You wake up lying on a beach on a deserted island. All you have is a pair of jeans and a tshirt. Fortunately the sun is shining, but you see dark clouds looming. You’re hungry and night is approaching.
You check your vitals, everything seems okay, but you’re tired. You see a coconut palm, and some banana trees. You don’t have the energy to climb a tree. You look around… you see a small rock, you bash the tree and a coconut falls down. You try smashing the coconut on a rock but not much happens. Exhausted, you pick up your rock and hit the coconut, you start making progress. Eventually it splits in two. Coconut milk spills everywhere.. DAMNIT I COULD HAVE DRUNK THAT… I am so thirsty. At least I can eat the coconut.. then I need to sleep. Hopefully I’ll feel better when I wake up.
Welcome to the hardest survival game of 2018, released in July, it is the slightly oddly named Survisland (surv-island I think). The maps are procedurally generated and I think you’ll find they look stunning, especially for a very early alpha. The developers have tried to make this realistic, so just like in real life, the weather and temperature, what you wear and carry all have an effect. Also, just like in real life if you want to make something, you have to figure it out. There is no “item menu” – you can’t click on an axe icon, find out what you need and gather it then click ‘make’. Oh no, that would be too easy. You have to work out what you need to make an axe. Sticks, rope, stones.. then you have to figure out how to get them. The crafting system is unique, it involves clicking “T” and then looking at the items and figuring out what the hell you are supposed to do next. It took me 2 hours to work out how to make a fire, and it involves a lot of frantic mouse moving to make the firesticks work.
You can find recipes online, but the game is being developed swiftly so they change and new things are added on a weekly basis. There is also a tutorial, but the information is vague. Once you have a handle on what to do, it make sense, but there are generally a LOT of steps.
From the devs:
Unique Crafting System
Survisland has a unique crafting system. Some items have one or several Crafting Nodes, it indicates different parts of an item that can be crafted. You’ll need to use various Crafting Techniques to process these parts. Which Crafting Techniques you can use is determined by the items on your hands, certain techniques require specific tools in hands.
This Node Based Crafting system will cover all the common crafting in the field. But you can also find use workbenches to combine items. Workbenches can be found in wild as a wide tree stump or a flat rock.
Build Whatever You Want
From a simple leaf tent to a huge stone fortress, you can build anything you want with our flexible Building System. You’ll have to craft three types of building marks: Foundation mark, Support mark and Surface mark, to start building. Each mark represents a specific building part and you can upgrade these marks to actual buildings.
Buildings can protect you from the most violent weather but cost a lot of efforts, choose a fine place to settle down!
Making a simple leaf tent takes several hours, God only knows what’s required for a fortress. In saying that, the building system is very polished and impressive even at this early stage.
Again, in the devs’ own words, things to look forward to:
Here are some planned mechanics we will add into the game in future updates.
More biomes and more resources. We currently only have about one hundred items and three biomes for you to explore and the technology level is still in stone-age. All the fun that metals can give us is coming in future updates. And more biomes will be created as planned: Hills, Rainforest, Mountains, Grassland, etc.
AI Animals, currently we don’t have animals on the islands, but of course we are going to add them into the game, actually it’s the most prior function we are working right now. There will be fishes, birds and land animals. They will have their own schedule of life and unique reactions to the environment.
Mental Health, this is another important part of our surviving simulation. Many lone survivors didn’t die from the lack of resources, but mental illness: loneliness, despair, fear. There will be some mental properties added as basic stats, like sadness, excitement, stress or loneliness. New symptoms will also be added to reflect the states of these properties and they can affect the overall mental health, when the mental health is drained out, you may lose your mind and gone crazy.
Survisland currently costs around $11NZD on steam and if you are into this sort of thing, it is fantastic. Hugely detailed, pretty, and well made.
Just don’t expect to be able to jump on for a few minutes and play, and do not expect multiplayer (you are alone on an island.. for goodness’ sake, no one else is around).
– Geoff Gummer