Good survival games are hard to come by but The Long Dark scratched that itch in the best way possible. If you’re wondering if there are similar games you could try, we’ve got you covered.

The Long Dark is a first-person survival game that was released in 2017 and it serves as a more realistic take on the survival genre. There are no monsters or zombies to fight, just you and the unforgiving wilderness. How long can you survive when faced with the harsh cold of everlasting winter?

The Phenomenon of “The Long Dark”

In order to make a great survival game there are various factors that need to be considered by the development team, from the gameplay loop to the setting, the atmosphere, the visuals, the difficulty level, the learning curve, the survival aspects, and so on.

And, as it happens, The Long Dark managed to nail most of the elements, making it possibly one of the best survival video games ever created for a large number of people.

The game offers a challenge for all kinds of players, thanks to the existence of customizable difficulty levels. On the hardest settings, even the veterans may struggle, but it gets easier as you get more understanding of various gameplay mechanics.

In that regard, The Long Dark is a very fair title, where you don’t grind experience points to make your character artificially stronger. Instead, the game rewards you for having the knowledge that you accumulate over time by simply playing the game.

Why “The Long Dark” Captured the Audience

The Long Dark was praised for a number of reasons. It’s an extremely immersive survival game, where everything feels real and every little success, such as successfully starting a fire or catching a rabbit, feels like a great achievement.

The game creates a hostile and lonesome atmosphere, focused almost exclusively on your struggles against nature in a cold, snowy environment. You’ll have to take care of your character’s basic needs, such as keeping them warm, fed, and well-rested, while avoiding all the various negative afflictions, such as fear, burns, food poisoning, and infections.

Although there are no monsters in the game to fight, it doesn’t mean there are no enemies other than the weather conditions. The huge explorable area is full of wolves and you’ll quickly realize how terrifying it can be to hear howling in the distance, especially if you’re still unarmed.

If all of that sounds appealing to you, you may also find some of the alternatives worth a try, so let’s take a look at some of the best games like The Long Dark you can play right now.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
The Forest 2014-05-30 Adventure Endnight Games Ltd
Sons Of The Forest 2023-02-23 Survival Endnight Games Ltd
Sunkenland 2023-08-26 Adventre Vector3 Studio
Survive On Raft 2019-07-05 Indie IO Games
The Planet Crafter 2022-03-24 Base Building Miju Games
Forever Skies 2023-06-22 Survival Far From Home
Surroundead 2022-07-24 Survival PlaySurrounDead
Undying 2021-10-19 Adventre Vanimals
Subnautica 2018-01-23 Adventure Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Subnautica Below Zero 2019-01-30 Adventure Unknown Worlds Entertainment
This War Of Mine Complete Edition 2014-11-14 Adventure 11 bit studios
Green Hell 2019-09-05 Sanbox, survival Creepy Jar
Breathedge 2021-02-25 Adventure RedRuins Softworks
Far Cry Primal 2016-02-29 Adventure Ubisoft Montreal
Raft 2018-05-23 Adventure Redbeet Interactive
Dont Starve Together 2016-04-21 Economy Klei Entertainment
The Flame In The Flood 2016-02-24 Adventure The Molasses Flood
Kona 2017-03-17 Adventure Parabole
The Wild Eight 2017-02-08 Indie Fntastic

Don’t Starve

Release date:2016-04-21
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Klei Entertainment

Let’s start with Don’t Starve – an amazing 2D survival game and a treat for those who love challenging gameplay.

Don’t Starve is quite a difficult game and only a part of the difficulty comes from being unfamiliar with the existing game mechanics. The other part is the fact that a lot of items in Don’t Starve, especially food, have limited durability, forcing you to be constantly on the run, scavenging nearby areas and looking for resources. You can stockpile food and get a false sense of security for the upcoming winter only to realize it all got rotten.

There are also nightmares that will eventually start coming to ruin your plans – keep your sanity bar high to minimize their influence on your daily routines.

Key features
  • Addictive gameplay with a lot of surprises
  • Randomly generated content for increased replayability
  • Challenging difficulty levels and several unique characters to choose from
  • Distinctive 2D art style

Stranded Deep

Release date:2015-01-23
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Beam Team Games

Having your own private island can be a dream come true for a lot of people unless you’re forced to live there and fight for survival as a castaway.

Stranded Deep will present you with a unique scenario where you’ll have to find the means to ensure your own survival. You’re a castaway who luckily survived a plane crash, but your current situation is none the better. A desperate fight for food and resources begins – you have to act quickly and figure out how things work if you dream of ever coming back home safely.

Hunt, scavenge, craft, dive, and explore nearby randomly generated surroundings. With a bit of knowledge and luck, you may just be able to leave this godforsaken place in one piece.

Key features
  • Gameplay focused on survival on land and in the depths of the sea
  • Sea exploration, island landscapes, and forgotten treasures
  • Procedurally generated worlds that ensure no two play sessions are the same
  • Satisfying crafting progression that makes you feel like you’re achieving something

The Flame in the Flood 

Release date:2016-02-24
Genre:Adventure
Developer:The Molasses Flood

If you’re looking for a more colorful and lively survival, this one may be just the game for you.

In The Flame in the Flood, you’ll be primarily traveling with your companion dog by raft, going down with the river current while trying to avoid various obstacles that could damage the raft. Staying permanently on the raft won’t allow you to survive, though; you’ll have to always be on the lookout for suitable places to dock and resupply or safely spend the night.

Choosing the right locations to stop is crucial as that’s what will determine what kind of resources you’ll be able to find and utilize. Keep the need bars high and see how far you can get in this procedurally generated roguelike adventure.

Key features
  • A top-down combination of roguelike and survival
  • Never-ending adventure – see how long you can survive
  • Admirable low-poly visual style with vibrant colors
  • Great soundtrack that helps to build the atmosphere

Kona

Release date:2017-03-17
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Parabole

If the overall atmosphere and snowy setting are what you liked in The Long Dark the most, you should definitely take a look at Kona.

Kona is much more of an adventure game with survival elements than a typical survival game. You’ll still have to take care of your character’s various needs, but the main focus is to solve a certain case that involves paranormal activity. The importance of the story is even more obvious once you realize that your adventure is narrated by a third-person narrator who describes what your character sees or feels at the moment.

While there are clear differences in gameplay when compared to The Long Dark, it’s also a first-person game with white, snowy landscapes and a sense of loneliness, so if that’s what you’re looking for, make sure to give it a try.

Key features
  • An adventure game set in a snowy environment
  • Less emphasis on survival, and more on the tale and pushing the story
  • Unsettling sounds and ominous aura that help with building a strange atmosphere of mystery
  • Minimalistic UI combined with a first-person formula for greatly improved immersion

This War of Mine

Release date:2014-11-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:11 bit studios

Some video games excel at providing players with a believable setting that makes them contemplate certain heavy topics. Here’s one of such games.

This War of Mine is a survival game inspired by modern-time conflicts. However, instead of playing the role of a hero who saves the world by kicking butts on the frontlines and single-handedly eliminating whole divisions of enemy troops, here you’ll be able to get a better understanding of the civilian perspective.

Vulnerable and scared, the common people have to figure out the means of surviving on their own and you’ll be the one responsible for guiding them until the long-awaited ceasefire occurs. Craft, cook, scavenge for resources, upgrade the shelter, and protect your people as the conflict intensifies. Witness their pain and suffering and bring them the hope they desperately need.

Key features
  • A survival game with a down-to-earth setting inspired by modern armed conflicts
  • Slow-paced gameplay focused on making impactful choices and living with the consequences
  • Exceptionally challenging difficulty level
  • Distinctive visual style with desaturated colors to emphasize the tragedy of war

The Wild Eight

Release date:2017-02-08
Genre:Indie
Developer:Fntastic

There are more winter survival games to choose from, and here’s another interesting option.

The Wild Eight is a survival game that will test your survival skills in the harsh and snowy environment of Alaska’s tundra. As one of the survivors of the plane crash, you’ll now have to scavenge nearby areas for resources and avoid dangers in the form of wild animals and the inhospitable climate itself while preparing for the worst. Will you be able to live long enough to uncover the truth behind the catastrophe that nearly got you killed?

The game comes with an immersive story-driven campaign but it also offers a satisfactory co-op experience if you’d like to play together with friends.

Key features
  • A survival game set in the Alaska wilderness
  • Excellent multiplayer co-op for up to 8 players
  • Simple but timeless low-poly visuals
  • Accessible and easy to learn

Subnautica

Release date:2018-01-23
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Underwater settings can be quite scary, especially if you’re suffering from certain types of phobias.

Subnautica is a combination of survival and horror where you’ll be playing as a sole survivor who crash-landed on an alien planet. Crash diving could be a more appropriate term, though, as you’ll quickly realize that you’re completely surrounded by water and the only piece of land you can count on at the beginning is your emergency capsule and the crashed spaceship, calmly floating on the surface of the ocean.

During your adventure, you’ll meet all sorts of mysterious plants and underwater creatures that are as mesmerizing as they are dangerous. Your main objective here is to uncover the secrets held by the depths of the ocean and hopefully find a way to safely leave the alien world.

Key features
  • An action-adventure game that mostly takes place under the surface of the ocean
  • An open-world environment full of alien wildlife
  • Incorporates elements of horror and survival
  • Contains crafting, combat, base building, and more

Conclusion

Although The Long Dark provides a one-of-a-kind experience that’s difficult to come by in other games, you can still find some great alternatives that offer interesting gameplay twists or completely different landscapes.

When looking for games similar to The Long Dark, you may have different opinions about what’s the most important part of the game and which elements should be replicated and present in the other games. However, whether it’s the atmosphere, the sense of loneliness and hopelessness, the snowy environment, or how realistic and down-to-earth the game is, you’ll easily find a number of viable choices on our marketplace.