“The Survivalists” is a top down, arcade stylized, survival game with dungeon diving adventures paired with crafting and building aspects. Alongside you is your trusty troop of hard working Monkeys, which you’ll find and rescue throughout your journey. With your well orchestrated banana brained band, you’ll explore, survive, and thrive, in search for answers as to where you are, who came before you, and how to escape.
Thrown onto an unknown island with fleeting memories of a mysterious storm, you find yourself coming to terms with your current “reality”. Journal Entries throughout your early and late adventure will unveil that you are not the first person to visit this strange place, nor were its past visitors from your same time line. (I’ll leave the lore discovery to you)
As you get yourself ready for the survival ahead, and press on into the unknown, you realize that you’re not the only one on this island(s). There’s a primate pal in need of your assistance. Come to find out, there’s a whole band of them scattered across this landscape, waiting for your help!
Boss of the Bunch
As you explore, you’ll find more and more of these furry little fellas, growing your troop, one banana brain at a time. But they only monkey around if you let them. You’re the Boss of this Bunch! If you want your primates to be in their prime, then you gotta’ put em’ to work.
“Monkey See, Monkey Do”
Give a banana to your boi, show em’ how it’s done, and they’re off to the races! No matter how bad ass you may think you are, your monkeys are the star of the show here. Wanna know why? Because they can level up, you can’t. Each monkey has their own level for each individual task (Harvesting, Gathering, Delivery, Combat, Building, Crafting) All of these can be maxed out, it’s just up to you to delegate.
Crafting & Blueprint Trees
You’re duty as Foreman of this Forest Bunch is to craft, build, and progress through your different Blueprint and Crafting Trees. Blueprints pertain to structures and manufacturing stations, while Crafting will pertain to using raw materials to…well…Craft, into more in depth tools and resources. The game does a wonderful job at guiding you through what you need to accomplish in order to progress.
Skeletons & Panthers & Orcs, Oh My!
Okay, so we’ve covered the easy-going, no stress gameplay, but believe me you, we’re not out of harm’s way. Spread all throughout the area are numerous hostiles, trying to survive like you, just depends on who’s going to be dinner. You can expect anything from an Antelope Buck protecting it’s herd, a Shark attack while out on your raft (or even just exploring in the tide), all the way to an entire Orc Tribe descending onto your homestead at the crack of dawn. Be sure that your Banana Buddies have your back by equipping them with the right tools at the right time.
The Mysterious Stranger & His Key(s) To Victory
As explained in the clip above, the Mysterious Stranger runs a Mysterious Shop that will pop up in random locations from time to time. He will offer you basic materials for a price as well as some others that may tickle your fancy. But what we’re really after here are the Stranger’s four Labyrinth Keys (Bat, Monkey, Big-Cat, Boar)
As the game so helpfully tells us, the Mysterious Stranger “holds the Keys to getting off this island!” Now, the guy is running a shop, and a mysterious one at that, so we can expect a regular ol’ “Tom Nook” over here. Each Key is gonna cost you the pretty price of 5,000 Doubloons. Now depending on how much Orc Slaying, Treasure Hunting and Crypt Diving you do, it might not be so bad? These Keys unlock your path to freedom within the Four Labyrinths located around the map. (again, I’ll leave the adventuring to you).
Overall, “The Survivalists” proves to be a genuinely enjoyable experience, with it’s awesome art and animation style, supported by a phenomenal soundtrack. Seriously, this game’s soundtrack is amazing. It weaves with itself, seamlessly, according to the scenario you’re transitioning into or out of. It’s the the perfect balance for what the game brings to the table as a whole. As for the UI, it’s simple and straightforward as well as the crafting system. It seemed like the perfect balance of hand holding while maintaining the sense of discovery, accomplishment, danger, and of course teamwork. It’s a game that you can dive into solo, or delve around with a few friends online. If you’re a Monkey Lovin’ Dungeon Diver with a Lust for Looting Labyrinths (with a slight desire to get into assembly line management) then I recommend adding Team17’s “The Survivalists” to your game library this season.