Animal Crossing survival game dominates the Steam charts

Dinkum's character wears a fruit on his head.

Screenshot: James Bendon

If you are not a cardholder Kotaku Australia Seeing Indie simulation game Dinkum Floating up the Steam New Releases chart may seem odd. But don’t be confused Dinkumwhich takes its name from the Australian slang term “fair dinkum”, which means “real” (more or less), with your old Converse or my battered Macbook Air. Dinkum cute and compact Animal Crossing re-do that highlights the hardcore grandeur of the Australian outback if it consisted of mine craft megapixels.

The game released for early access on July 14 and is becoming quite popular on Steam, likely due to its proximity to cozy sims and classic sandbox games like Stardew Valley as well as Sims. But if you’re still unsure if this simulator is right for you, here’s a brief fact sheet on the early days Dinkum:

Who did it?

Australian developer James Bendon self-published the game after working on it for the past few years.

Who should play it?

Animal Crossing as well as Stardew Valley obsessive, definitely. The game’s backstory will be familiar to both of these camps – your protagonist settles into a new, mostly empty city, harvesting, planting and catching things to sell and help develop the space. How in Animal Crossing, NPCs talk to you in slurred dialogue lines, and bugs can be caught with a grid. How in Stardew Valley, you can pretend to be a farmer. How in mine craftthe grass is made from a pile of blocks.

Dinkum by no means reinvents the wheel, but if you’re a fan of the most popular sims, you’ll find its gameplay captivatingly repetitive and fluid. You can complete daily and long-term quests to earn permission points, which allow you to earn skills such as logging and excavation, or develop skills you already have and collect items in exchange for money or “dinks”. You’re gently urged to survive in the reddened desert – animals and poisonous plants can drain your health bar and make you unconscious – but aside from losing a couple of Dinks, the consequences of making mistakes are small. Dinkum Designed for pleasant, Australian zoning and catching artificial fish.

What does it look like?

Hints of sriracha, adobo and paprika. Lots of sunsets cut through the glassy blue water. It looks mostly like smoother mine craftmade of plasticine, or similar to less cutesy, but with the same bobbing head. Animal Crossing. Like its gameplay, simulation game veterans will find DinkumThe visual is peacefully unremarkable.

Dinkum's characters tend to their crops.

Screenshot: James Bendon

Can a crocodile eat me?

The crocodile can click on your bobbing head and cause an ominous looking red mist to appear on your screen to indicate damage taken, but the worst thing that can happen as a result of the collision is that your health will be completely depleted and you will briefly pass out. So yes. But the most original Dinkum it is the delight he takes in the wild splendor of his paprika card. You’ll find yourself wondering if you can eat it or be eaten by it, and the game won’t punish you too harshly for your curiosity. In fact, it even rewards fainting and damage taken with resolution points. BRB while I set fire to my main character.

Where can I play it?

The Early Access game is currently available for PC on Steam for $19.99. According to game press listother compatible platforms will be announced later.

If you are sold, I wish you happy farming.

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