March 14, 2018
Snow is spread across the landscape, and you’re alone in the wilderness. What do you do? Start a bonfire, and try to survive in the harsh conditions. At least, that’s the case in the new game The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands. It’s a survival adventure challenge in which you try to build up your settlement, piece by piece. The game is presented in a day and night cycle with the day all about gathering resources, and the night about surviving monster attacks. The bonfire allows wanderers to find your camp, and you can assign them to different tasks to create a bustling settlement.
The Bonfire focuses on a minimalistic design aesthetic allowing menus to get out of the way, so that you can focus on your settlement. The are varying plateaus to reach, and it becomes a bit of a puzzle to have the right number of workers at different positions, and the right upgrades. You begin by simply gathering wood and harvesting food, but soon you can unlock the iron mine, tannery, and coal mine. Everything that you gather can be used to craft items like spears, shields, and even ships. Each item can introduce new potential jobs for your settlers from the resource gathering to exploring new lands or guarding the settlement.
A survival adventure challenge set in a snowy landscape.
The entire experience is more hands off, and instead emphasizes planning to allow your settlement to work by itself during the day. At night though, you let a few guards protect the place, and get ready for wolves, huge spiders, and others to come attack. The game always seems to offer something new to strive for as your settlers go about their day, and it doesn’t take long to unlock new buildings and jobs. The cycle keeps you engaged to continue playing multiple days to finally reach the exploration stage. There are a few nitpicking issues including the number of taps required to go through the menus despite the minimalistic ideal. Also, there is a distinct conclusion to the game that doesn’t take too long to get to. If you go in expecting a more hands on exploration survival adventure like Crashlands or Don’t Starve, you may be a disappointed.
For what it is though, The Bonfire delivers a thoroughly engaging iOS experience that is worth your time.
Butterscotch Shenanigans, LLC
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Klei Entertainment Inc.
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The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands