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Review

Imagine you are only half an inch tall and land somewhere between blades of grass in the meadow. With nothing in your hand but a small grain of sand with which you can defend yourself against aphids and mites in case of need. Or imagine getting tangled in a spider's web and knowing that a spider is nearby. If that doesn't ring all the alarm...

Grounded

  • Greg Burn
  • Jun 03, 2021

Imagine you are only half an inch tall and land somewhere between blades of grass in the meadow. With nothing in your hand but a small grain of sand with which you can defend yourself against aphids and mites in case of need. Or imagine getting tangled in a spider's web and knowing that a spider is nearby. If that doesn't ring all the alarm bells!

You drink dewdrops and eat little mushrooms or roast a little louse or fly over a campfire. And further, imagine that you are making everything you need from simple plant fibers and little stones to cut blades of grass and dandelion stems. From there, in turn, you can now hammer out a little house. But beware: the spiders from the neighborhood are big and strong and can't be stopped by a few blades of grass.

The garden is divided into different landscape areas. There the environment differs by different vegetation and simply a different garden design. We start in the "grassland", where there is mostly grass and few prominent landmarks. Quickly we are to the oak tree, another area where mighty tree roots wrap around each other. There is still a pond with various rose bushes on the banks, a hedge, and a kind of swamp.

You can explore the dangerous and beautiful garden with its wild inhabitants from either a first or third-person perspective. We quickly encounter various insects in the garden. Some animals don't attack you at all and just flee. For example, the small aphid - when it sees you, it jumps up into the air and scurries away, sometimes even onto a blade of grass. To follow it, you have to take your legs in your hands and hope in the end that your hunt doesn't end in front of a spider. Flies are also harmless. They do exactly what they do in the real world: Annoy you. However, if you kill them, you can roast their flesh over the campfire later.

And yet other insects immediately see you as prey and go after you. Red mites, for example. They can hardly be dangerous to you, but they are annoying, especially since they usually bring several friends with them. The situation is different with larger bugs, such as stink bugs. They are dangerous. But all this is nothing against a spider.

Spiders are scary, very big, and very tough, and they cause a lot of damage AND they poison you too. Best of all, they can be anywhere. Sure, some places are predestined for spiders, like a spider cave or twoю Even small spider webs on blades of grass are a sign that a spider might be nearby. But they also roam through the garden.

Between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., it's night. It gets dark, crickets chirp (invisibly) away, but in the garden, the chirping doesn't stop. There doesn't seem to be any real night's rest here. But we're not an insect, we're a human, so we feel a strong need to find a safe spot, set up our shelter, and just sleep through the scary night.

Grounded is available as Early Access on Steam. 

Early Access Conclusion.
Exploring this world and conquering it with safe havens is huge fun. Base building is fun and you can get stuck into it for a long time, but I enjoyed exploring the world even more. There is no fast travel, so we have to prepare for our longer expeditions.

In my opinion, Grounded has huge potential. The world is insanely immersive and encourages you to stay in it. The setting is so simple, but at the same time so special and doubly exciting because of the unusual perspective. You could still make a lot out of it.

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