Surviving the Aftermath
Survival management simulation has mild combat, death.
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Surviving the Aftermath
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Surviving the Aftermath is a downloadable strategy management game for Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. It casts players as the leader of a colony of people who have survived a catastrophic event that has left the world in ruins. Under your management and according to your decisions, the colonists cooperate with and help one another on various scavenging and building projects to create a happy, healthy community with housing, crops, water, and medicine. Unfortunately, they will sometimes be beset by bandits (they fight back with various melee and projectile weapons if they can), struck by disease, or fall unlucky victim to natural disasters. These events can leave colonists sick, injured, or dead. The action's viewed from a raised three-quarters perspective, and there's no blood or gore, though dead bodies can lie on ground for days as they await disposal. Note that post-release content designed to enhance the survival simulation can be purchased for a small fee.
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What’s It About?
Living in a post-apocalyptic America is no easy task, or at least so it would seem while playing SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH, a strategy management game that tasks players to create a happy, healthy, resilient community after the fall of civilization. The game begins with players basically designing their own catastrophe -- a creative way of determining the game's difficulty, since you'll be forced to deal with the consequences your choices, such as resource shortages, bandits, and world toxicity. Then it's time to set up camp and start building. You'll begin with just a few colonists wandering around the village looking for ways to be helpful, and you'll need to guide them to build shelters, collect water and food, and gather resources such as wood and plastics. Eventually, your colonists will have children and welcome in stragglers who happen across the community, increasing the community's needs but also adding to available hands. As the town grows, you'll be able to build better facilities to treat injuries and diseases and harvest resources more efficiently, but you'll also need to deal with marauding raiders and random disasters, such as meteor strikes and pockets of radiation. Key to survival is sending the camp's handful of specialists out into the wider world, where they search for technology and resources to bring back to the community. The main survival mode can be expanded and enhanced via downloadable content -- such as the New Alliances DLC -- that adds a rival community, societies that you can help to win their favor, and additional challenges, such as more active wildlife and hostile units. Your primary goal is simply to survive, but along the way you'll reach a variety of milestones that act as proof of your ability to weather an apocalypse.
Is It Any Good?
Anyone who reckons themselves a wise leader and savvy survivalist is in for a rude awakening here. Surviving the Aftermath starts off easy enough, with your little band of colonists casually walking around gathering wood, digging wells, and building tents. Survival appears to be strenuous, though not particularly difficult, work. But as you'll soon learn, you're never more than a single disaster away from your community collapsing. A plague could decimate your population in a matter of days if you don't have proper medical facilities, debris falling from the sky could wipe out half of the houses you've built, or depraved bandits could target your town for a raid. Paid downloadable content can add even tougher challenges, like a rival encampment that takes advantage of the unrest sowed when you ignore survivors' needs -- though you can combat this to a degree by sending specialists on covert operations, eventually creating a federation that solidifies your influence and control. Whatever you do, it's all but impossible to defend everyone under your stewardship from every possible threat. That means you need to make the best decisions you can with the information and resources available, knowing full well that it's only a matter of time before some calamity leaves your community's roads filled with dead and dying citizens.
Some of the game's most interesting moments come when you're forced to make surprisingly personal decisions. Will you welcome newcomers, even if you don't currently have enough housing for them? Will you indulge an unhinged colonist's belief that he stirred vengeful spirits in one of the houses he scavenged? Will you punish the community's fun-starved kids for stealing much-needed resources to build a fort? These choices have consequences that could impact the camp's fortunes. More than that, they combine to form a picture of who you are as a leader, what risks you'll take to protect your people, and what shenanigans you'll allow to take place to increase the camp's livability and happiness. This isn't the type of simulation game that overwhelms players with technologies to learn and structures to build, but rather is more concerned with creating an organic and dynamic narrative in which you feel connected with your little band of survivors as they experience various trials and tribulations while you do your best to rebuild a civilization founded on determination amid inevitable compromise. Surviving the Aftermath tells players the apocalypse isn't something to fantasize about, but with prudent decision making some people might just be able to live through it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about screen time. Progress in Surviving the Aftermath can be saved at any time, so each session can be as long or as short as you like, so how long do you typically play a game like this before feeling satisfied and ready to move on to another activity?
Do you think about survival situations? From power outages to strong storms, most of us will eventually experience a scenario in which it would be beneficial to be prepared, so what sorts of food and supplies do you have around the house that would help your family get through a minor crisis?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Release date: November 16, 2021
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Adventures, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Violence
- Last updated: November 16, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
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The Long Dark
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For kids who love simulations
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