep. Sleep provides relief for the next day, but how well you sleep is reflected by certain conditions. Are you too cold? Is the fire still alight during the twilight? How far did you have to walk today? All these things and more determine your recovery for the next day. Crafting is much more passive and pertains to survivability over sharp spears and personal defence. Bows and arrows, axes, traps, these contribute to collecting food and furs that can then be cooked for food, or fashioned into warm clothing and blankets. An emphasis on working within nature, not dominating it. There are different locales with varying amounts of resources to draw from. They are referred to as Biomes and can be travelled to provided you have enough food to survive the trip. This is perhaps where my journey ended the most early on. Not having enough supplies to survive the journey will cause you to starve along the way, abruptly ending the play through. It is a tad harsh, as it also wipes your current play through, starting from scratch. If the game where more pressured, it would be welcome as a price for failure.
GRAPHICS Being a small budget game, the 8-bit imagery is much more practical than it is orgasmic. There is beauty to be had though, the landscapes are colourful and bright in the Spring and Summer, with Autumn and Winter reflecting well the Northern Hemisphere's effects during these seasons. Nothing is overcomplicated when it easily could have been.
AUDIO A majority of sound lies in the ambience of the world at large. Minimalism helps create a sense of isolation, but also peace. Instead of spooky music and the pitter patter of tiny creatures in the night, you will hear the cold wind during the winter months, or the birds and insects of the warmer half of the year. The folky tunes that overlay the experience are fitting and catchy, complimenting the experience.
VERDICT A small fish in a big, swirling pond. On My Own is so peaceful to play it became a great way to relax after a long day. Young audiences will no doubt have hours of fun, but even an older player will likely find some pleasure in at least the idea of getting away from daily troubles.There definitely isn't a great deal of complexity to the game, but sometimes...less is more. A great little addition to your games library.