In The Survivalist demo, you wash up on the shore of an island in the middle of the ocean. Stranded on an island has to be your worst nightmare. To make things worse, you only have the clothes on your back, and the island has hostile natives. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, your determination for survival.
So stranded on an island is the scenario I’m in, and it’s a familiar one if you have ever played a similar survival game. However, the Survivalist offers a charm that others do not, and that’s what made my first few hours with the game so enjoyable. For instance, I didn’t have to put in hours at a time to get things done. I could play for a while and then take a break. And naturally, after a while, I found myself eager to get back to building and crafting. But as I dove deeper into the demo, I discovered there was so much more to this game.
Exploration is a must
In The Survivalist, I quickly found that exploration was essential, and my potential key to getting off the island. As I explored, I came across a merchant with a hot air balloon, and the game instructed me this was how I was to get off the Island. But that’s the only clue I was giving. As I continued my travels, I discovered I wasn’t alone on the island. It was inhabited by some hostile natives who weren’t particularly happy that I was there. With this threat on the island, I began quickly crafting a weapon to protect myself. I also came across treasure maps, dungeons, dark caves, and talking totems asking me to bring them items in exchange for rewards. But the best thing I discovered was the friendly monkeys that I soon befriended. They were more than helpful.
Building, Crafting, and Mimicking Monkeys
Gathering and crafting are also essential in The Survivalist. I immediately started crafting items when I washed ashore by gathering pebbles, long grass, and wood. After all, I needed a bed to sleep in and a campfire to cook meals. After building a bed, I was able to save and sleep. I found this fantastic because after a hard day of work I could take a break from the game. Also, the building and crafting system is quite simple, and there is a tutorial on how to do everything.
But now we come to the Monkeys and believe me; they are helpful. You can teach the monkeys to mimic tasks like cutting down trees or mining pebbles. The monkeys helping hand makes gathering materials that much faster for building a base because the natives love to raid your camp. It’s a welcomed addition to the game.
Graphics and Sound Just Work
The great thing about indie games is that the graphics don’t have to be AAA status. In fact, in this case, it wouldn’t feel right or even work for this game. They’ve balanced the detail and color pallet for the background and character models perfectly. It adds to the charm of the game and gives you that relaxed feeling as you play. The soundtrack is bright and doesn’t feel repetitive after all repetitive soundtracks are one of my biggest pet peeves. But the controls are another story.
I’m just going to say it the controls need a lot of work, and the interface is terrible. I didn’t try it with the gamepad, but the keyboard was awful. Rolling and dodging attacks just didn’t feel right; moving the character also felt stiff. Likewise, when I went for an attack, I missed half the time, or my attacks were all over. Also, the interface needs some adjusting. I would get an annoying buzzing noise if I hovered my mouse over a particular spot of the item bar. Hopefully, they can fix the buzzing in time for release.
I didn’t get a chance to try the co-op on this Survivalist first impressions, but the game does offer it. On the Steam page, it states that you can “complete joint adventures, gain loot, trade and ultimately survive together all with up to three castaways.”
The addition of co-op and playing this with a friend would make this even more fun. Also, the demo has a lot of charm, but the controls and interface need some polish. But the game is being developed and published by Team17, and I have absolute faith that Team17 will deliver on this game. From what I have played so far, this will be a game I will put many hours in without hesitation.
For more information on the game and demo visit: Steam Page
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