Obsidian have announced that they will be releasing a time-limited demo in June for Grounded, their upcoming survival game. Available through both Steam and the Xbox Insider programme, players on Xbox One and PC will be able to check out the game for five days, from 9th to 14th June.
Participation will be on a first come, first serve basis, through Xbox Insider for Xbox One and PC, but access to the demo through Steam should be unlimited. You can wishlist the game now to be notified of its availability, with a date for the Early Access release pencilled in for 28th July.
Announced at XO19 last November, Grounded is a survival game blended with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. You play as a teenager who’d been shrunk down to the size of an ant, exploring a garden lawn, gathering resources and crafting to repair the machine that shrunk you, all the while trying to defend yourself from now gigantic creepy-crawelies that attack you.
While the game is built with co-op survival in mind, the demo will only show off the single-player side of the game and not the multiplayer. Offering a look at this, Obsidian released 21 minutes of single-player gameplay last month:
The game is the first Obsidian title that will be published as part of Xbox Game Studios, the company having been acquired by Microsoft while finishing off work on The Outer Worlds that was published by Take Take Two’s Private Division label. At the same time, another smaller team within the studio has been working on Grounded, one of several working on different and inventive projects such as this, the game’s development having actually started prior to the company joining Microsoft.
Alongside Bleeding Edge from Rare, this game is a sign of the freedom being afforded to the development studios that Microsoft have acquired over the last few years. Obsidian will assuredly return to the RPGs that are their bread and butter, but they’re also free to splinter off and create smaller projects such as this, doing so with all the support and infrastructure the Microsoft can offer.
We went hands on with Grounded at XO19, coming away with mixed feeling from our brief snippet of game time:
“It’s a curious game that left me a little underwhelmed. The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids influence was clear to see, and the co-op survival elements could be fun, it’s just not the kind of game that people will associate with Obsidian. It’s a fun setting for a child of the 80s and 90s though, and hopefully a longer session can reveal more of that spark of ingenuity and originality.”
Certainly, it will have developed since then, and has been in the Xbox Insider programme through the first half of 2020 to gain feedback from players. Obsidian write on their blog that they’re “truly honored to see the overwhelming response from you, our community, wanting to participate in the Xbox Insider flight that we realized we needed to change our plan.” It’s for this reason that they’ve expanded the Insider testing and bundled a Steam demo into the mix as well.