Obsidian is on a roll lately. After shivving Bethesda in both ribs with a pair of knives named Outer Worlds and Avowed, and thereby utterly crashing the Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI parties and kicking over the snacks table, it looks like they’re gunning for the survivalcraft top dogs too — and somehow making a genre, one that normally leaves players hyperventilating, clutching their chest in abject horror, despair and regret, funny with Grounded, their latest game.
What is Grounded?
Grounded is basically Honey I Shrunk the Kids meets Ark: Survival Evolved, and for everything cutesy, humorous and round-edged, there is something multi-legged, nightmarish, and surprisingly lethal.
The premise is pretty simple: You have awoken, shrunk to the size of a speck of quinoa, and the machine that shrunk you is broken. Because of course it is. The good news is that you’re in your backyard. The bad news is that insects exist. And they, all of them, would very much like to find out what your insides taste like.
Thus begins your Minecraftian struggle to harvest resources, Bear Grylls yourself a shelter and primitive weapon out of sticks, leaves, and other organic detritus, and do your best to keep as few holes in your abdomen as possible. It looks like a lot of fun, and with the hot streak Obsidian’s been on lately you can expect some innovation to the genre.
Also, if you have Arachnophobia, Obsidian was thoughtful enough to include a settings option to determine “how scary” the spiders, your surprisingly nightmarish backyard’s apex predators, are going to be. Wasn’t that nice of them?
Does Grounded Support Crossplay?
Right now, Grounded is available in Early Access on Steam for Windows and can be purchased for Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Unfortunately, it looks like Grounded — or any other Obsidian game for that matter — will not be coming to PS4 or PS5. This is perhaps because Obsidian is now owned by Microsoft and future games will be developed for and published on Windows and Xbox consoles exclusively.
One saving grace is that yes, Grounded is cross-platform and Xbox players and PC gamers alike will be free to exploit their friends’ appalling noobishness for their own gain when the flies come.
Because they will.
Cross-Platform Games Like Grounded
Just in case you were wondering which of the other Survivalcraft games support crossplay, here’s a couple you can pretend like you haven’t heard of already.
Ark is definitely the closest comparison to Grounded and a clear source of inspiration — it’s just interesting that Obsidian found a setting even more terrifying than an island teeming with chaotic, saurian monsters. Dinosaurs are cool, but, as anyone who’s gone down the insect wildlife rabbit hole on youtube knows, insects are metal.
Similar to Grounded, Ark supports crossplay between Xbox and the Windows 10 store version of the game — so if you bought it on Steam, you only get to violently murder players on equal footing. Poor you.
Come on, we had to do it. You knew Minecraft was going to be here. And you know all about Minecraft already, of course. You might’ve even sunk a few dozen (Hundred? Thousand?) hours into the game yourself. But just in case you’ve been in self-quarantine for the past decade, know that it’s the voxel-based heavyweight of the survivalcraft genre, where the enemies are blocks, the world is blocks, and the resources are blocks.
It’s hard-edged goodness. Though it’s not nearly as trauma-inducing as Ark or the other survivalcraft top-dog that we’ll go into next, it’s the same recipe. But you knew that. But did you know that Bedrock Edition supports crossplay between Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Gear VR, and PS4?
Rust is the game for the budding psychopath, where you get to shoot, stab, or use a rock to clobber naked people to death — while knowing someone on the other side of a computer screen is foaming at the mouth.
It’s a survivalcraft game with much less emphasis on survival, and craft, compared to most others and a much greater focus on griefing, trolling, and merciless toxicity. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s like the jungle.
Related: Best Rust Like Games
For people used to comfy beds, air conditioning, and adjustable difficulty settings, it’s a nightmare. For those who know their way around no holds barred PvP and 100% weaponized toxicity, it’s another day in the office. And you might get mad, and scream “but that’s not cross platform” but… Rust supports “crossplay” between the different PC platforms.
It might not sound like a big deal, but it is for those poor souls who play on Mac and find it hard enough to find a game they can play on their OS, let alone alongside another.
Buy Rust: Steam
Well, there you go. Unless you saw spiders and immediately scrolled way down to the security blanket that is a Minecraft subheading, you now have a PhD in Grounded crossplay. Congratulations! Your parents can finally breathe a sigh of relief.