Lost in a deserted island…
Ever wondered how you’d fare out there in the wilderness, all by yourself? Ever wanted to play a game that reminded you of “The Escapists” if it fused with “Stardew Valley”, “Lost”, “Autonauts” and “Don’t Starve Together”? This is the title for you! The Survivalists is an action-adventure survivalist game. Team 17 both developed and released this title on October 9th, 2020. It follows up from its predecessor, “The Escapists”, where this time you’re washed onto the shores of a mysterious island filled with danger, wonder, and a ton of trained monkey helpers.
Everybody’s story starts out the same. You are washed up on a deserted island with the raft that you were traveling in. Your character appears tired, unkempt, and disheveled. So, what’s your goal? Exploring the uncharted territory of course! By using the items at your disposal to colonize it! After going through the basic tutorial, you finally can choose what you can dedicate your time to. Crafting, collecting items, exploring, or fending for yourself. Though there are so many things you can do around the island, survival is important. Training yourself on efficient ways to survive too. This title isn’t a game that you play for the story, but for feelings of creativity and satisfaction.
Don’t Starve meets Stardew Valley meets Lost, meets Autonauts.
So now let’s discuss the overall gameplay mechanics for The Survivalist. I was really impressed that the options provided accessible, dyslexic-friendly text, something that is often overlooked across many gaming titles. Basing my experience from playing on the Nintendo Switch, I am happy to state that the UI was clear and easy to interact with. There were some moments where it was sometimes fiddly. For example, when you are training monkeys to automate tasks. You can also play via online multiplayer too, with the option of up to 4 friends! Together, you can populate the island, and unlock various shopping, trading and fishing tasks. Or, you can play solo! Like any survival game, you start off with collating basic materials from rocks, trees and bushes.
You are also free to explore Zelda-like dungeons and caves, slaying orcs in your wake and acquiring monkey helpers that can help you build various items while you are out and about. In the meanwhile, you also have to worry and fend yourself and your base against thievery and assaults. The gameplay is ultimately down to your endurance and what you want to do with your time.
There are however, some caveats to take into account. As of writing this review, I have experienced data corruption with my save. It has only happened once, but I had to restart my playthrough from the beginning. This came as quite a bit of a surprise, and I lamented on the hours lost playing the game. I do believe that Team 17 are already aware of this issue, so if anyone else is currently experiencing this, know that they are on the case to resolve this across all platforms.
Regular & improvements continues to breathe life into the game.
As seen in the images, the graphics are cute, functional, and somewhere between the 2D to 3D range. It is vibrant, easy on the eyes, and of course, pixelated. Though certain creatures and terrains look a little on the rough side, everything ran smoothly and I found little to no issues on the graphics front. There’s also a decent amount of customisation in game. While there are some good chiptunes in this title, I cannot in good faith say at this time that the music is great. I am however hopeful for the future and so far am enjoying The Survivalists as a whole.
All in all, I can hand in my heart say that I had a great time playing this game, despite the small technical issues I had with the save file. What with the regular updates happening soon, I am excited to see what Team 17 has to offer with “The Survivalists”. If you’re looking for that game to pass the time during lockdown, give this title a chance.