Grounded is the newest co-op, or single-player, survival game to hit Microsoft Gamepass. Yes, it is still in its early development so if you decide to embark on this “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” style of game I would certainly keep that in mind. Thankfully, the only thing I have found so far that really shows the state of early development is that the story is fairly short, other than that it is a well built and unique game that caught my attention right off the bat.
Let us get into the what the main story is (or at least so far what it is) about. I am sure you could guess that the main goal of the game is to figure out how in the hell you are going to survive while also finding out how you shrunk and, probably most importantly, how are you going to get back to normal size again. All three of those are equally important so it is hard to decide which one I would decide to tackle first if I was put in those tiny ant sized shoes. However, the game does a good job at starting you with some tutorial guidance so that you can grasp the basics of survival and how you will begin to piece all of your available resources together to ultimately survive till you find a way back to the regular human sized world. Like almost every survival game I have ever played (I have played a lot because gathering resources sooths my attention problem like no other) the first things you want to pick up and harvest are stones, fibers, and other common pickups on the ground that can make your first set of basic weapons and tools. Eventually you will need to upgrade your knowledge of these items to learn more “recipes” and expand your crafting abilities. This can be done at any research center you find around the map, but we will discuss that later.
After you start to make you basic weapons and tools you will need to start thinking about food and water. There are different items that are better than others and some that even quench your thirst and fulfill your hunger. For the most part, I did not have an issue keeping the levels above a concerning level and was even able to stock up on both food and water by simply cooking some food instead of letting it rot and storing water in the canteen and the water storage container at my base. One thing I will mention is anytime you have food cooking and or any drinkable fluid stored you will want to make sure you have a fully protected base or I can fully guarantee some unwanted visitors that will become much more of a pain than a blessing especially if you are not prepared to fight many enemies.
So now you have the basics down. Time to really expand your knowledge of your own back yard and see what it truly has to offer. This is always my favorite part of every survival game because at this point the game is yours to do as you please. Personally, I started by tracking down every major landmark. Those come in the form of toys, baseballs, juice boxes, and research centers (the mysterious machine that caused this whole thing is a given). Once you have all these discovered it will be very easy for you to roam around and keep in mind where different resources are because there are some items only located in certain parts. A helpful tip is to find the juice boxes and to collect as much juice that drops out of them as you can. That stuff is GOLD for your health and hunger.
By this point you know everything you need to know. You have a feel for how to stay alive. If you stayed awake through the night you know there is a spider that terrorizes the hell out of you no matter the cost (best to build a lean to and sleep through the night). So, you can pick the best spot in your own opinion to build a base and really start setting up shop. My advice is to always build on an elevated foundation and do your best to BUILD UP!!! Building up keeps intruders out. Once that is all taken care of you can work on upgrading your armor, weapons, tools, and then finish the little bit of the story that’s available for the early release.