Obsidian Entertainment’s co-op survival sandbox title Grounded is now available in early access. It can be played on Xbox One and PC via Xbox Game Preview and Xbox Game Pass. PC players can also hop in via Steam Early Access and the title is already a top-seller on the storefront.
Grounded sees four kids shrunken down to miniature size in a “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” style scenario. They must survive against bugs and spiders, creating a base and defenses using regular items. Not every insect is out to get you but crafting, resource gathering and combat are still required.
The arachnophobia mode lets you make the spiders increasingly less defined, until they’re just amorphous blobs. Of course, you might consider the prospect of being chased by shapeless, alien creatures even more unpleasant than being hunted by spiders, so it’s not a perfect solution. The exhilaration of these spider chases might be worth the terror, too, and trying to outrun them while they plough through tree-thick blades of grass is an experience worth trying out once.
The other critters lurking in Grounded garden are similarly memorable. They all behave differently and feel like part of the little ecosystem. When you first start exploring, you’ll have no idea how an ant or a tick is going to react to you, or how much of a challenge fighting or escaping them will be.
Along with the arachnophobia mode, the Early Access version currently contains three biomes, crafting, bases, online co-op, ten insects, two tiers of weapons and armour, and the groundwork for the storyline.
Obsidian Entertainment new game was revealed last year and finds players battling against giant bugs while trying to survive on whatever’s available in the small world. This includes building a base, and finding food and water. While it’s available on current-gen, it’ll be optimized for the Xbox Series X when that console eventually launches.
Grounded also has a mode for those that have Arachnophobia, and it has a fairly populated accessibility menu for those who want larger fonts or need colorblind options. It’s available on Xbox One, PC, and Windows 10.