“Grounded” has a very clear, almost instantaneous reference to anyone who was a kid in the ’80s or’ 90s (that is, almost any gamer): ‘Honey, I have shrunken children’. As in the iconic Disney movie starring Rick Moranis, a group of children are accidentally reduced in size to the dimensions of an insect. Crossing the garden thus becomes a real odyssey, and even the most innocent and everyday objects become traps mortal.

Following this idea with so much potential and focusable in many ways (it can be both a platform adventure and a survival horror, through the genre you chose “Grounded”: a survival game) is Obsidian. The prestigious North American study thus moves away from more serious approaches than other studies, like the recent “Pillars of Eternity” or “The Outer Worlds”, and face a more carefree and faster adventure.

Acquired by Microsoft in 2018, Obsidian has often agreed to develop suites to third-party hits. The examples are endless: “KOTOR 2”, “Neverwinter Nights 2”, “Fallout New Vegas”, “South Park: The Stick of Truth” and many more. Here, however, they face a project of their own after signing the sequel to their own “Pillars of Eternity,” which was already in development when Microsoft bought it. As a result of the transaction, “Grounded” became an Xbox Exclusive and was announced on X019, less than a year ago. Its July 28 launch is a beta (it appeared in Early Access on Steam and Xbox Game Preview) which Obsidian says only contains a fifth of the game.

Why a million people play “Grounded”

Grounded can be played in first or third person, both campaign and co-op for up to four players. The goal is to survive in a yard that has suddenly grown to gigantic proportions. You need to watch the supplies so you don’t get dehydrated or starved, and The main dangers that the player will encounter will be insects: spiders, ants, bees and even praying mantises.. They will have various functions, from serving as enemies (it is not difficult to suspect what the role is) to even unintentionally helping the player. For example, ladybugs lead to food, and there are tiny insects which, in the eyes of the scrupulous, in turn serve as food.

In the style of the first survivalist incarnation of “Fortnite”, players will need to build forts to stay overnight and reduce dangers as the bugs get more aggressive (even ants, which in principle adopt a passive attitude if they are not attacked). You can build weapons, traps, the inevitable bows and arrows… the result has been compared to another cult survival game, ‘Subnautica’, albeit in a slightly more stony environment.

But… why is everyone talking about “Grounded”? While no one in Obsidian denies that the game is half-baked, the truth is that this previous version has generous mapping (at which it is easy to find limits that are “under construction”, yes) and with quite a few of hours to invest in exploration and crafts. The method is laborious but fun: the found materials will have to be passed through a scanner, after which research points will be obtained, which will allow to build. But the scanning stations have a limit on continuous use and the refresh rate will need to be allowed to renew.

Building is fun because it allows you to plan how to do it. You choose an object to build (a bed, for example), and you reserve the place where it will be located. And there the elements of that object are added as is, which makes it easy to plan space and resources. But, in addition to this unique construction methodology, it is undoubtedly the structure of the mapping and the astonishing number of hidden areas that players discover which works in favor of “Grounded”, gradually favoring the label. cult game. is won.

In this way, as our colleagues at Vida Extra have claimed, the variety of biomes and heights on the map means that while there is only one environment to explore, it doesn’t get repetitive. As an example, one of those areas that we have mentioned that the most seasoned explorers have found: nothing less than a miniature laboratory with its own secret mission and which makes one think that the plot of the game has still many secrets to reveal.


It’s the ingenuity in the overall design that gives the game a very recognizable and distinctive finishing touch. The idea of ​​transforming monstrous everyday elements into monstrous obstacles (a can and the puddle that left its interior dumped, now a lake) and the conception of nights and the challenges of survival in the dark are just two examples of adventure planning. Despite some bug and occasional AI issues Bugs (others), the game shows paths, and more since they were programmed among only 13 people. We will continue to pay special attention to the miniature summer that this ingenious mini-survival promises.

Source : Engadget