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Parents' Guide to

Mist Survival

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bloody survival sim lacks polish, can feel bland, lifeless.

Game Windows 2018
Mist Survival Poster Image

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Survival sims are big these days, and competition among them is fierce, but this unfinished sim plays less like a game and more like a proof-of-concept with its weak story and bland world. Expectations in Mist Survival are set low by a short intro describing an end-of-the world scenario you've heard a million times before. After the intro, you're set down in a bland woodland landscape with no specific mission other than to survive. During the day you gather things -- canned goods, stones, sticks, bits of metal -- and craft them into things that can protect, heal, or nourish you. When darkness falls, you hide. Admittedly, hiding all night can be boring (even though the game's on a sped-up day/night cycle) but the Infected roam at night, and confronting them directly is a quick way to die.

Despite the possibility of death, tension is generally low here, which is strange for a survival sim. During the day, Infected are easy to avoid, and while a sudden bear appearance or bandit camp can get your heart beating, those too can be easily avoided. The most thrilling moments—in fact, the best part of the game—is when the mist comes rolling in. The Infected hunt in the mist, so when it comes and you're far from your shelter, it's truly frightening. The problem is that there just isn't enough of that feeling. In fact, the overwhelming feeling is boredom. Endless cycles of gathering and crafting and simple interactions with other characters quickly becomes monotonous. Exploration doesn't help, since all you'll find are more empty buildings and burned out cars. Worst of all are the load times. It takes ages just to start the game, and load times make dying even more punishing than it already is. Ultimately, what Mist Survival has to offer right now is a set of basic mechanics that lack finesse, surprises, and narrative context. Until that's fixed in the final retail version of the game, Mist Survival currently stands as a half-baked experience that proves the (paraphrased) saying, "man (and survival sims) don't live by bread alone."

Game Details

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