How to Survive

The secret is in the title. Survive you must and survive you probably will. Or not.

While not having much of an idea of what to expect (except zombies, foraging, and crafting) when coming into this title I have been pleasantly surprised several times. One thing that, while it seems simple, and could very well be a staple of other open world survival crafting games, is that you can disassemble your items after assembling them. So, for instance, when I started to craft improvised firearms I decided to disassemble my wooden bow. It’s now a fishing rod!

Naturally, where resources are scarce, you’re always afraid you’re wasting them on something now that is useless later.

"And Hell followed with him."

“And Hell followed with him.”

In this case it’s very easy to use resources to build neat things, disassemble them, and build even neater things from the same resources. Unless, of course, these resources are finite like health poultices or the like which are unable to be disassembled once built. Then again, what kind of crazy person would take apart a healing item to make a Molotov Cocktail? (This crazy person.)

One of the other neat things I was frequently reminded of is how scary the night really is. There are more powerful zombie variants which come out at night that are… actually pretty intelligent. They hate flashlights and probably any form of light for that matter- but they will flank you. They will retreat from the front, come around the side, or simply attack you from the back whenever they feel like it. I do know that day and night cycles are usually a big part of the whole survival mechanic but I really enjoyed the way How to Survive does it. You do get the feeling that these enemies are more dangerous and intelligent than the average zombie.

However, this does lead me to one of the minor complaints I had about the title which is the inability to sleep when you want to. Or, rather, to skip night if you want to. While it doesn’t need to be a feature- and I certainly see why it wouldn’t be- the dangerousness of night is dampened somewhat when you can’t see anything at all (light or no) in some night scenarios.

One particular island has a lot of greyish fog which pretty much blocks out the entire screen.

When night first fell I was near a place where I could sleep/rest, too. So it would’ve been great to actually sleep away that nearly impossible to navigate night scenario. Again, I get the idea, and the whole darkness is bad concept, but in this circumstance I found it near impossible to actually see much of anything. Also, from the point of view of survival statistics, you can eat or drink whenever you wish to. But you can’t sleep whenever you wish to. Which means, even if you’re low on sleep, but you don’t hit the threshold to allow sleep, you will basically go out exhausted and weak.

That said, these are minor issues in a title which tries really hard to make itself recognisable. The lack of glaringly obvious markers for resources in the wild mean you get into the habit of actually spotting them, rather than glossing over the map, and the way you can craft even if you don’t know the recipe per se is certainly great when rummaging around in your inventory making space.

While not likely the longest, nor most complicated, title of this genre on the market- it’s one that does ensure a lot of enjoyment from start to finish!

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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