A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know The Survivalists is an adventure game available for download on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, and Apple Arcade. The game pits players on a seemingly deserted island, where they must figure out how to survive. This involves gathering resources, fighting island natives, going on quests in caves and dungeons and assembling a collection of monkeys to help you along the way. There's limited violence where players may sometimes need to kill other characters on the island, but there's no blood or gore shown as a result of these actions. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content shown.
What's it about?
In THE SURVIVALISTS, after washing ashore on a seemingly deserted island, you'll have to find a way to stay alive, gathering resources and using an in-game skill tree to build various tools and comforts (like a bed). You'll also gather a collection of monkey helpers, luring them to your side with food or saving them from camps. Once they've aligned with you, the monkeys can be given orders to help with resource gathering and crafting. (They won't help you fight battles, though.) You'll also fight everything from bats to natives to monsters and go on many quests for treasures, some of which you can trade with traveling merchants. But while it's presented as a survival game, there's very little chance of starving in The Survivalists, since the island's loaded with food, and you just have to gather it.
Is it any good?
While the fantasy of being stranded on a tropical island might be enticing, the reality of it falls far short. Sadly, the same can be said of The Survivalists, a by-the-numbers retro adventure/survival game that fails to stand out from its numerous competitors. The game, at its heart, is a resource gathering, go-on-a-quest title, with no real driving narrative behind it -- and a lack of unique features to distinguish it. While it does what it sets out to do well enough, the gameplay's largely generic, except for the monkey allies you'll make as you play. These do take away from some of the drudgery of resource gathering, giving you more time to explore dungeons and interact with locals.
There's not a lot of instruction, though, which makes the first hour or so of gameplay rather frustrating, since you might have trouble completing basic tasks. Combat's well done, with a stamina meter showing your energy levels, meaning you can't hack and slash endlessly at your enemies. That limitation forces you to be creative when you're fighting enemies. Again, though, there isn't much instruction, which causes frustration. It's a game that might appeal to a small dedicated group of players, but will only be enjoyed briefly by others.
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