29 July 2020 16:35
Grounded has had a strong debut, shooting to the top of Steam's top sellers list after yesterday's launch. The Honey I Shrunk the Kids-inspired survival game is an experiment of sorts for developer Obsidian Entertainment. The studio is known for its story-heavy RPGs with the likes of The Outer Worlds, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II filling out its expansive catalogue. Grounded quickly became the top-selling game on Steam after launching in Early Access yesterday, despite being freely available as part of Xbox Game Pass for PC as well. SteamDB shows a concurrent player peak of 12,543 players, which puts it near the bottom of Steam's top 100 most played games.
However, this doesn't take into account those playing on Game Pass or via the Windows Store. These numbers jump up in terms of Twitch views, too, with the survival game reaching the top three spots in terms of viewers on the streaming platform. It's a decent start for a game you wouldn't expect from Obsidian. Grounded's concept is a curious mix between Honey I Shrunk the Kids and survival games like Rust or The Forest. You play as one of four teenagers in 1990 (either solo or with up to three other friends), all of whom are shrunk down to the size of mere millimeters as part of an experiment. From here, you find yourself trapped in a backyard full of hostile insects and creatures. You'll need to cook food and find water, construct a base, and craft weapons and items to fend off the spiders and other creepy crawlies trying to kill you. Developed by only 13 people, Grounded's biggest focus is on story, which is something survival games often eschew in favour of the emergent experience of simply staying alive. The studio is also working on more familiar projects, with The Outer Worlds' first expansion, Peril on Gorgon, set to release in September. During the recent Xbox Showcase event, Obsidian also announced Avowed, a new first-person RPG for Xbox Series X that takes place in the Pillars of Eternity universe.