When we first saw Grounded less than a year ago, the pitch was to adapt Obsidian’s signature RPG style into the survival genre. Having recently launched into Early Access on Steam and Xbox Game Preview (plus Game Pass), it’s currently much more of what you’d traditionally expect from the latter than it is influenced by the former. But what’s here so far is entertaining enough and, despite a few stumbles, clearly has a lot of room to grow.
While Obsidian had previously said Grounded would incorporate strong story and RPG elements alongside the survival aspect, and while you can see hints of that, there’s not much to speak of yet. With no ongoing story beyond some collectible audio logs – I hit an “End of Story Content” message after less than an hour – it’s the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids”-style setting that’s currently doing most of the heavy lifting.
It doesn’t really diverge from the traditional survival game structure in any particularly meaningful ways – you pick an avatar from one of four teens who’ve been shrunken down to ~1 inch tall and spend your time exploring and gathering plants, rocks, and bug parts to craft items and build