PREVIEW: Wayward


The majority of Wayward is played with your mouse. With the exception of the numbered hotkeys for items on your hot bar, you click to interact with and use items, and also to move. Every interaction makes time pass, so you need to be careful about how you move about the island lest you become too weak to sustain proper survival.

Status: Early Access

Developer: Unlok

Publisher: Unlok

Genre: Turn-based Top-down Survival Roguelike

Release date: TBA

Type: Single-player


Your survival has 6 stats that need to be monitored in order to ensure survival:


You can find all your stats in the upper right hand corner.

Health (red): If your health hits zero, it’s game over. It can be drained by a number of things including: taking damage in combat, getting sick from poison or tainted food/water,  becoming too hungry or thirsty, or tired–there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

Stamina (green): Stamina is drained every time you move or interact with something. Going without rest for too long will have an adverse effect on your health.

In order to restore stamina, you can rest or sleep:

  • Resting lasts for a short period of time and restores some of of your stamina.
  • Sleeping is more effective than resting, but you’ll need a bed or sleeping bag to be able to bunk down comfortably.

Either ways make sure you do so in a safe spot. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of being overun by marauding creatures.


Hunger (purple): Your hunger will drain over time as you move about and complete tasks. When the bar is empty, you will begin to lose health.

Thirst (blue): Thirst may be your worst enemy–giant rats, snakes, and pit worms aside. Finding food that’s safe to eat is easy enough, but finding water suitable for drinking is not. If you drink stagnant water–or worse, salt water–you can get sick.

Milignity (skull): Malignity has two components: positive and negative. Every action you preform on the island effects in in one way or another and the game’s difficulty will change accordingly. The higher your malignity–the more you fight and destroy the local flora–the more difficult a time you’ll have. Alternatively, if you take the peaceful highroad, you’ll have an easier (but certainly not easy) go at survival.

Weight (anvil): The items that you can take with you all have their own weight values. If you are carrying too much, you’ll become overburdened, after which your movement will slowed and you’ll lose a significantly greater amount of stamina every time you move. After your stamina is drained, you’ll begin to lose health, so be careful.

Typical to the survival genre, night time is a more dangerous time to explore your surroundings. Enemies creatures will follow you to the ends of the world so it’s important to find shelter right away.


Your field of vision decreases drastically at night.

Crafting in Wayward is easy and intuitive. If you have the necessary items in your inventory, you’ll be able to make items. Crafting simple items will open up higher tiers of more complex items. Similarly, if you mouse over an item in your inventory while the crafting window is open, the game will highlight the craftable that item is a component for.


To the right, craftables that use “A Sharp Rock” are highlighted.

If you die in Wayward, that’s it; game over. The game gives you a score (a sort of survival quotient) and you can either dive in again with a new island and a new starter kit or you can turn tail and flee.

Such is the nature of the genre.


For every action in Wayward, you are rewarded with experience. The more you craft, use harvesting skills like mining and logging, pick or plant various fauna, or even put together a safe place to spend the night, the more proficient you’ll be in your survival skills.


Because movement is turn-based, combat is also turn-based. Your survivor can be equipped with weapons – one in each hand – and armor that will affect his ability to dish out and receive damage respectively.

There is also a daily challenge which adds an extra layer of challenge for those who are more masochistic than the average gamer. You basically start with an immense Malignity from the very start and have to face the horrendous beasts that spawn as a result.


Release the Kraken!

Sights and Sounds

Wayward is presented from a top-down point of view. You can see trouble as it approaches and plot out your survival strategy based on the surrounding area. The UI is fully customizable, allowing you to position and resize windows as you see fit, which is a nice touch.

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The pixel art is clean and brightly colored. Sometimes, the appearance isn’t enough to discern what a tile set is, but the game does an excellent job of telling you exactly what you’re looking at if you right-click something adjacent to you.

The soundtrack for Wayward is peaceful and upbeat suitable for exploration.

Future Plans

Unlok doesn’t have any specific game plan. The developer is very active in communicating with the community and making changes and improvements based on user feedback.

You can see a comprehensive list of development on their website and on Trello.

Stay in the know, gamers ❤

~Dawn, NeedtoKnow Gaming


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