Survival games are a unique genre of video games that put players in the midst of dangerous and life-threatening situations. These games challenge players to use their wits and resources to stay alive as long as possible. But what exactly are survival games classified as?
Survival games can be divided into two main categories: survival horror and survival simulation. Survival horror games are focused on creating a terrifying and suspenseful atmosphere, often with supernatural or monstrous enemies. These games require players to use stealth and cunning to avoid being caught or killed by the threat.
On the other hand, survival simulation games focus on creating a realistic and immersive world where players must gather resources, build shelter, and hunt for food in order to survive. These games often feature open-world environments and require players to make strategic decisions in order to stay alive.
Both of these subgenres have gained popularity in recent years, with titles like “The Last of Us,” “Don’t Starve,” and “State of Decay” becoming household names. Whether you prefer the tense thrills of survival horror or the immersive gameplay of survival simulation, there’s a survival game out there for everyone.
Survival games are a subgenre of video games that focus on survival as the primary objective. These games often pit players against harsh environments, dangerous creatures, and other players in a struggle to stay alive. They typically involve resource management, crafting, exploration, and often feature a strong emphasis on survival mechanics such as hunger, thirst, and temperature. Examples of popular survival games include Minecraft, The Forest, and Rust. These games can be classified as either single-player or multiplayer, and can be found on a variety of platforms including PC, consoles, and mobile devices.
I. Understanding Survival Games
Definition of Survival Games
Survival games are a subgenre of video games that emphasize the player’s ability to survive in a hostile environment. These games typically require players to gather resources, build shelter, and fend off threats in order to prolong their life.
Key Elements and Mechanics of Survival Games
Some of the key elements and mechanics found in survival games include:
- Resource gathering: Players must scavenge for food, water, and other resources to sustain themselves.
- Crafting: Players can use gathered resources to create tools, weapons, and other items to aid in their survival.
- Exploration: Players must explore their environment to find resources and avoid danger.
- Combat: Players may encounter hostile creatures or other players who pose a threat to their survival.
- Progression: Players can gain experience and level up, unlocking new abilities and items to help them survive.
The Objective and Gameplay Loop in Survival Games
The objective of survival games varies from title to title, but typically involves simply surviving as long as possible. To achieve this objective, players must engage in a continuous cycle of resource gathering, crafting, exploration, and combat. As players progress, they will encounter increasingly difficult challenges that test their survival skills.
Survival games often feature permadeath, meaning that if the player dies, they must start over from the beginning. This adds an extra layer of tension and challenge to the gameplay loop.
II. Differentiating Survival Games from Other Genres
Survival games are a unique genre that share similarities with other popular game types, but they also have distinct differences that set them apart. Here are some comparisons between survival games and other genres:
Comparison with Action-Adventure Games
Action-adventure games are characterized by their emphasis on combat and exploration, while survival games focus on survival and resource management. Action-adventure games often have a strong narrative and set of characters, whereas survival games typically have a more open-ended, sandbox-style gameplay. In addition, action-adventure games often provide the player with a variety of weapons and abilities to defeat enemies, whereas survival games rely more on the player’s ability to scavenge for resources and craft weapons.
Comparison with Role-Playing Games
Role-playing games (RPGs) are characterized by their focus on character development and storytelling. While survival games also have a story, they place a greater emphasis on survival mechanics and resource management. RPGs often have a set of rules and mechanics for character progression, such as leveling up and acquiring new abilities, whereas survival games focus more on the player’s ability to gather resources and craft tools to aid in their survival.
Comparison with Simulation Games
Simulation games aim to simulate real-world systems and processes, such as city-building or farming. Survival games share some similarities with simulation games in that they require players to manage resources and maintain their health, but they also incorporate elements of exploration and danger. Simulation games often have a set of goals and objectives for the player to achieve, whereas survival games have a more open-ended structure, with the player’s goal being simply to survive as long as possible.
Overall, while survival games share some similarities with other genres, they have a unique focus on survival mechanics and resource management that sets them apart.
III. Subgenres of Survival Games
A. Wilderness Survival Games
Wilderness Survival Games are a subgenre of survival games that focus on the player’s ability to survive in natural environments. These games often involve elements such as hunting, gathering, and crafting to help the player stay alive in the wilderness.
In these games, players are often dropped into a remote location with limited resources and must find ways to survive until they are rescued or until they can find a way to escape. This may involve finding food and water, building shelter, and creating tools and weapons to defend against dangerous wildlife or other players.
Some examples of Wilderness Survival Games include:
- The Long Dark: In this game, players must survive in the harsh wilderness of Northern Canada after a geomagnetic event causes a global disaster. Players must scavenge for food and resources, build shelter, and navigate the dangerous environment to stay alive.
- Don’t Starve: In this game, players are stranded in a wilderness filled with strange creatures and must find ways to gather resources and craft tools to survive. The game features a unique art style and a deep survival mechanic that requires players to manage their hunger, thirst, and sanity.
- Rust: In this game, players must survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with other players who are also trying to survive. Players must scavenge for resources, build shelter, and craft weapons to defend against other players and dangerous creatures.
Overall, Wilderness Survival Games provide a unique and challenging experience for players who enjoy the thrill of survival in a hostile environment. Whether players are looking to explore the wilderness, build shelter, or fend off dangerous wildlife, these games offer a wide range of challenges and opportunities for creativity and exploration.
B. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Games
Post-apocalyptic survival games are a subgenre of survival games that are set in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic world. These games typically challenge players to survive in a harsh environment where resources are scarce and hostile creatures or environmental hazards abound. The objective of these games is often to explore the ruins of a once-thriving civilization, scavenge for resources, and fend off hostile threats to survive as long as possible.
Post-apocalyptic survival games often have the following characteristics:
- A post-apocalyptic setting: These games are set in a world that has been devastated by a catastrophic event, such as a nuclear war, a pandemic, or a natural disaster. The world is often a barren wasteland with ruins of cities, towns, and infrastructure scattered throughout.
- Limited resources: Resources such as food, water, and shelter are often scarce in post-apocalyptic survival games. Players must scavenge for these resources and make tough decisions about how to conserve them.
- Hostile environments: The environment in post-apocalyptic survival games is often dangerous and hostile. Players must contend with harsh weather conditions, toxic waste, and mutated creatures that pose a threat to their survival.
- Crafting and scavenging: To survive in post-apocalyptic worlds, players must scavenge for resources and craft tools and weapons to defend themselves against hostile threats.
- Narrative and storytelling: Many post-apocalyptic survival games have a strong narrative and storytelling element. The games often explore themes such as human nature, morality, and the struggle for survival in a harsh world.
Some examples of post-apocalyptic survival games include:
- Fallout series: This popular video game series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the player must scavenge for resources and fight off mutated creatures while exploring the ruins of a devastated America.
- The Last of Us series: This critically acclaimed video game series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a fungal infection has infected most of humanity, turning them into zombie-like creatures. The player must navigate this dangerous world with a young girl and scavenge for resources to survive.
- Rust: This online multiplayer game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where players must scavenge for resources and build shelter while fending off other players who seek to steal their resources.
- Dying Light: This first-person survival horror game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a viral outbreak has turned most of humanity into zombie-like creatures. The player must scavenge for resources and craft weapons while navigating the dangerous cityscape at night to survive.
C. Zombie Survival Games
Survival in a World Overrun by Zombies
Zombie survival games are a subgenre of survival games that are set in a world overrun by zombies. In these games, players must survive against hordes of undead creatures that are infected with a virus or other contagion. The objective is to survive as long as possible in this apocalyptic setting, using whatever resources are available to them.
Combat, Resource Management, and Base-Building
To survive in a zombie-infested world, players must engage in combat with the undead, scavenge for resources, and build bases to protect themselves from the dangers that lurk around every corner. Combat is a crucial aspect of zombie survival games, as players must use a variety of weapons and tactics to take down the hordes of zombies that they encounter. Resource management is also essential, as players must scavenge for food, water, and other supplies to keep themselves alive. Base-building is another key element of these games, as players must construct defenses and shelters to protect themselves from the zombie hordes.
D. Multiplayer Survival Games
Multiplayer survival games are a subgenre of survival games that emphasize player interaction and collaboration, or competition, depending on the game’s design. These games typically feature multiple players who must work together, or against each other, to survive in a harsh environment or overcome a series of challenges.
Some examples of multiplayer survival games include:
- Left 4 Dead 2: A cooperative first-person shooter game where players must work together to survive against hordes of zombies and other survivors.
- Rust: A multiplayer survival game where players must gather resources, build shelter, and defend themselves against other players who are also trying to survive.
- Minecraft: A sandbox survival game where players must gather resources, build structures, and defend themselves against monsters and other dangers in a blocky 3D world.
Multiplayer survival games can be highly replayable, as players can join or create games with different settings, objectives, and difficulty levels. They also offer a unique social experience, as players must work together, or compete against each other, to achieve a common goal.
However, multiplayer survival games can also be highly demanding, as they require players to communicate, coordinate, and strategize effectively in order to succeed. This can be challenging, especially in games with large player counts or complex mechanics.
Overall, multiplayer survival games offer a unique and engaging experience for players who enjoy working together, or competing against each other, to overcome challenges and survive in a harsh environment.
IV. Common Gameplay Mechanics in Survival Games
Resource Gathering and Management
One of the fundamental gameplay mechanics in survival games is resource gathering and management. Players must scavenge for essential resources such as food, water, and materials to craft weapons, tools, and shelter. The scarcity of resources adds an element of challenge, forcing players to make strategic decisions about how to allocate their resources and prioritize their needs. Resource management is crucial to the player’s survival, as depleted resources can lead to starvation, dehydration, or exposure to the elements.
Crafting and Item Progression
Crafting and item progression are essential gameplay mechanics in survival games. Players must collect resources to craft weapons, tools, and other items that help them survive in the game world. As players progress, they unlock new crafting recipes and upgraded versions of items, allowing them to access new areas and face greater challenges. Crafting also provides players with a sense of accomplishment, as they create their tools and weapons from scratch.
Base-building and Fortification
Base-building and fortification are critical components of survival games. Players must construct shelter to protect themselves from the elements, predators, and other threats. As players progress, they can upgrade their base by adding new structures, fortifications, and defenses. Base-building allows players to customize their gameplay experience, providing a sense of ownership and investment in their in-game world. Additionally, a well-fortified base can serve as a hub for resource gathering, crafting, and resting.
Exploration and Map Navigation
Exploration and map navigation are key gameplay mechanics in survival games. Players must explore the game world to discover new resources, crafting recipes, and points of interest. Maps often provide players with information about the environment, including terrain features, landmarks, and hazards. Navigation requires players to use their wits and survival skills to overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Exploration also adds an element of discovery, as players uncover hidden treasures, secret areas, and mysterious artifacts.
V. Survival Games and Player Agency
Freedom of choice and decision-making
One of the key aspects of survival games is the freedom of choice and decision-making that they offer players. Unlike other genres, where the player’s path is often linear and predetermined, survival games provide players with the ability to make their own choices and decisions. This can range from simple choices like where to go or what to do, to more complex decisions that can have a significant impact on the game world.
Impact of player actions on the game world
Another important aspect of survival games is the impact that player actions have on the game world. In many survival games, the player’s actions can have a direct effect on the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. For example, in games like “Don’t Starve,” players must gather resources and manage their hunger, thirst, and sanity levels in order to survive. In “The Forest,” players must build shelter and fend off hostile creatures in order to survive on an island filled with danger.
Emergent gameplay and player-driven narratives
Survival games often feature emergent gameplay, which means that the player’s experience is shaped by their own actions and choices, rather than a pre-determined story. This creates a sense of unpredictability and replayability, as each player’s experience is unique. Additionally, survival games often feature player-driven narratives, where the player’s actions and choices shape the story and outcome of the game. This creates a sense of agency and investment in the game world, as players feel like they are truly in control of their own destiny.
VI. Challenges and Strategies in Survival Games
Survival games present players with unique challenges that require strategic thinking and quick decision-making. To succeed in these games, players must balance their survival needs with the risks they take, manage resources effectively, and develop strategies for dealing with threats and adversaries.
Balancing Survival Needs and Risks
Survival games often require players to prioritize their survival needs over other objectives. For example, in a game like Minecraft, players must gather resources and build shelter to survive, but doing so may expose them to risks such as mobs or natural hazards. Players must balance these needs carefully to avoid unnecessary risks while still acquiring the resources they need to survive.
Effective Resource Management Tips
Resource management is a crucial aspect of survival games. Players must gather and use resources efficiently to survive, and effective management can mean the difference between success and failure. Here are some tips for effective resource management:
- Gather resources strategically: Players should prioritize gathering resources that are most essential for survival, such as food, water, and shelter. They should also gather resources in a way that minimizes risk, such as by gathering during daylight hours or in areas with fewer threats.
- Conserve resources: Players should try to conserve resources whenever possible. For example, in a game like Don’t Starve, players can use items such as grass or feathers to create new items, reducing the need to gather resources directly.
- Reuse resources: Players should try to reuse resources whenever possible. For example, in a game like Rust, players can scrap old items for their resources, allowing them to reuse those resources for other crafting projects.
Strategies for Dealing with Threats and Adversaries
Survival games often involve dealing with threats and adversaries, such as hostile mobs or other players. Here are some strategies for dealing with these threats:
- Scout ahead: Players should scout ahead and gather information about potential threats before proceeding. This can help them avoid danger and plan their actions more effectively.
- Use terrain to your advantage: Players can use terrain to their advantage by finding high ground or using natural barriers to block line of sight from enemies.
- Build defenses: Players can build defenses such as walls or traps to protect themselves from enemies.
- Work together: In multiplayer survival games, players can work together to build shelters, gather resources, and defend against threats.
Overall, survival games require players to be strategic and resourceful in order to survive. By balancing survival needs with risks, managing resources effectively, and developing strategies for dealing with threats and adversaries, players can increase their chances of success in these challenging games.
VII. Popular Survival Games in the Gaming Industry
Survival games have gained immense popularity in the gaming industry, with players engaging in challenging and often life-threatening situations. Some of the most popular survival games in the market today include:
- Minecraft is a sandbox survival game that allows players to build structures, gather resources, and fight off hostile creatures.
- The game’s unique feature is its procedurally generated world, which provides a different experience every time a player starts a new game.
- Minecraft has a large and dedicated community, with many players creating their own mods and custom maps to share with others.
2. The Forest
- The Forest is a first-person survival horror game set in a dense forest filled with hostile creatures.
- Players must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off attacks from the creatures while trying to uncover the mystery behind the forest’s strange occurrences.
- The game’s unique feature is its dynamic day-night cycle, which affects gameplay and creates a sense of urgency as players must navigate the forest in the dark.
- The Forest has a small but dedicated community, with many players creating custom maps and sharing their experiences online.
- Rust is a multiplayer survival game set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with other players and dangerous wildlife.
- Players must gather resources, build shelter, and craft weapons to defend themselves against other players and creatures.
- The game’s unique feature is its emphasis on player interaction, with players able to form alliances, raid each other’s bases, and engage in PvP combat.
- Rust has a large and active community, with many players streaming their gameplay and sharing strategies online.
4. Don’t Starve
- Don’t Starve is a survival game in which players must manage their hunger, health, and sanity while exploring a harsh wilderness.
- Players must gather resources, craft tools, and fight off monsters while trying to survive as long as possible.
- Don’t Starve has a dedicated community, with many players creating custom characters and sharing their experiences online.
These are just a few examples of the many popular survival games in the gaming industry today. Each game offers a unique experience and set of challenges, and all require players to think strategically and make tough decisions in order to survive.
1. What are survival games?
Survival games are a type of video game that focus on the player’s ability to survive in a hostile environment. These games often involve a mix of exploration, resource management, and survival mechanics, such as hunting for food, building shelter, and fending off dangerous creatures.
2. What are some examples of survival games?
Some popular examples of survival games include Minecraft, Rust, The Forest, Don’t Starve, and Subnautica. These games all have different settings and mechanics, but they share a common focus on survival gameplay.
3. What are the different types of survival games?
Survival games can be classified into several different categories, including:
* Open-world survival games, which allow players to explore a large, open environment and survive as long as possible.
* Crafting survival games, which focus on resource management and the creation of tools and weapons.
* Horror survival games, which feature a scary or frightening environment and emphasize survival as the primary gameplay mechanic.
* City-building survival games, which involve constructing and maintaining a city while also managing resources and surviving against various threats.
4. What platforms can I play survival games on?
Survival games are available on a variety of platforms, including PC, consoles (such as Xbox and PlayStation), and mobile devices. Some games are also available on multiple platforms, such as Minecraft, which can be played on PC, consoles, and mobile devices.
5. How difficult are survival games?
The difficulty of survival games can vary widely depending on the specific game and the player’s skill level. Some games are relatively easy and focus on accessible gameplay mechanics, while others are more challenging and require a greater degree of skill and strategy to survive. In general, survival games are designed to be challenging and require players to think strategically and make smart decisions in order to survive.