The Forest takes the player to a mysterious peninsula, where Eric LeBlanc, the protagonist of the game, finds himself a survivor of a plane crash. When he comes to, he witnesses a strange humanoid creature kidnapping his son, Timmy.
The player will spend the rest of the game searching for the boy while trying to survive on the peninsula, harvesting resources and fending off the cannibalistic natives.
The Forest is a classic example of a survival game in which players are forced to survive on a limited amount of resources. Plenty of other titles offer similar gameplay mechanics as Endnight Games’ production.
|Alien Isolation||2014-10-06||Action & Shooter||Creative Assembly||79%|
|Don't Starve||2013-04-19||Adventure||Klei Entertainment||68%|
|Don't Starve Together||2016-04-21||Economy||Klei Entertainment||75%|
|No Mans Sky||2016-08-12||Adventure||Hello Games||60%|
|Green Hell||2019-09-05||Survival||Creepy Jar||53%|
|The Long Dark||2017-08-01||Adventure||Hinterland Studio Inc.||39%|
|Day One Garrys Incident||2013-09-25||Adventure||Wild Games Studio|
|Stranded Deep||2015-01-23||Adventure||Beam Team Games|
|Ark Survival Evolved||2015-06-02||Efecto Studios||30%|
|Subnautica||2018-01-23||Adventure||Unknown Worlds Entertainment||34%|
|7 Days To Die||2013-12-13||Adventure||The Fun Pimps||81%|
|Valheim||2021-02-02||Survival||Iron Gate AB||12%|
|Astroneer||2016-12-15||Adventure||System Era Softworks||50%|
|Release year:||8 February 2018 (PC), 21 May 2021 (PS4, XONE)|
|Developer:||Facepunch Studios, Double Eleven|
Rust is another example of a survival game with a focus on multiplayer. The players begin their adventure being parachuted into the procedurally generated world of the game, where they will have to fight against each other and the unforgiving elements and local fauna.
Unlike The Forest, which tries to retain some sort of realism despite its sci-fi setting, Rust emphasizes survival and crafting above the realistic approach. The player begins the game with little to no resources and rudimentary tools, but in time they will be able to develop better equipment using schematics found within the game’s world. The player can also summon various drops, which can range from weapons to combat vehicles. Rust encourages the player to team up with others to take on the game’s world together through a system of clans and factions.
ARK: Survival Evolved
|Release year:||29 August 2017 (PC, PS4, XONE), 30 November 2017 (Switch)|
Ark: Survival Evolved introduces players to a brand new world, where dinosaurs are still the dominant species. While exploring this mysterious new land, the player will find traces of an advanced civilization and try to figure out the purpose for which they have been brought here.
Ark: Survival Evolved needs no introduction – everyone who has ever dabbled in survival games has at least heard of Studio Wildcards game. Ark: SE offers the player an open world environment where they need to survive by collecting resources, building shelters, and hunting. The dinos that players will encounter throughout the game are an excellent source of crafting materials, but they also have other purposes. Most of them can be trained to follow commands and used as sentries or mounts. If you want to recreate the scene from Jurassic World where Chris Pratt charges into battle with a team of raptors, then Ark: Survival evolved is a game just for you.
|Release year:||23 May 2018 (Early Access)|
|Game modes:||Single-player, Multiplayer|
Similarly to The Forest, Raft puts the player in the shoes of a survivor stranded in the middle of nowhere. While the “nowhere” in The Forest was the titular forest, in Raft the players find themselves in the middle of an ocean on a makeshift vessel. Their tasks will be to survive by finding the resources and consumables necessary to improve the raft.
Raft’s gameplay puts the player at an even greater disadvantage than the one in The Forest. The player has to use a simple hook to fish out consumables and materials from the ocean and use them to stay alive on their tiny float. Venturing off the raft and swimming in the ocean is also possible but not advised, as the realistic tides will waste no time to pull the player’s raft away from them, leaving them stranded in shark-infested waters. The game features a multiplayer mode, in which the players can cooperate to survive on treacherous waters.
|Release year:||23 January 2015 (PC - Early Access), 21 April 2020 (PS4, XONE)|
|Game modes:||Single-player, Multiplayer (local)|
|Developer:||Beam Team Games|
Stranded Deep is a game very similar to Raft. The player finds themselves stranded on the ocean, with a small lifeboat being the only thing keeping them afloat. Their task is to explore the surrounding islands and the ocean floor to find the resources necessary to stay alive.
Unlike Raft, which actively discouraged the player from entering the water with the perspective of being eaten by sharks, Stranded Deep makes full use of its oceanic setting, opening a whole underwater world for the player to explore. The waters are filled with all sorts of life forms, from small fish and turtles to majestic whales and dangerous sharks. Throughout the game, the player will also visit various Pacific islands where they can search for much-needed resources. The game shares a similar setting with the Tom Hanks’ film “Cast Away,” and the player will find various callbacks to that movie while exploring.
Day One: Garry's Incident
|Release year:||25 September 2013|
|Developer:||Wild Games Studio|
Despite the aura of controversy surrounding the game, Day One Garry’s Incident is a decent title for those who are looking to spend some time fending off cannibals in a jungle setting, with a pinch of alien mystery thrown in for good measure.
Garry’s Incident shares many of its settings with The Forest. A mysterious jungle, a plane crash survivor protagonist, a tribe of cannibals – you’ll find all that here. The game focuses more on action and exploration than survival, with the player taking on the natives, exploring ancient temples, and solving puzzles within. Some of the features feel haphazardly put together, and the gameplay isn’t the game’s strongest suit, but if you have a few hours to kill, you could always do worse than Garry’s Incident.
The Long Dark
|Release year:||1 August 2017 (PC, PS4, XONE), 17 September 2020 (Switch)|
The Long Dark brings the atmosphere of Jack London’s “To Build A Fire” into the world of gaming. As a survivor of a plane crash, the player must explore the frozen Canadian wilderness, surviving against the elements and dangerous animals living in the region.
The Long Dark offers quite a diverse gameplay experience, thanks to its four difficulty levels. Each level provides additional challenges, making survival that much harder. A real treat for the fans of the genre. Other than that, the game features three gameplay modes: story, survival, and challenge. With such a variety of gameplay options, the player’s adventure with The Long Dark will be definitely long.
|Release year:||23 April 2013 (PC), 7 January 2014 (PS4), 26 August 2015 (XONE), 12 April 2018 (Switch)|
|Game modes:||Single-player, Multiplayer (Don't Strave Together version)|
Blending roguelike elements and survival gameplay, Don’t Starve is an excellent title for those looking for something fresh in the genre.
Don’t Starve is set in an alternate dimension, where the player is transported after their scientific device misfires. The gameplay changes depending on the time of the day. While the sun is up, the player can explore the world looking for resources and crafting items. After dark, monsters inhabiting the dimension emerge from hiding, and the player must defend themselves. The game features three gauges that the player should pay attention to – hunger, health, and sanity. Spending any of them will result in the player’s permanent death.
|Release year:||7 October 2014 (PC, PS4, XONE), 5 December 2019 (Switch)|
Alien: Isolation might not feature gameplay elements of a typical horror survival game, but it definitely emphasizes surviving. As the Xenomorph rampages on board an abandoned spaceship, Amanda Ripley will have to do everything in her power to survive and find out a way to stop the creature.
Unlike other games featuring H.R. Giger’s monstrosity, Alien: Isolation focuses not on mindless shooting at everything that moves but careful and cautious proceeding through the decks of Sevastopol and avoiding any confrontations with the Alien. The developers at Creative Assembly ensured that the Xenomorph is a force to be reckoned with – it moves fast using the ship’s vents and surprises the player with sudden attacks, leaving them mere seconds to run and hide. Aside from the Alien, hostile humans and androids will also try to capture Ripley. These adversaries can be defeated using various weapons: a revolver, a shotgun, a flamethrower, etc. None of these, however, will work on the Xenomorph. All you can do is hide and hope you weren’t spotted.
No Man's Sky
|Release year:||12 August 2016 (PC), 10 August 2016 (PS4), 24 July 2018 (XONE)|
|Game modes:||Single-player, Multiplayer|
No Man’s Sky was meant to be the crowning achievement of exploration-based survival games. And while it took it a while to get there, we can say with a large dose of certainty that the promises made by Hello Games have been mostly fulfilled.
No Man’s Sky gameplay focuses on space exploration, with the endgame objective being reaching its center. The player begins their adventure in a small spaceship, which they can upgrade with material and gear to cover longer distances. While exploring new worlds, the player should be careful – atmospheric conditions of these plants can damage the suit, and dangerous fauna can pick the player as an easy target.
|Release year:||5 September 2019 (PC), 8 October 2020 (Switch)|
|Game modes:||Single-player, Multiplayer|
Green Hell is probably the most The Forest-like game on our list, being the most survival-oriented and set in a jungle environment. The player once again takes the role of a man who has to survive in a harsh environment, fending off dangerous animals and making the right choices in order to survive.
Like no other game on our list, Green Hell emphasizes the player’s agency in guaranteeing their survival. There are so many things that can go wrong while staying alone in the jungle, and Creepy Jar’s production features most of them. Dehydration, food poisoning, being bitten by venomous snakes, or mauled by predators – these are only a few of the gruesome outcomes that await the player in Green Hell. The player can increase their odds by crafting useful materials, like bandages, medicine, etc. But even with that, survival in the jungle will not be easy.
Surviving in The Forest
The Forest might not be the most revolutionary game in the genre, but it has found its loyal players. If you’re one of them and would like to try another game with a similar premise and gameplay features, you should definitely try one of the titles from the list above. Some of them share gameplay similarities with The Forest. Others feature similar setting. Most of them will test the player’s skills at finding resources, crafting materials, and keeping their characters alive. All of them will provide hours of entertaining, tense gameplay, in which one misstep can lead to certain death.