I’m not a big fan of fighting for my survival while being chased by a horde of mutant cannibals in games, so I basically wrote off Sons Of The Forest as not really my thing and moved on with my life. Cut to a couple of weeks after release and I’m having an absolute whale of a time in Endnight Games’ survival horror – and it’s all thanks to sweet, succulent blueberries.
It all started when I learned that Sons Of The Forest has a peaceful mode, which completely removes all the gross, yucky cannibals, leaving you to grapple with survival in relative peace and quiet. The first time I met up with Kelvin and we got to work, casually making our shitty shelter and stick storage, I perused the guidebook to see what’s next, and I spotted a planter. A planter? Okay, so I assume you can plant seeds and grow food, then? That’s really co-WAIT, wait, wait. You’re telling me this is basically a farming sim?
That’s how I’ve ended up playing Sons Of The Forest. Blueberries were the obvious choice because of just how many of them there are on the island, making seeds more accessible. I soon decided that my ultimate goal was to be completely self-sufficient by growing, harvesting and eating blueberries, which seemed more than do-able. According to the Sons Of The Forest wiki – a single blueberry counts as 1% hydration and 1% fullness, meaning if I ate, say, 100 a day I could comfortably survive. That’s a lot of blueberries, but I reckoned I could do it. Worth a shot though, innit.
First I made Kelvin clear a 5×5 area, then I set about laying out my farm. I decided to start small, placing down eight ghostly outlines of planters, a goal for Kelvin and I to work toward. Each planter needs 18 sticks, so, hmm, yup, that’s… that’s 144 sticks. My God. After finding the first 50 or so, I began to struggle, the ground foliage washing into a singular greeny brown blur – but eagle-eyed Kelvin always managed to find a shit-tonne. No idea where he was getting them from, but it quickly became obvious that this blueberry empire would not be possible without him. I would repay him in the finest blueberries my farm would grow. By the end of the first day, the eight planters were complete, seeds nestled in their beds, and it was time for me to get into my own bed, too.
The sun rose on day 2 of my berry empire, and it was time to see the fruits of my labours. The berries from the day before had sprouted and as I quickly gathered them all – about 24 total – and began to eat, it was clear that I would need more blueberries. A lot more. Like, stonking loads of blueberries. I ramped up planter production, now creating the space for 16. Seeds were not a problem, as the harvested blueberry bushes I had already grown would always provide more.
After another day of building, my 16 planters gave me 40ish berries per day, which were sufficient to fill more than half my health bar. The next goal was 25 planters, and after another day of stick gathering and planter building, my blueberry production was in full force. I quickly set into a regular routine: I would harvest and eat the ripe berries in the morning, cut down the withered bushes and replace them with more seeds, then go off frolicking in the woods (the island in SOTF is amazing to just have a wander through). Then I’d then do exactly the same again the next day, and the day after that.
My life in Sons Of The Forest is pretty good. Not having to worry about food makes peaceful mode even more laid-back. Kelvin seems to enjoy it too, snacking on the berries wherever he likes, and I’ve even spotted Virginia inspecting my bountiful crop. I’m pretty sure I’ve grown more blueberries in SOTF in five days than I have during a whole season in Stardew Valley. Forget about that millionaire I’m supposed to find, I’m happy living out my quiet life alongside Kelvin – and it’s all thanks to blueberries.