Presented by Obsidian a little less than a year ago, Grounded Mobile had something to surprise, if not disappointed. The American studio, renowned for having a DNA firmly anchored in RPG and with a pedigree that does its credit in the field, unveiled a survival game. Developed by a small team, the title seemed to fit into a genre far too saturated to succeed. Available for early access on Steam and the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Grounded Mobile turns out to be more refreshing than one might think.
Grounded Mobile Origins
Grounded Mobile, first originality lies in its universe. After a character selection screen allowing you to choose among one of the 4 proposed teenagers, you wake up in a bucolic world, to say the least, which could look like a dense forest, with one exception, the trees here are blades of grass and the mountains are simple pebbles. Indeed, following a mysterious scientific experiment, you and your companions wake up miniaturized in the garden of a pavilion in what seems to be a residential neighbourhood. With only your two little arms and a backpack as your only equipment, you will have to explore the place and collect resources in order to survive in this universe as enchanting as it is hostile. If there is one strength you can concede to Grounded Mobile, it is clear to have been able to shape a particularly immersive universe. With its cartoon design, atmospheric soundtrack and very natural sound design, Obsidian’s title have no difficulty in immersing the player and inviting him to explore at all times. Sometimes even frankly pretty, especially on PC, thanks to a very coherent and inspired art direction, Grounded Mobile knows how to vary the pleasures and how to take advantage of the smallness of your character to constantly surprise you. Sometimes you just have to step back and look up to understand that this impassable obstacle is really just a simple flowerpot or the element of a toy lost by the child who must undoubtedly live in the pavilion. There are many surprises of this kind and the map contains small elements to explore, which will always be, as you will have understood, a real pleasure as the world of Grounded Mobile is well brushed. But a nice world is not everything, so what can you do about it?
A Slightly Pushy But Not Punitive Start
Before going any further, there are two ways to play Grounded Mobile. The first is a solo. In this case, you play only one teenager. However, you are free to create a multiplayer game allowing up to 3 companions to join your game, especially since the game is offered in cross-play. One point to emphasize: Grounded Mobile stands out from many survival games by focusing its multiplayer on cooperation. No need to be afraid to cross the path of players only there to spoil your game or explode your hard-built bases, here, the danger will come from the environment and the environment alone, even if friendly fire is activated in difficulty modes other than very easy.
The first steps in Grounded Mobile, as is often the case in survival games, are quite laborious. Except for a tiny handful of hints, the game doesn’t take you by the hand and leaves you to fend for yourself. There is an outline narrative, which will lead you to different points on the map, but in order to get there, you will first need to understand the basics of survival. Each object collected at the start automatically unlocks patterns, allowing you to make different tools. Traditionally, you’ll need to collect pieces of pebbles, and a few pieces of plants to make a rope to make your first harvesting tool, allowing you to access the strongest items, such as blades of grass or dandelions, which can provide you with larger resources that you can’t store in your inventory, but that you can carry on your shoulder to make walls for your makeshift shelter, which can be defined as a point of reappearance in case of death.
Many Recipes To Unlock, Many Things To Explore
But if the harvest of a new element can unlock new recipes, others are to be discovered by yourself, thanks to some kind of scientific micro-stations, which allow you to make 3 analyses of objects you have in your bags. Analyzing a plank of wood, for example, will unlock the pattern of a stronger wall. There is thus a multitude of things to discover, as long as you take the time to go to these stations that line the map, revealing a certain depth in Grounded Mobile, which, once again, constantly invites the player to make his discoveries by himself. So, as you attempt analysis and progress in the making of your equipment, you’ll be able to access many recipes designed to help you survive. Bedding, a workshop to improve weapons, storage space, plantations or water storage are all structures that you will need to shape in order to facilitate your progress. The first steps can be quite laborious and Grounded makes you quickly understand that behind its shimmering colours and its almost adorable appearance is actually a world full of dangers, and especially of bugs, some of which are particularly aggressive. The result is a somewhat pushy set-up, but with a little caution, Grounded Mobile reveals a solid potential and even a rather balanced approach to the survival game without seeming unfairly punitive.
Grounded Mobile Co-op Survival
The management of hunger and thirst is present enough to require attention, but not so intrusive as to be an ongoing priority. A dew bubble in the morning of Grounded Mobile (it is possible to sleep from 8 pm to 6 am in the game to let the night pass during which the most hostile creatures are numerous), and a small grill quickly prepared at your campfire and you can spend the day exploring without dying of hunger or thirst. Moreover, death, if it occurs very often, is not a dramatic punishment. Indeed, you will certainly lose all the contents of your backpack once you have passed the gun on the left, but don’t worry. A marker tells you where to retrieve your gear, knowing that if you die again in the meantime, it will always be possible to retrieve your belongings where almost any other survival game would have made them disappear.
However, there are many ways to defend yourself, and in addition to the armour and weapons you can make for yourself once you’ve analyzed certain items (ant mandibles, for example, because yes, you’ll have to kill worker ants that will leave you in royal peace), a combat system is offered to the player. You will therefore be able to parry attacks and deliver blows according to your stamina, but for the moment, this is clearly not what Grounded Mobile does best. Fairly imprecise, fights can quickly turn to your disadvantage and degenerate quite often, as some opponents may appear behind a patch of grass, increasing the number of opponents to face. And if by misfortune, a spider comes to meddle in your affairs, Grounded Mobile over won’t be far away. If it is possible to flee, they are very tenacious, powerful and run faster than you. In short, unless you have a lot of chances, too close to a spider will often mean death. You will simply have to wait for it to leave once your character reappears to go and get your things in peace. Please note that insects, ants, spiders, etc. can attack your base directly and destroy all your structures, which is also why it will be necessary to find a more or less safe place to build it.
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