Grounded is one of those games that makes perfect sense. It makes so much sense that it’s almost astounding to think that it’s never been done before. The premise is simple: you’re a child who has been shrunk down and must survive one of the most hostile environments: the backyard. We’ve enjoyed our time with the game so much that Grounded has won the Shacknews Best Xbox Series X Game of 2022 award.
It takes a lot for a survival game to set itself a part in a genre as full as this one. It feels as though every few weeks there’s a new title that looks to eke out its territory in the world, and for the most part, they can end up feeling quite similar. While Grounded has all the trappings of your traditional survival game – crafting, base building, and managing hunger meters – it is so unique in its construction that it has earned itself a spot among some of the greats.
Take for instance the setting. Players aren’t in some fantastical location or post-apocalyptic setting, it’s a humble backyard, full of items and surprises one might expect to find. It manages to tap into the imagination we all had as a child, creating worlds and mysteries in something as mundane as a backyard.
But beyond the setting, the game also gives players a narrative thread to pursue. While you can go off and do your own thing, those that need a purpose for their survival will be pleased to find one.
And when you’re not solving the mystery of why you were shrunk down to the size of an ant, you’ll be spending time building bases and crafting gear – another area the game excels. Each item looks as though it is constructed out of the raw materials you’d find in a backyard. The hard shell of an acorn becomes a set of armor while a reed acts as a breathing tube.
The team at Obsidian has done a tremendous job at crafting and perfecting Grounded, a game that started its journey in early access. The love and attention to detail in the game is clear and we can’t wait to see what pops up next in our little backyard. Congratulations to the team for earning the Shacknews Best Xbox Series X Game of 2022 award. Now, watch out for those spiders!