PAX Online 2020: The Survivalists – First Impressions

The Survivalists is a game set in the universe of The Escapists, so if you were a fan of that title, we’ll say right up front that this one might be a solid winner for you. Maybe even skip this article and go check out the demo on Steam (we suspect a Switch demo will appear soon too, so keep an eye out for that).

If you’re not familiar with The Escapists, that’s okay—neither were we, so we came to this offering with fresh eyes and no previous bias. The write-up of The Survivalists being a procedurally generated sandbox world sounded intriguing—and shortly into the demo, we learned that a significant component of this game is befriending and training monkey pals to help you on your survival adventure, which seemed pretty cool.

In fact, the monkeys are essential if you don’t want to spend all your time grinding out items. As an open-world game, finding resources and crafting is a major time sink. Some folks love it. Some folks like it but would prefer if dexterous primates could do the majority share. Good news! They can. The monkeys can chop down trees, collect items and materials, and essentially turn your crafting tasks into a small assembly line that speeds the process. They can also fight enemies for you later on. If you’ve ever wanted to be a literal monkey king, this is your chance.

With survival being the main point here, aside from crafting and finding food, you’ll also have to defend yourself against raids from island locals. That’s what you get for invading their territory and using their resources. Without delving into the ethics of the previous sentence, if you can manage to keep yourself alive, you’ll also get to enjoy quests from NPCs or from random messages in a bottle that wash ashore.

Overall, the demo showed us all the elements of an open-world survival game that we’d expect, with the monkeys bringing that “new” bit to the table that sets it apart from other similar offerings. If you’re not into open-world games, however, this one will probably be a miss. If you don’t love crafting, you’re not going to enjoy this type of gameplay, period.


PAX Online Listing Information:

  • Available on PC / Nintendo Switch / PlayStation 4 / Xbox One
  • Genre Action & Adventure / Role-Playing
  • Release date 9 October 2020
  • Exhibitor Team 17 The Survivalists

A game which allows you to build, craft and explore in a procedurally generated sandbox world set in The Escapists universe. Hunt (or be hunted by!) animals for food and an array of mythical enemies, who aren’t necessarily pleased to see you. Get quests from a Mysterious Stranger or find them washed up on the shore. Prepare to trek into a procedurally generated wilderness, with a variety of biomes, for an adventure that’s unique to every player. Complete joint adventures, gain loot, trade and ultimately survive together and as you and up to three fellow castaways explore fantastical islands.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Digg
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

Leave A Response