It dawned on me this week, just moments after gnawing on the crispy arm of a guy that tried to kill me, that Sons of the Forest, the hardcore survival sim that's currently dominating Steam (opens in new tab), is a deeply funny game. Not so much because of the cannibalism part (though I did chuckle the first time I barbequed a human limb for all of 12 seconds and then ate it whole), but because I then turned around to find my faithful but bumbling NPC companion Kelvin ankle deep in a pond, staring blankly at the water. He'd been trying to yank fish out of the pond with his bare hands, something I had asked him to do about 15 minutes earlier and then swiftly forgotten.
I felt bad, because Kelvin was clearly so desperate to please me that he wouldn't let his lack of a fishing pole, hooks, bait, or functioning fish trap (opens in new tab) stop him from completing my arbitrary chore. I was on my way to give him a well-deserved pat on the back when I tripped over a fish. No, not a fish. It was 13 fish. A baker's dozen of trout haphazardly piled behind Kelvin, who presumably didn't have time to organize them because he'd just hoisted another from the water. Kelvin is a god of fishing! Of course he is! This game is so dumb. I'm into it.
I'm not the only one having a laugh with Kelvin. He's become everyone's favorite, bestest boy (opens in new tab). I wouldn't want to survive the forest without him. But Kelvin, like all of us, has gaps in his knowledge that can get him in trouble. For instance: the man absolutely cannot and should not be trusted around a treehouse.
Kelvin says "f*ck this tree, in particular"
Asked Kelvin to get me some logs... from r/SonsOfTheForest
It's very cool that Sons of the Forest's freeform building makes it easy to pick your favorite tree and make it your home. Treehouses are not only a tactically sound idea (raiding locals can't get to ya), but easy to expand upon. Unfortunately, Kelvin does not value vertical architecture. Currently when you ask him to gather logs, he's programmed to simply chop down the nearest tree. Even if it's the tree attached to the exact treehouse that he's gathering logs for in the first place.
At first I thought this was an anomalous bug. The developers would make Kelvin smart enough to not routinely demolish his own home, right? But… uh, yea no.
@acrossfrosty (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - AcrossFrosty (opens in new tab)
@fragdcrream (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - CRREAM (opens in new tab)
@superswoldier (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - SWOL (opens in new tab)
Sons of the Forest is out and Kelvin is the worst pic.twitter.com/v1xgVdnNGLFebruary 25, 2023
"I can't even be mad at this guy. I can't even be mad at him," said streamer SWOL after losing a promising foundation to Kelvin's buffoonery. It's true. Kelvin is far too innocent and well-meaning to hold a grudge against. Even when he's literally just destroyed everything you've worked for, the genuine thumbs up he sends your way is enough to make the heart soar.
@pumakubus (opens in new tab) ♬ were finally landing - lily (opens in new tab)
@skyknightgaming_ (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - SkyKnightGaming (opens in new tab)
@theaveragebum (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Dooney (opens in new tab)
Kelvin's arborous exploits have become so notorious that he's even getting an entirely appropriate Breaking Bad meme treatment.
Kelvin STOP from r/SonsOfTheForest
@blackaf1energy_ (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - trollfacersadhappy (opens in new tab)
Fun with physics
To be fair to Kelvin, he's just one leading cause of sudden home loss. The game is pretty finicky about how much punishment a structure can weather before it explodes into a pile of lincoln logs. All it can take is one misplaced axe swing and:
it took us an hour to build this house in Sons of the Forest then this happens... 💀 pic.twitter.com/kICISVK5r8February 24, 2023
Then there are some physics interactions that aren't quite explainable. I'm not sure what's going on with the snow in this spot but I'm making a note to Mario stomp my friends ASAP.
@andy_perry4 (opens in new tab) ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim (opens in new tab)
Sometimes the physics are on your side. The spear is a particularly great weapon to keep on hand, partly because it's capable of stuff like this:
@scratty_clips (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Scratty (opens in new tab)
Forest antics have definitely reached a new level now that players are discovering what's possible with the 3D-printed sled. Those snowy mountains are just as fun coming down as going up:
The sled in Sons of the Forest is... something else. pic.twitter.com/C42kHlZnSQFebruary 28, 2023
@whorroricon (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - ranelan (opens in new tab)
sledding in sons of the forest>> pic.twitter.com/gGjXwIW3l2February 26, 2023
I'm surprised at how safe sledding is in the Sons of the Forest world. I probably would've gone hours without giving the sled a whirl out of fear of cracking my head on a tree, but you seem to be darn near indestructible once you're strapped in.
As it turns out, you don't even need a sled to shred the slopes. Apparently if you take out your notebook while standing on a hill you adopt the physical properties of a rubber bouncy ball.
@sluglyyt (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Slugly (opens in new tab)
Want the best sled in Sons of the Forest for free? Simply open your book while on a slope. 😂 #sonsoftheforest pic.twitter.com/BdlVIocGR3February 28, 2023