Obsidian's First Microsoft Exclusive is Minecraft Meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Obsidian's First Microsoft Exclusive is Minecraft Meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Grounded, Obsidian's next game, is small in multiple senses of the word.

We're just a few weeks out from the release of The Outer Worlds, but Obsidian Entertainment's ready to show off its next title. Grounded, Obsidian's first release under the Xbox Game Studios banner, is something of a departure for the studio: it's a survival game, not an RPG. Also, your character is about the size of a bug.

Yes, Grounded is all about surviving the wilds of a lush backyard from the perspective of kids who've been shrunk way, way down in size. Playable either solo or in co-op with up to three other players, you've got to gather resources, craft items and bases, and avoid the territorial insects whose grand suburban kingdom you've found yourself in. It's like if Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Minecraft got together, settled down, and had a baby.

Prior to its on-stage reveal at X019 in London, USgamer Editor-in-Chief Kat Bailey got an early look at Grounded with Obsidian. "As you can see, it's a big departure from you usually see from Obsidian," said game director Adam Brennecke. "But we want to do our own take on the survival genre." In other words, Grounded's a survival game first and foremost, but expect to see Obsidian's RPG chops influence its systems and narrative.

A smaller-than-usual team at Obsidian started work on what became Grounded prior to the studio's acquisition by Microsoft late last year. Development was already underway in full when Obsidian joined Xbox Game Studios and the team's work continued alongside production of The Outer Worlds, which was published by Private Division. In a recent interview, Obsidian senior designer Brian Hines talked about how Microsoft wants Obsidian "to keep making games the way [its] been doing"—that includes pursuing Grounded, a "passion project" for the team.

Grounded is set to debut on the Xbox One through Xbox Game Preview, Microsoft's early access program, in Spring 2020. It'll also be the first Xbox Game Preview game to included in Xbox Game Pass. On PC, Grounded will also be available through Game Pass, the Microsoft Store, and Steam.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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