Dread Hunger logo
Follow Genre: Action-adventure, multiplayer, social deception
Developer: Dread Hunger Team
Publisher: Digital Confectioners
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Dread Hunger – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: An original take on betrayal games
Bad: Player base sucks
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

‘Cause we’re homeward bound from the Arctic ground with a good ship, taut and free. And we won’t give a damn when we drink our rum with the girls of Old Maui. These classic shanty song lyrics are the first thing that popped into our mind when we started up Dread Hunger, a game about being on a ship, betrayal, and surviving the challenges of the Arctic surrounded by ice, cannibalism, and other dangers. No, a sailor’s life ain’t easy.

Dread Hunger logo

Story

In Dread Hunger, you are part of a crew on a ship that’s traveling through the Arctic. There’s your captain, your cook, the engineer, and so on. Each character has their own role to play. Much like other social games that are filled with betrayal though, there is not really a story present. Like Among Us is about survivors on a ship who need to work together to finish tasks before they get murdered by a betrayer among them, Dread Hunger is pretty much the same. It’s all just a setting with some game rules. The only place where you can find anything resembling a pre-made story is the tutorial. Here you will get some introductions to the different characters and how the game will work, weaved together with a few cutscenes.

Graphics

Dread Hunger looks nice! While some of the models and animations could be slightly better (there are no mouth movements as an example), it’s actually quite a good-looking, immersive place to spend your time. The ship feels like it’s modeled after a real ship, and there’s never a dull moment, despite finding yourself in an environment filled with ice. While it does not matter a terrible lot what character you will play, each character also feels unique in their own perspective and quickly becomes recognizable as “that” specific character. To summarize: the game has a great atmosphere and something unique to look at. What else do you want from the graphics?

Sound

Sound is an incredibly important aspect of the game. After all, you will use your voice chat to communicate with people around you. It’s all up to you whether you scream at a crewmate, blame them for any wrongdoing, or do some roleplaying to make the game more fun! To compensate for the possible chaos that eight players screaming at each other might bring, the game has no music in the background. There’s only you, your teammates, and any sound effects such as footsteps and gunshots. This makes the game quite tense and that’s great! At least, as long as everybody uses their voice properly and (no idea this could be an issue) speaks English.

Gameplay

Dread Hunger is a social deception game with adventure, action, and survival elements. While the game is fun and tense, for some reason it’s absolutely loaded with Chinese people. Now, this wouldn’t be an issue except for the game being heavily dependent on voice chat, and Chinese and English are not a good match. When we looked for a game after the tutorial, there were literally only Chinese servers present, and Steam reviewers complain they got permabanned for simply not speaking Chinese at times. Thus for our review, we created our own game, and while it got filled with mostly English people there were also two Chinese players. Apparently, this created instant tension and a “kick them from the game” mentality, so racial profiling based on language seems to be a huge issue in the game. After that, the game did not start properly and people made jokes that “we got hacked by those Chinese players”, though we started doubting it was a joke.

Our second game we had better luck, though we had to wait quite a while. In Dread Hunger you play as a crew of eight people, where two people are betraying the rest. Now, in a game such as Among Us, you would try to find somebody by themselves and quickly stab them. In Dread Hunger this will never work. Not only are you often outnumbered by people surrounding you, but the game is much more subtle in its objectives. The goal for the crew is to complete a journey through water and ice and eventually blow up a giant rock of ice to win the game. As a “Thrall”, a.k.a the betrayer of the game, you try to stop them from completing this. You can do so by sneakily dumping any item that would fuel the boat to get home, trying to sabotage players with magic, and by straight-up killing them with force. All this while you need to manage your hunger, not freeze to death, and sometimes complete your own sneaky objectives. Oh, and then there are cannibals and wild animals too to be wary of.

When a player gets downed, they still have some time to get revived unless they are tossed in the waters to drown. When they are finally killed, they get sent to the ship’s brig once and can get rescued by any mate. All these details, including a few different maps, make Dread Hunger such a good game when it comes to social deception. You really need to choose your next steps carefully, as it might be better to actively show everybody you are helping the crew instead of sabotaging them. Abide your moment and be sneaky about it. We honestly believe the game is great for leaving room for interpretation of the best way to win, but we can not dismiss the issues with the accessibility of games and the general lack of room for English-speaking people. If you have some friends who want to buy this, this could be an absolute gem. If not, maybe you should wait a bit for the developers to improve the accessibility.

Conclusion

We really liked the concept and the variation that Dread Hunger brings. The setting is original and the social deception mechanics and possibilities are great. The gameplay is tense and perfect for a good night with some fellow crewmates. What we really did not like is the tough accessibility concerning the game and English-speaking players. Most of the entire game is flooded with Chinese people, and somehow the game is struggling greatly with providing English (solo) players with a good place. This is why, instead of giving the game an 8 or higher, we ended up with a 6.5 for now.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Dread Hunger - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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