Recently players were given the opportunity to get their hands on Grounded courtesy of the ‘First Flight’ demo available to Xbox Insiders and Steam users. This 30-minute slice of gameplay delivers a bite-sized taste of the experience and is only available for a limited time. To make sure you get the most out of your session, here’s a quick guide breaking down how to finish this demo.

Choose your hero

Beginning your single-player session allows you to select between four different characters. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be any stat differences between our heroes, so don’t worry about missing out on anything based on who you’ve selected here.

Getting your bearings

You’ll start the game in a small cave with no idea how you got there. You’ll then immediately be given some tutorial prompts and some general guidance via the in-game HUD. Follow these instructions and make your way out of the cave.

After you’ve made your way to the first clearing, follow the marker to the left and look for a small dome-shaped building in the distance. Be sure to pick up any pebbles or plants you find along the way.

Using the research center

As you get closer to this building, you’ll realize it’s a research center of some kind. Enter the structure and interact with the microscope on the table.

After interacting with the microscope, you’ll be introduced to a new system that analyzes items you’ve collected on your travels. Be sure to analyze a pebble and a plant fiber before moving on from this area.

Making your way to the ‘mysterious machine’

Once you’ve analyzed some materials, a new quest marker will appear on your HUD. Continue down the path outside of the research dome towards a large mechanical structure.

Eventually you’ll come across a ‘Mysterious Machine’. You’re free to explore the interior of this device, but ultimately you’ll want to make your way around the left side of the object and look for a leaf ramp.

Climb on to the machine and search for a collection of buttons and knobs. Press the highlighted button to initiate the machine.

Fixing the first laser

After activating three separate lasers by pressing this button, you’ll be given a new series of quests. The first of these is to clear a laser blocked by a blade of grass right next to the machine.

To remove this obstacle, you’ll need to navigate to the crafting tab in your inventory and make yourself a pebblet axe. This will require some basic supplies, which should be immediately available, but you’ll also need to craft woven fiber from plants in order to complete this.

Once you’ve crafted your first axe, equip it via the radial menu and proceed to chop down this blade of grass. This will remove the obstruction and get you one step closer to your goal. 

Fixing the second laser

Unlike the first laser, your next problem doesn’t stem from a blockage, but instead a weak and inconsistent beam. Make your way towards the source of the laser to investigate what’s causing the issue.

As you get close to the second laser’s tripod, you’ll notice some pesky mites chomping away at the exposed wires. Clearing those nuisances will help get the laser back in working order.

Squish the mites on the ground level with your trusty axe and then begin making your way up the cable to fend off the elevated enemies.

After you’ve cleared all the mites on the upper level, follow the cord down to a dark cave. You’ll see a mite chewing away in the shadows.

Crafting a Torch

To navigate this dark cave, you’re going to need to some light. Make your way down the path to your right to collect some dried grass chunks. 

Once you’ve gathered a few dried grass chunks, make your way back to the cave entrance and craft a torch.

With a light source in-hand, make your way into the recesses of this cave and clear the remainder of the mites. 

Returning to the ‘mysterious machine’

After all mites in the cave have been vanquished, make your way out of the cave and towards the mysterious machine.

Once you’re back at the mysterious machine, climb on top and press the button once more.

Game Over?

Pressing the button this time triggers a cutscene that shows these 3 lasers emitting powerful beams that eventually cause a small explosion. A smoldering wreck is shot into the distance, but unfortunately this is where the questline of our demo ends.

Completing this series of events can be achieved rather quickly and while there are no additional objectives in the demo, you’re now free to explore this world at your leisure. You can also replay this demo as many times as you’d like.

Play it while you can!

The First Flight demo for Grounded ends on June 22, 2020, so be sure to get in there and experiment! Your next opportunity to play the game won’t until the Game Preview version releases on July 28.

Survival on a smaller scale

Grounded

See at Microsoft
See at Steam

Big fun in a microscopic package

Survival games are typically set in exotic locations, but this one takes place in your very own back yard … albeit with a small twist.