The Survivalists is a survival game with a sandbox design, using vivid colors on cute graphics with exciting freedom in the experience.
The Survivalists share the same universe as The Escapists, also developed and published by Team17. The game also does not have a specific storyline like the "good brothers" in the aforementioned series. Instead, with the sandbox design and algorithmic generated experience environment, "everything is as expected" thanks to the player's creativity. The player's character floats on a raft before crashing into a deserted island without a shadow, nor is there any bars or guards like Escapists.
The Survivalists experience revolves around crafting and sharing jobs, but you can completely play solo. Initially, players must collect pebbles to create rudimentary tools used to cut trees, smash rocks and reclaim them. With the help of this item, you will gradually collect more things like wood, leaves, fruits and start a new life in the desert. There are campfires, beds, basic protective tools like fences and, of course, food creation indispensable. There is a new realm of religion that is!
Most of the things needed for initial survival can be found near where the raft leads you to the desert island. The aspect of survival and discovery experience in Survivalists is very attractive, allowing players to cross the sea to expand the "geographical" area to neighboring islands. However, the player is not only alone on the desert island, but also has a group of monkeys living and helping you. In exchange for the "live and die together" loyalty, you just need to bribe them with food day by day and let them know who is the island lord.
These furry friends are never going to work hard and are willing to assist players in their power. You can even teach the monkeys to mimic the actions of the protagonist, assign resource gathering on behalf of players, or do more complex and time-consuming jobs. I don't know if the animal protection organizations are happy with the experience that Survivalists brings, but these furry friends work very happily, without any annoying attitudes. Love it!
As long as you provide enough bananas, the adorable monkeys are always happy and hardworking. Don't ask me if there are not enough bananas, you have to find that answer yourself through the game experience. In fact, the gameplay loop of Survivalists is so compelling that I am satisfied with it from the very beginning. From the resources obtained, players gradually upgrade everything for the better, creating new items or crafting materials that improve life.
As you expand your living area and build a canoe, much of the exploration experience is still using a "stretcher" on the islands, with hairy "bodyguards" following behind. However, Survivalists are not only "real can," and "hand to chew", players and monkeys also face dangers from the island wilderness such as wild animals and orcs brutality on a desert island. You must fight the threats that can harm your monkeys and your living space.
Survivalists have a hand-to-hand combat system very similar to The Escapists 2, but with the addition of a new action is roll dodge. This new skill increases the tactics of the combat experience quite a lot, easily turning the battles in the game from intense to very exciting. I don't know how Uncle Ba Phi fights a tiger, but the feeling of encountering the angry bear in the game is quite dramatic. That's just a wild animal. Fighting with the Orc tribe is even more "evil" than escaping from prison in the aforementioned game.
However, Survivalists' inevitable minus point is the algorithm that generates random screen environments that sometimes cause injustice in the experience. Meanwhile, the element of discovery is not only limited to the things you can collect, but also has a limit of inventory and especially hunger, making the characters complain all the time tired. However, the biggest minus point of the game is that the player cannot cancel the crafting once the process is done, leading to many moments of inhibition when the building is finished and destroyed.
The problem is, each destruction only takes back half of the resource spent manipulating. From the player's perspective, with the survival experience where resources are very valuable, losing half of the "fortune" because of the aforementioned error is like a terrible punishment, especially early-sun players. Rainy afternoon like me. However, if you are careful, this minus point seems to be nothing compared to the survival experience that is both attractive and the pace of "playing the game your way" that Survivalists brings.
Notably, Survivalists that support both co-ops of up to four are very excited. You can imagine it like the co-op game mode in Escapists 2, but with a lot more to do and more freedom in the game experience. Unfortunately, due to the specific gameplay design, the game does not support split screen mode. If I'm not mistaken then the game doesn't support cross-play either. However, if you do not have friends to play with, the "great sun" solo experience is also attractive enough without losing as much fun as co-op.
At the end, The Survivalists offers a very exciting and exciting wild island survival simulation experience. Although there are still a few minor minus points, if you love this genre, this is definitely a name that you should not ignore.
The Survivalists are available for PC (Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Apple Arcade.
The article uses the game supported by the publisher and is played on the Nintendo Switch.
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