The Long Dark (PC)
Action 01 August 2017
A first person survival sandbox game, developed by independent Canadian studio Hinterland. The team includes veteran game developers, who previously worked for Relic Entertainment, Volition, and BioWare. The game takes you into a post-apocalyptic world after a massive geomagnetic storm. With all electronic devices disabled and water and food supplies running low, the player has to struggle to survive the incoming winter. The game’s sandbox mechanics and its open-world structure give much freedom of gameplay, whose biggest challenges are survival and making difficult moral choices. The game features a compelling narrative written by Marianne Krawczyk, the author of scripts for such titles as God of War and L.A. Noire. The game’s unique character is emphasized by its unusual graphics, designed by Hokyo Lima (known for League of Legends).
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PC)
Action December 2017
An online shooter with elements of survival, focusing on a Battle Royale type of competition (the last man standing wins). Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds is a game from the developers of TERA MMO and the creator of Battle Royale mods for Arma II and Arma III. The rules of the game are simple: a large number of players are put together in a big closed location with only one mission – to eliminate everyone else. A game ends when there is only one player left alive. Participants start off completely unarmed, so the first phase is basically a race for the best weapon. Players can make use of various kinds of traps, and the game offers much freedom when it comes to choosing the methods of eliminating enemies. An extra help for that comes from a simple crafting system, which lets you construct items from gathered resources. Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds’ fast-paced gameplay is further increased by the fact that the map is gradually getting smaller, making confrontations between players more frequent.
No Man's Sky (PC)
Action 12 August 2016
A science-fiction, sandbox action game with a focus on multiplayer mode. It was created by Hello Games, company known for the colorful arcade production Joe Danger. The game is set in the distant future in the yet uncharted parts of the cosmos, and the gameplay is presented in two forms. We explore the successive corners of the universe piloting a spacecraft, like we do in typical space-sim productions. Upon landing on a newly discovered planet, the game switches to first-person view. The authors emphasize the complete freedom given to the player during exploration. While visiting places featuring different animals, plants, or even varying composition of the planet's atmosphere, we can focus on exploration, acquisition of raw materials, or the combat against various predators. An important element of the game is the system of procedural generation of worlds, which creates their virtually every element, from the smallest features of the surface to the entire star systems and galaxies.
Action 17 August 2017
A survival horror game with a top down view. Darkwood is the first commercial project of a Polish studio, Acid Wizard, and its development has been backed up by users voting on the Steam Greenlight platform. The game takes place in a procedurally generated open world, with the player placed in the role of a character trying to survive the confrontations with supernatural beings without losing his sanity in the eponymous dark wood. During a day, the protagonist must find or construct items, which will help him fend off evil entities at night. The gameplay is relatively difficult, combining features of an action game, adventure game, and a cRPG. Simple, two-dimensional visuals are dominated by semidarkness and dark shapes, and the terrifying atmosphere is further bolstered with disturbing audio.
Action 18 November 2011
A sandbox game that defies classification, developed by the independent Mojang AB studio. Minecraft has been developed with the intention of unleashing the creativity of players, who can freely change the game's virtual world made from voxels (cubic blocks). The gameplay concentrates on terrain transformations, building structures, crafting items, and creating your own adventures. The game consists of two modes: a classic one, which allows for unending experience, and survival, in which we have to prepare to fend off monster assaults at night. In addition to single player, Minecraft also offers online multiplayer. The game from Mojang AB is distinguished by its unique retro visuals.
Escape from Tarkov (PC)
A MMO FPP/TPP shooter with RPG and sandbox survival elements, developed by Russian studio Battlestate Games. Players become the members of two rivaling military corporations, fighting on the territory of an abandoned Russian city. Unlike many popular online shooters, this game stands out thanks to interesting story and full freedom of exploration combined with a whole bunch of various additional activities, which you can complete on your own or in cooperation with friends. Escape from Tarkov boasts a high level of realism in terms of both gameplay and graphics (thanks to the 3D scanning technology), extraordinary character progression system, and puts much emphasis on survival elements – your character needs to eat, drink, treat injuries, and avoid radiation in order to survive in this dangerous environment.
ARK: Survival Evolved (PC)
Action 29 August 2017
A sandbox survival simulator set in an open world, which draws inspiration from productions such as DayZ. Unlike in the aforementioned title, this time we fight against powerful prehistoric creature instead of zombies. The game is the debut of an independent studio called Wildcard, founded by a former employee of Microsoft Game Studios. The player begins the game defenseless and naked on an unidentified island, and his or her task is to survive in this new, harsh environment. In order to do that, we must hunt and gather various raw materials which will be used to create the much needed weapons and tools. One of the most fun aspects of ARK: Survival Evolved are the meticulously depicted creatures – the game features more than 60 species of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. Since the title features o multiplayer experience, meeting other players in the game world will happen and, depending on their attitude, we can fight them or establish valuable alliances.
A third-person action game focusing on cooperative gameplay. It was developed by the Polish division of Epic Games (formerly known as People Can Fly). The action of Fortnite takes place in a world haunted by zombie-like demons. The players assume the role of operators whose task is to stop the monsters that invade the Earth through a network of portals. The gameplay is divided into two phases — during the day, we have to build a stronghold that repels demon attacks at night. The gameplay mostly involves searching for materials, constructing fortifications, and fighting enemies. The game is distributed in free-to-play business model, offering some additional facilities for optional fee.
The Forest (PC)
A first-person perspective (FPP) sandbox survival horror game. The Forest is the work of an independent studio SKS Games, known mainly for the smartphone hit, End Night. The player assumes the role of a sole survivor of a plane crash. The hero ends up on an isolated island far away from civilization, inhabited by a tribe of cannibalistic mutants. The gameplay focuses on the exploration of land (forest, caves, etc.), survival skills (building a shelter, searching for food, setting traps, etc.), and fighting or avoiding confrontation with opponents. The creators have made an effort to create a lively, fast-changing world, allowing for great freedom of action. As for the technical side, The Forest utilizes Unity 4 engine.
A survival simulator that emphasizes multiplayer. It is the first major production by Bankroll, an Australian developer studio. The gameplay mechanics do not deviate from the majority of similar games, especially the bestselling Rust. The player character finds himself at a vast desert plain and his task is to survive in this hostile environment. The game focuses primarily on survival aspects and the most important thing is to ensure that the protagonist has his basic needs satisfied and protected from such hazards as hunger, thirst, fatigue, radiation, or changing weather conditions. From among other titles in the genre, Hurtworld is distinguished by a protection system that evens out the chances of beginners and seasoned players. Another noteworthy feature is the punishment system — should a character who has killed many rivals die, he loses more valuable equipment than the others.
Survival sandbox FPP game prepared by the creator of one of the most popular Source engine modifications – Garry Newman and his Facepunch Studios. The game’s universe is inspired by titles like DayZ and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., featuring large open world, where your character struggles for survival. In terms of gameplay mechanics Rust was modeled after sandbox games like Minecraft. The in-game character gets hungry, cold, tired, and in need of shelter, and the primary goal is to provide for his basic needs, which boils down to collecting items and employing the game's advanced crafting system. Depending on your preferences, you can either play alone, focusing on survival aspect, or in multiplayer, where you get to cooperate and compete with other players, motivated by their own goals and needs.
Strategy December 2017
An adventure/strategy game with survival elements by Polish studio 11bit Studios. Frostpunk is set in a fictional icy-cold world, whose climate deeply affected the development of its society. To survive, people rely mostly on steam engines. However, it is not enough, and the society is falling apart, which means it needs to change. The gameplay focuses on the survival aspect, which, unlike in other such productions, means more than gathering and managing resources. Strategic elements are also of great importance, and you also need to make difficult and morally ambiguous decisions. The game features distinct visuals, in which the cold colors of nature are contrasted with the warmer hues, which symbolize the remains of civilization.
This War of Mine (PC)
Strategy 14 November 2014
An extraordinary war game with focus on survival. It was inspired by the real stories of people who at some point of their lives struggled to survive a war. The game was developed by Polish studio 11 bit, known for an original strategy game series Anomaly. The game gives you control over a group of civilians trying to survive in a ruined city, where the biggest enemies are such problems as starvation and shortage of medicines. Depending on the time of day you can improve your hideout, craft weapons, furniture, and tools, or explore city streets in search for food and useful items. Randomly generated missions provide players with varied challenges and dilemmas, which may require sacrificing one person for the good of the others. The gloomy atmosphere is emphasized by an original visual style based on light and shadow contrasts.
State of Decay (PC)
Action 05 November 2013
A third-person perspective (TPP) sandbox action game developed by an independent studio Undead Labs. The player is in control of a shopkeeper, Marcus Campbell, and his small group of survivors, who try to survive in a world overrun by zombies. The developers prepared several dozen playable characters in total, each of them endowed with unique skills. As befits a sandbox game, State of Decay features great freedom of action and a sizable open world to explore. Besides fighting the undead, gameplay focuses on such activities as rescuing other characters, collecting food, searching for weapons and ammunition and building shelters. Game is built on CryEngine 3 and features single player mode only.
Scrap Mechanic (PC)
This is the debut production from Axolot Games. The game itself is a multiplayer-focused sandbox mechanic simulator featuring elements of survival. The player takes control of a mechanic sent to a fully automatized agricultural planet to fix and maintain the machines working there. As it soon turns out, the robots inhabiting the planet went insane and the protagonist's task is to make a good use of his knowledge of machines in order to survive the attacks of mechanical enemies. Scrap Mechanic offers two completely different game modes: survival and creative mode. The latter offers pure entertainment and allows us to build machines without having to bother ourselves with threats. The survival mode resembles games such as Rust or Hurtworld, focusing on exploration, resources gathering, building different machines for various purposes, fighting, and cooperating with other players.
Action 07 July 2017
Unturned is a sandbox MMO game that combines the mechanics of the popular DayZ mod with the visual style of Minecraft. The game is distributed for free and was created by a sixteen year old teenager – Nelson Sexton. The game takes place in an open world overrun by a zombie epidemic and forces the player into a fight for survival in this dangerous environment. Just like other, similar games, the main part of the gameplay is resource-gathering-oriented exploration. With the resources, and using the crafting system, player can create various useful tools, build vehicles that make moving easier, and construct buildings providing shelter. During the game, player must be wary of his hunger and thirst levels as well as infections. Depending on the server type, online game can focus on rivalry or cooperation between players. In both modes the players have access to large number of weapons and equipment.
H1Z1: King of the Kill (PC)
An MMO shooter with survival elements, set in a world after a zombie outbreak, developed by the Daybreak Game Company studio. The title is one of the two alternative versions of the survival sandbox game formerly known as H1Z1 that was divided into two independent productions during the early access stage. Unlike H1Z1: Just Survive, that remained faithful to the developers' original concept, H1Z1: King of the Kill focuses on dynamic action and players competing in one of several PvP modes, spearheaded by the Battle Royale mode, well-known from the original game. The game features also some elements of survival: before the struggle begins the players get a little time to gather resources and create equipment that they will use to fight their opponents. However, in contrast to the original game these elements were marginalized.
Conan Exiles (PC)
Set in universe of Conan, a sandbox action game with survival features, developed by team at Norwegian Funcom, mostly known from its adventure cycle The Longest Journey and the Age of Conan MMORPG. We play as one of the many outcasts trying to survive in a brutal, hostile world. The gameplay of Conan Exiles doesn’t differ from what we have seen in other productions from this genre, focusing on fighting, gaining experience, gathering food and resources to craft many useful parts of equipment or build a shelter, providing us with protection against all kind of dangers, including attacks of wild animals and other players. As most f the game revolves around multiplayer, we are allowed to join forces with other players while completing tasks or building shelters. The developers have also included a full-scale single player mode.
Stardew Valley (PC)
RPG 26 February 2016
The debut production from the independent studio Concerned Ape. It is a sandbox RPG that focuses on the life of a farmer. Stardew Valley takes place in a fantasy realm filled with magic, where the player becomes a young farmer whose ambition is to transform his small field into a giant farm generating great profits. The main task of the player is to plant plants, gather the crops and expand the farm with new infrastructure and agricultural products. In order to be more interesting, the game also feature some RPG elements. One can also take active role in the life of the nearby village – make friendships and interact with the inhabitants of the settlement. This unlocks new challenges and earning opportunities for the player. As the game progress, the protagonist gains experience and learns new skills such as farming, mining, fishing, or animal feeding. One can also get married and have children in this randomly generated world.
Planet Explorers (PC)
Arcade 08 November 2016
A Minecraft-inspired sandbox simulation game that emphasizes survival aspects. It was developed by the independent developer Pathea Games and tells the story of a group of colonists whose ship broke down while landing on an uncharted planet. Those who survived the crash have to keep fighting for survival in an unknown and hostile environment. The gameplay mechanics are typical to the genre and involve primarily exploration, gathering resources, constructing various items, vehicles, and weapons. Building shelters and other defensive structures is also important for it increases our chances against aliens and wildlife. Multiplayer co-op is clearly the game's major focus, although the developers did implement a single player story campaign. The game is powered by the Unity 3D engine and uses the voxel technology for terrain modeling.
Just Survive (PC)
An MMO game referred to as a "survival sandbox" by its creators, Daybreak Game Company. H1Z1 takes place in an alternate world, 15 years after the discovery of the titular virus that caused a world-wide zombie epidemic. The few survivors fight for their lives, struggling against zombies, wild animals, and other surviving factions. During the game, players get the chance to build a shelter or even entire cities somewhere in the United States. An extensive crafting system also makes it possible to craft useful items from procured raw materials. On the technical side, H1Z1 uses a modernized version of the Forgelight engine which was previously used in Planetside 2 and EverQuest Next among others. The game uses the free-to-play model with micropayments for some additional features.
7 Days to Die (PC)
A post-apocalyptic sandbox FPS developed by a debuting indie studio The Fun Pimps. The game takes you to a near future, when a nuclear war allowed a dangerous virus to spread across the entire world. The virus kills its victims in 7 days, as the title suggests, and turns them into bloodthirsty zombies. You play as one of the few not infected people, fighting for survival in Navezgane County, Arizona. 7 Days to Die allows you to freely explore its open world, adjusting the story to your actions. To help you survive in this hostile environment, the game introduces a well-developed crafting system that lets you gather food and resources to make useful tools and fix or upgrade your hideouts. The authors prepared a campaign for solo players, as well as a score of online modes, both competitive and cooperative.
Don't Starve (PC)
Action 23 April 2013
A humorous action-adventure game with strategy and cRPG features. The game was developed by Klei Entertainment, the creators of Shank and Mark of the Ninja. The main protagonist of Don’t Starve is Wilson, a Victorian gentleman scientist. The insidious demon Maxwell sends Wilson to the wild where he must use all of his knowledge and intelligence to survive among dangerous beasts. The player is tasked with helping the protagonist in his fight against the nature and the monsters – he must build a place to hide, obtain food, start a fire, produce tools etc. As the game progresses, one can unlock new playable characters, each with unique abilities. The game has unusual 2D graphics with cartoonish style and music that is pleasant to the ear.
Ancient Cities (PC)
A real-time strategy game enriched with elements of RPGs, city builders, and survival games. Ancient Cities was developed by the independent Uncasual Games. The player assumes the role of a tribal leader living in the Neolithic era. The tasks of the player are to provide shelter and protection against predators for the members of the tribe, as well as to obtain sufficient amounts of food. Gathering resources (the whole in-game economy is based on them) resembles a survival game, as flora and fauna are simulated within a dynamic ecosystem. Consequently, wild plants and animals are soon not enough to sustain a tribe which grows constantly. In harsh periods, the player has to distribute supplies wisely - for instance, foods get naturally degraded over time. Things can also get complicated as a result of sudden climatic changes and natural disasters - one oftentimes has to decide whether to stay in one's settlement and try to survive a difficult period, or to abandon the base in search for a safer zone. Alongside progression, the player unlocks new upgrades in the extensive technology tree, which allows to improve one's methods of crafting tools and cultivation, making the tribe's existence easier in so doing. Members of the tribe are described by individual sets of statistics, talents and skills. These mechanisms are complemented by having more or less friendly relations with other tribes.